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The Sunday Opera: Richard Strauss' "Elektra" from The Swedish Royal Opera

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We’re back at the Swedish Royal Opera for this week’s Sunday Opera (8/22 3:00 p.m.) and another archival performance.  Where last week we had the last performance of Jussi Bjorling, this week we have the first appearance of Birgit Nilsson in one of her signature roles, Elektra by Richard Strauss.  Elektra is determined to avenge the death of her father, Agamemnon.   He was killed by his wife, Klytaemnestra (Barbro Ericson), and her lover, Aegisth (Kage Jehrlander).   All of Elektra’s hopes are pinned on the return of her brother, Orest (Erik Saeden), who ran away when Agamemnon was killed, to enact her plans which he does.  Orest returns and first kills Klytaemnestra before Elektra lures Aegisth to his death.  The ending varies to each production.  Elektra’s sister, Chrysothemis (Berit Lindholm), often tries to placate Elektra and searches for Orest to help her as Elektra, teetering on the edge of madness, dances herself to death.   Berislav Klobucar conducts. 

After the opera, join Michael Kownacky for more music of Strass including one of his early works, the  Burleske in D minor featuring pianist Elizabeth Leonkaia.   We’ll also hear two audience favorites in the Alpensinfonie and Aus Italien, and then, conclude with the Romanze in F major for cello and orchestra featuring cellist Alexander Rudin. 

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.