Friday, August 13, 2010

Salzburg 2010: Elektra - Show 2

Elektra, August 12th 2010, Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg

Max Ernst - lithograph, 1939

Daniele Gatti ..... Conductor
Nikolaus Lehnhoff ..... Stage Director

Waltraud Meier ..... Klytämnestra
Iréne Theorin ..... Elektra
Eva-Maria Westbroek ..... Chrysothemis
Robert Gambill ..... Aegisth
René Pape .....Orest
Oliver Zwarg ..... Orest's Tutor

Vienna Philharmonic
Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus

Iréne Theorin

So, the only difference with respect to the first show is that I was seated further away from the stage and the acoustics of the big auditorium is so good that I couldn't notice the difference as far as the sound is concerned. However when you're far you don't see the faces of the actors... I loved Daniele Gatti's loud orchestral moments -- that's how I want Elektra to sound like, but I can understand those who prefer it to be more retained, more "disciplined".

Daniele Gatti

The singers were as wonderful as in the first show. Right before the show began there was someone who came up front to tell us that Waltraud Meier was suffering from lumbago and that she cannot scenically perform as she would like to... She was very good anyway.

I still think the staging is pretty awful, because there is only one idea that pulls it from the horrid productions you can find on DVD of the recordings made in the 70's and 80's. In any case the traditionalists and/or conservatives are happy, and I don't complain much as the orchestra and singers did excellent job.

Not to rewrite the same post as after the premiere, please see here.

René Pape

In the beginning of this post I've put a pic of the lithograph by Max Ernst, because that was his way to see Elektra in 1939, and because I saw today an exhibition in the Modern Art Museum in Salzburg, which included a rather large collection of works by Max Ernst.
It's all a big ripoff as they make you pay everything... but at least the museum is on the top of the hill from which you can have a spectacular panoramic view on Salzburg.

What's funny in Salzburg, it's that the downtown area is lovely but small so the probability to meet some of the famous singers, actors, conductors, directors... is relatively large. Today we were sitting in a restaurant and Patricia Petibon stopped -- she was on her bike heading to the Festspielhaus. On Linzer gasse, there was our dear Diana Damrau happy chatting... On the way to theater, Piotr Beczala was meeting with fans... [pic below]

OK, now something you don't need to know about Salzburg but if you're an opera fan you'll like its irrelevance anyway ;) Right across the street from the Festspielhaus, there is one part of the Modern Art Museum (the exhibition of works by Daniel Richter takes place there, and the bigger Moder Art Museum is on the top of the hill, not far from this - small MdM). Next to the museum is a famous restaurant called Triangel. Food there is good, you can eat and drink outside with a pretty view on theatrical life around. It is also "famous" because of its menu! Every year they compose their menu to fit it with what happens at the theater en face. This year you have the meals "Mikhail Petrenko", "Anna Netrebko", "Christopher Maltman" [which I ordered], "Patricia Petibon", "Eva Maria Westbroek", "Mojca Erdmann", "Erwin Schrott", "René Pape", "Nino Machaidze", "Joseph Kaiser", "Ivor Bolton", "Claus Guth", and even "Bartlett Sher" [booo! ;) ]...  Here is a pic of the menu I took today. If you click on it you may read the content of corresponding meals...


  1. oooh - did you see the pickles? :)

  2. Do you mean the Erwin Wurm installation, Pavel? Completely awesome!!

  3. No, I didn't see the pickles. Where were they?