Richard Strauss


Sun /
oct 24
StaatenHaus Saal 1 / 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. / Premiere / 20 € - 140 €
Buy Tickets

Introduction 30 Minutes before the start of the performance in Saal 3.


Disaster looms over the ruling house of Mycenae. Since Agamemnon was killed by his wife Klytaemnestra, ever new sacrifices have been made. But peace does not return, especially not for the children. Orest has gone missing, Chrysothemis wants a family of her own, but Elektra pursues only one thought: revenge for her father. “The times are strange”, wrote the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal around 1900, “and they have strange children: us!” He observes “people who were fractured”, who had lost their unity. With irrationality, delusion and “mysteriously aroused nature”, the writer poetically describes what Sigmund Freud was soon to describe psychoanalytically as a sign of the times.

The composer Richard Strauss experienced Hofmannsthal’s “Elektra” as a modern antique drama on the stage in Berlin in 1905 and was fascinated by the expressiveness of the language and the characters. He was particularly interested by the moment where language reaches the end of its possibilities, when Elektra falls into orgiastic dances of triumph. “Do I not hear the music? It comes out of me!” is the decisive sentence for Richard Strauss, who enriches the drama with music that had previously been thought impossible and remains unrivalled to this day. “Elektra” (1909) has the largest orchestra of all of Strauss’ operas, the most incredible tonal language, the starkest contrasts and the boldest idea of opera. Strauss gives the three protagonists Elektra, Chrysothemis and Klytaemnestra a tremendous amount of space to unfold their elemental drive energy - against others and against themselves, under the all-dominant motif of Agamemnon.

This is the first time that the renowned director Roland Schwab, who staged “Tristan und Isolde” at the 2022 Bayreuth Festival, among other things, is working in Cologne.


Musikalische Leitung Felix Bender / Arne Willimczik / Inszenierung Roland Schwab / Bühne Piero Vinciguerra / Kostüme Gabriele Rupprecht / Licht Andreas Grüter / Chorleitung Rustam Samedov / Dramaturgie Stephan Steinmetz /

Der Pfleger des Orest
Die Vertraute
Die Schleppträgerin
Ein junger Diener
Ein alter Diener
Die Aufseherin
3. Magd

Further performances