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Fri. Dec. 8, 2017, 4 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Vienna

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Richard Strauss


Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher, Director: Uwe Eric Laufenberg
With Waltraud Meier, Evelyn Herlitzius, Adrianne Pieczonka, Norbert Ernst, Johan Reuter


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Programme booklet


  • Ingo Metzmacher  |  Conductor
  • Richard Strauss  |  Musik
  • Uwe Eric Laufenberg  |  Director
  • Rolf Glittenberg  |  Bühne
  • Marianne Glittenberg  |  Costumes
  • Andreas Grüter  |  Light Design

Ingo Metzmacher | Conductor

Ingo Metzmacher began his career in Frankfurt with the Ensemble Modern as well as the Opera in Brussels. From 1997 to 2005, he was the General Music Director at the Hamburg State Opera, and Chief Conductor at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam as well as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutschen Symphonie Orchesters in Berlin from 2007 to 2010. In recent years, Ingo Metzmacher has regularly conducted at the Salzburg Festival, the Operahouse in Zurich, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the ROH Covent Garden, as well as leading European orchestras. In the current season, he directed Die Soldaten at the Milan Scala as well as a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Berliner Staatsoper. He has also conducted the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the SWR Sinfonieorchesters Baden Baden and Freiburg as well as the Deutschen Symphonieorchester Berlin. At the Wiener Staatsoper, Ingo Metzmacher gave his debut in 2009 as the conductor of Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, and continued to conduct Parsifal and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

Waltraud Meier | Klytämnestra

KS Waltraud was born in Würzburg. After completing school, she went on to study English and at the same time had singing lessons. In 1976, she decided to focus completely on singing and made her debut at the Würzburger Opera as Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana). She gave her international debut in 1980 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as Fricka in Walküre. With her triumphant success as Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal in 1983, her international career started at the Bayreuther Festspiele which has led her on a regular basis to Covent Garden, the Met, the Scala, the Opéra National de Paris and the Bayerische Staatsoper. Today, she is considered one of the most important Wagner singers. She is also equally expressive and vocally dramatic when singing in French and Italian as Eboli, Amneris, Didon, Carmen und Santuzza. She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1987 as Kundry. Further performances in the house on the ring include Amneris, Komponist, Carmen, Ortrud, Sieglinde, Leonore, Isolde, Venus, Kundry, Eboli, and Santuzza.


Evelyn Herlitzius | Elektra

Evelyn Herlizius recieved her musical training at the Hochschule for Music and Theatre in Hamburg. In 1997, Evelyn Herlizius gave her debut at the Sächsischen Staatsoper in Dresden as Leonore (Fidelio). At this house, she earned many important roles of her field, like Elisabeth and Venus, Brünn­hilde, Kundry, Sieglinde, Salome, Färberin, Jeanne and Turandot. Evelyn Herlizius is a welcome guest on the international stage, like for example at the Staatsopern Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, at the Deutschen Oper Berlin, the Nederlandse Opera, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and at the Bayreuther and Salz­burger Festspielen. Evelyn Herlizius is a Sächsische Chamber singer. In 2000, she gave her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Lenonre and also sang here Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) as well as Färberin (Frau ohne Schatten) and Kundry (Parsifal). She has performed with orchestras like the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras.  

Roles for the Wiener Staatsoper 2014/2015: Brünnhilde (Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung).

Adrianne Pieczonka | Chrysothemis

The Canadian soprano singer ADRIANNE PIECZONKA was engaged at the Wiener Volksoper at the beginning of her career and then became member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper. There, her international career began, leading her to all the world´s great opera houses and music centres. She sang Donna Anna at the ROH Covent Garden in London, in Otello, Rosenkavalier and Tannhäuser at La Scala in Milan, in Pique Dame, Walküre and Simon Boccanegra at the Metropolitan Opera, Ariadne auf Naxos at the Münchner Opernfestspiele, at the Maggio Musical in Florence in Die Frau ohne Schatten. She performed Senta at the Paris Opera Bastille and sang her first Leonore at the Canadian Opera Toronto. She sang in Don Carlo and Rosenkavalier at the Salzburger Festspiele, and sang Sieglinde and Senta at the Bayreuther Festspiele. She made her debut as Chrysothemis in Aix en Provence. At the Wiener Staatsoper she has for example sung Contessa d’Almaviva, Antonia, Tatjana, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira, Senta, Marschallin, Elsa, Eva, Desdemona, Arabella and Ariadne. Adrianne Pieczonka is Austrian Kammersängerin, „Officer of the Order of Canada“ and since 2010 member of the Royal So­ciety of Canada.

Roles at the Wiener Staatsoper 2014/2015: Tosca, Elisabeth (Don Carlos Italian).

Norbert Ernst | Aegisth

NORBERT ERNST studied in Wiener Neustadt under Gerd Fussi and in Vienna under KS Robert Holl. He also recieved important impulses through masterclasses with Kurt Equiluz and Walter Berry. He received his first engagement in 2002 as an ensemble member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein –Düsseldorf, where he among others, gave a successful debut as David. Guest performances have led the young Austrian tenor to the Wiener Volksoper, Geneva, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, the Bay­erische Staatsoper, Monte Carlo, the Opéra National Paris, the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, and the Liceu in Barcelona. Since 2004, he receives regular invitations to the Bayreuther Festspielen. In 2013, he worked among others in a new production of the Ring des Nibelungen as Loge. He gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2008 as David. Since 2010, he is an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper and has sung here, among others, Steuermann, Kudrjáš, Tamino, Elemér, Jack O’Brien, Triquet, Tanzmeister, Narraboth, Aegisth, Alfred, Jaquino, Andres and Loge. 

Background Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, and his wife Clytemnestra have four children: Iphigenia, Electra, Chrysothemis and Orestes. When the Greek fleet is ready to set sail for Troy, a calm keeps the ships in port. Agamemnon must sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to appease the goddess Artemis so that she will create favourable winds for his journey. Clytemnestra will never forgive her husband for this. During Agamemnon's absence fighting for Troy, Clytemnestra enters into a relationship with Aegisthus. When Agamemnon returns home, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus feign a joyous welcome. They then murder the defenceless man with an axe as he sits in his bath. After her father is murdered, Electra succeeds in bringing her young brother to safety. She herself nurses one thought: to avenge the murder. Plot Electra has dissociated herself from society and above all from Aegisthus and Clytemnestra; she lives in isolation, bound in her thoughts to Agamemnon. She unrelentingly nurtures her hate, counting on Orestes' return to avenge the murder. The five maid servants, supervised by the overseer, comment on Electra's behaviour: spiteful, pretentious, fearful. Only the youngest maid servant stands up for Electra and is chastened for doing so. Electra invokes Agamemnon and goes into raptures over her bloody vision. Chrysothemis interrupts Electra's monologue and warns her sister: Aegisthus and Clytemnestra are planning to incarcerate her in a tower. When Chrysothemis implies that she will come to terms with them in order to realize her desire to be a mother, Electra scornfully puts her in her place. Plagued by memories and anxiety dreams, the restless Clytemnestra tries to talk to Electra, hoping to find out from her what blood sacrifice or rites would bring her relief. Electra responds tantalizingly, enigmatically, cryptically, and frightens her mother with questions about Orestes. However, when Clytemnestra is brought news by her confidante, her dread gives way to an obvious sense of triumph. Electra is annoyed, until she learns the news from Chrysothemis – their brother Orestes is dead. Electra refuses to believe it, but must then give credence to the messenger's report. She decides to wreak vengeance herself, and determines that Chrysothemis should help her. With tenderness and outward affection, Electra tries to win her sister's support for her plan to murder Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. However, Chrysothemis evades her sister, who curses her. Now Electra is resolved to perform the deed herself. A stranger arrives, passing himself off as a messenger who has come to tell Clytemnestra of the death of Orestes. Electra's despair moves him to ask her name. Only then does he reveal that he is her brother – Orestes! Electra urges him to murder the couple to avenge his father, a deed Orestes pledges to carry out swiftly. Left alone, Elektra awaits further events ... Clytemnestra's death screams and the confusion of the maid servants assure her that revenge has in part been exacted. Aegisthus, fetched by the servants, wants to hear the news of Orestes' death himself. With flattering words, Electra guides him to the place where she knows the avenger to be, who kills him shortly thereafter. Consumed with joy that revenge has been exacted, Electra begins a last ecstatic dance ...