Radical and gripping: Stephen Langridge’s pin-sharp Elektra in Gothenburg

13 February 2017

Stephen Langridge’s new production of Elektra at Gothenburg, which premiere earlier this month, has been praised as radical and pin-sharp.

Click here to watch the trailer.

“Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s opera on the subject, often hailed as the first Freudian opera (though it was Jung who coined the “Electra” complex), understandably places its psychological weight on its eponymous heroine. Not only does her voice dominate, but the orchestra projects the music inside her head — we cannot hear beyond Elektra. But in Stephen Langridge’s new production for Gothenburg Opera, the solipsism is broken open just a touch. ... Langridge’s pin-sharp direction is also seamlessly executed in Conor Murphy’s elegant modern staging. Both in its details, such as the dolls and the discarded shoes of the victims, and the general design of the set — whose sweeping blind curve leaves us, and the characters, unable to detect which shadows are cast by the present and which by the past — the production draws first-rate performances from the company as well as a vital extra layer from the work itself.”
Guy Damman, Financial Times ****

“Stephen Langridge invents a radical and at the same time poetic realism in this gripping pin-point production, which has great pictorial powers and is true to Hofmannsthal and Strauss.”
Peter Krause, concerti

“Opera director Stephen Langridge is responsible for the ingenious direction. ... Interpreted in this way, Elektra touches my innards. It washes over my body, penetrates every pore, and makes all the small cells in my body besiege my soul! I give up in a blissful intoxication of an opera that I just cannot defend myself against!”
Thorvald Pellby Petterson, Sveriges Radio

“As a whole, this is like a punch. Smart and claustrophobic.”
Per Feltzin, SR Kulturnytt

“It is all very well made and well conceived. ... as close to a portrayal of a psychoanalysis as you can get on an opera stage.”
Martyn Nyström, Dagens Nyheter

“In this iconic setting of a psychoanalytic drama there is no risk of missing the important details. Langridge works with a clarity that can be highly disturbing.”
Bo Löfvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet

Elektra runs until 9 April 2017.

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