Christine Goerke is ElektraBy COC StaffPosted in 18/19
Every now and then, a performer steps into a role with such breathtaking authority it becomes impossible to imagine anybody else attempting the part. Christine Goerke is one such artist, offering an interpretation that sets a generational standard.
The American dramatic soprano simply “owns the title role in Richard Strauss’ Elektra,” mesmerizing audiences around the world with her portrayal of the psychologically complex heroine, from San Francisco to Chicago to New York to London.
Goerke last appeared on our stage in a “stunning performance,” as Brünnhilde in our multi-year exploration of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. But audiences have been eagerly awaiting her first Elektra at the COC, with her interpretation being heralded by critics as “genius,” and “the stuff of legends.”
In a February 2018 interview with Playbill, Goerke called the role “the biggest adrenaline rush I can imagine.” The evolution of her voice away from lighter repertoire towards the more dramatic material involved in performing Strauss came naturally enough. “The very first time I was able to get myself in front of a Strauss orchestra going at full blast and was able to let loose, I thought, 'I’m home.'”
The title role has the reputation of being, “fiercely difficult,” requiring the singer to “project over a vast, intricately-scored orchestra and sing some of the most dramatic, declamatory music ever written for soprano.” In Elektra, Goerke is on stage for nearly the entire opera, during which her character awaits the return of her brother Orest, to avenge the murder of her father, who was slain years earlier by their mother and her new lover.
You have seven opportunities to experience Christine Goerke live in the title role of R. Strauss’ Elektra, from January 26 to February 22, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. For tickets, visit coc.ca/Elektra
Watch soprano Christine Goerke discuss the illusion of truth in R. Strauss’ Elektra
Thank you for joining us for R. Strauss' Elektra, January 26 to February 22, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Take your culture game to the next level with our monthly eOpera.
Photo credits (top to bottom): Christine Goerke, photo: Arielle Doneson; Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde in the COC's Die Walküre, 2015, photo: Michael Cooper.