Music: Metropolitan's Elektra

The golden curtains at Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera House shot up one afternoon last week on a stage for an instant ominously black. Trumpets blared a sudden, stunning dissonance. Richard Strauss's Elektra, the most hectic and hard-driven of operas, began its premiere at the Metropolitan, its first performance in New York in 22 years.

The sudden lift of the curtain, the harsh blare of the brasses establish perfectly the mood for Elektra's maniacal lust to avenge the death of her father Agamemnon, murdered in his bath. Soprano Gertrude Kappel, ragged and disheveled, long black hair...

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