Hot on the heels of this year’s COVID-secure Salzburg Festival, here comes one of the star productions from the pioneering 2020 Festival, one of the few events to go ahead among the decimated European arts landscape that was summer 2020. Thanks to a well-directed video (Myriam Hoyer) we can forget about the masks, COVID tests and social distancing and sit back and grapple with this absorbing new production of Elektra by the Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski. 

Elektra

Strauss’s psychologically penetrating opera is more easily and effectively updated than many and Warlikowski’s staging is an insightful one, if sometimes a little fussy. Małgorzata Szczęśniak’s granitic set, beautifully lit by Felice Ross, dominates the full width of the Felsenreitschule stage and includes an inner room with a giant bath in which early on we witness Agamemnon’s brutal murder (indeed, the camera here allows us to see more detail than was likely available to the audience in the house). Similarly, later on we get to see the killing of Klytämnestra and Aegisth. The production is...