Music: Potent Pauly

Thirty-five years ago German Composer Richard Strauss and his librettist, Dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, went back to Greek drama for a subject. The result, Elektra, is the most hair-raising of modern operas.

Composer Strauss and his librettist laid their scene in a Hellenic back yard, envisioned livestock rooting about the grave of ax-murdered Agamemnon while his murderers' dying screeches float from backstage over the most malignant of operatic orchestrations. Their frenzied, hagridden Elektra, daughter of the slain Agamemnon and instigator of the ghastly revenge that overtakes his killers, demanded a singer of...

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