CULTURE

Electra series in the capital

In an effort to refresh the link between the legend of Electra and modern European culture, the Athens Concert Hall recently presented a series of events centered on the emblematic character of Euripides and Sophocles. Electra will be at the core of the music hall’s February to March season after Theodoros and Yianna Angelopoulos agreed to sponsor the «Electra» series. The series comprises Richard Strauss’s opera of the same name, a staging of the play by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, a screening of Michalis Cacoyannis’s award-winning film and a lecture delivered by theater critic Costas Georgousopoulos. Athens Concert Hall president Christos Lambrakis underscored the international character of the series, explaining that all the performances would have surtitles in English and that there would be a drive to attract foreign audiences to the events. «We did not want to repeat yet another program of successive events,» said artistic program director Nikos Tsouchlos. «We made a conscious choice to present a combination of events, where one would shed light on the other,» he explained. Richard Strauss’s opera, the libretto to which has been penned by von Hofmannsthal, premiered in 1909, a time when the myths and history of ancient Greece were especially popular in the West. Strauss and von Hofmannsthal cast the classic tragedy in a modern light with an Eastern feel. This change of perspective was what has made «Electra» a par excellence psychological opera that was deeply influenced by modern (at the time) perceptions on neurosis and other psychological factors affecting the behavior of human beings. The events series will begin on February 27 with Georgousopoulos’s lecture and followed on March 3 by the screening of Cacoyannis’s 1962 film, starring Irene Papas. The Athens production of the opera (on March 1, 4, 7 and 10) will be directed by Michael Hampe. Agnes Baltsa will return to the Athens Concert in the role of Clytemnestra, while the title role will be performed by Nadine Secunde. The music will be performed by the Athens State Orchestra, conducted by Johan Arnell. Von Hofmannsthal’s theater play (April 20-25) is not as well-known as Strauss’s opera, which came later. The play is a free adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy with clear references to Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis. The production is directed by Thomas Moschopoulos, the translation is by Coralia Sotiriadou, the sets are by Dionysis Fotopoulos and the cast is led by Amalia Moutousi and Anna Mascha. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333.