Opera 100: An opera synopsis in just one hundred words!

Composer: Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Librettist: Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Klytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus have murdered her husband Agamemnon. His daughter Elektra stalks Mycenae fixatedly anticipating revenge by her brother Orestes. Her sister Chrysothemis, seeking escape through marriage, cannot move her. Klytemnaestra seeks cures for her waking nightmares; Elektra replies that only her sacrificial death will bring her relief. Whispers of Orestes’s death reach Mycenae. The messenger recognises Elektra, and furtively reveals himself as Orestes. He enters the palace; Klytemnestra’s death-cries are heard. Aegisthus arrives and Elektra leads him to his slaughter. Mycenae erupts into celebration and violent retribution. Emotionally exhausted, Elektra dances maniacally collapsing lifeless at Chrysothemis’s feet.


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