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When Elektra premiered in 1909, The New York Times review hailed composer Richard Strauss as “a genius and a wizard,” describing the opening night audience as “numbed, stunned, [and] hypnotized.” This groundbreaking one-act psychological thriller has since become known as one of the most riveting operas in the repertoire.
Based on an ancient Greek play by Sophocles, Elektra follows the journey of its protagonist as she pursues revenge against her mother. But when she becomes more and more obsessed with revenge, Elektra’s dark mind begins to unravel until, in a horrifying climax, her fragile psyche shatters completely.
Edmonton Opera presents the Alberta premiere of Strauss’s masterpiece in a newly designed, post-apocalyptic production that propels the Electra myth into a forlorn future. Director Michael Cavanagh and costume designer Deanna Finnman draw inspiration from the thundering and cinematic music of Elektra to create a dystopian landscape inhabited by characters on the brink of madness.
Elektra brings together a cast of 16 singers from across the continent, including powerhouse dramatic soprano Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, known for her portrayals of opera’s ‘madwomen’ – Lady Macbeth (which she performed at the Met Opera), Salome, and Elektra. Blancke-Biggs’s previous performance as Elektra garnered praise for her “solid and brilliant” high notes (Teatro) and her “breathtakingly fascinating interpretation” of this challenging role (Liricamente).
Strauss’s massive score will be brought to life by over 70 musicians of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and led by their incoming Chief Conductor, 24-year-old British sensation Alexander Prior.
Featuring an all-star cast, stylish post-apocalyptic costumes, and Richard Strauss’s bold modernist music, Elektra will take Edmonton audiences by storm like no opera before.
Elektra will be sung in German with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Mar. 11 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Mar. 14 (7:30 p.m.), and Thursday, Mar. 16 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available.
More media releases
A new collaboration between the Edmonton Opera and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra will bring three dynamic baritones to the Winspear Centre this March.
No Tenors Allowed features the Edmonton Opera Chorus and guest baritone singers Gordon Bitner, Elliot Madore and Philippe Sly on March 24, 2014, led by ESO conductor Bill Eddins. The ensemble’s program includes prominent works that will engage a wide variety of audience members.
Edmonton Opera Association held its 49th Annual General Meeting yesterday at the MacEwan University, Alberta College Campus at 5:30 p.m. The Report to the Community was released, as well as financial statements for 2012/13 and changes to the society’s bylaws.
Irving Kipnes, past chair, thanked the board, staff, supporters and volunteers and said that he’s aware the organization is reviewing its current business model, and looking for measures that will make it more financially sustainable.
After 50 years, the Edmonton Opera still considers this just the overture. So, a new anniversary
initiative, 50 Days of Opera, seems like the perfect way to celebrate five decades of contributions to the
Edmonton arts community.
Please be aware that effective immediately, Sandra Gajic has decided to move on from the Edmonton Opera and resigned as CEO on May 2, 2013.
For the immediate future, Tim Yakimec, Director of Production, will be the Interim Business Manager for the Edmonton Opera.
Please direct any inquiries to Craig Corbett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780.964.7604
Those who haven’t had their heart broken need not apply.
Each character in the opera Eugene Onegin has the love of something, so understanding love is key to Edmonton Opera’s production, starting in mid-April at the Northern Alberta Jubilee.
“It’s really about, in many ways, living your life with a broken heart,” said director Tom Diamond. “On the first day, when I spoke to the cast, I talked about, at my middle age, I’m kind of glad that at some point in my life, I have had my heart broken, because it equips me to direct this kind of opera.”