Dutch National Opera / Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra / Marc Albrecht

Elektra (Live 2011)

Price: € 14.95
Format: SACD hybrid
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917256529
Catnr: CC 72565
Release date: 26 October 2012
2 SACD hybrid
✓ in stock
€ 14.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72565
Release date
26 October 2012

"A must for Straussians."

Sunday Times, 01-1-2014

About the album

"Elektra - Tragödie in einem Aufzuge" - with the libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal had its world premiere on January 25th 1909 in the Hofoper in Dresden. The performances of "Elektra" which were used for this cd production were made in november 2011 in the Amsterdam Muziektheatre with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toonkunst Choir Amsterdam and soloists all conducted by Marc Albrecht.

Elektra lives in a no-man’s-land – a region inhabited by no one else. It is for this very reason that she occupies this region with unwavering determination, for only here can she validate the essence of her being: contradiction. She is at one and the same time nobody and more than everyone else; she lives here, but she is in fact also dead. She remains at the place of her youth, but never sets foot in her family home. With all these discrepancies, she is the embodiment of contradiction, in two senses: as contradiction in and of itself and in relation to the outside world, against everything and everyone, everywhere and always. The scene of this contradiction is the threshold, where she continuously dwells and which is not an actual place or, better said, is a non-place, a no-man’s-land. (written by Willy Decker)

Het eerste album van De Nederlandse Opera
Met trots wordt hier het eerste album van De Nederlandse Opera! Het bevat een opname van de uitvoering van Elektra van november
2011 in Het Muziektheater Amsterdam. De opera van Richard Strauss en librettist Hugo von Hoffmannsthal werd voor het eerst uitgevoerd op 25 januari 1909 in de Hofoper in Dresden.

De Nederlandse Opera werkt in deze uitvoering samen met het Nederlands Filharmonisch Orkest, het Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam, en solisten als Michael Schuster, Evelyn Herlitzius, Camilla Nylund, Hubert Delamboye en Gerd Grochowski. De productie van regisseur Willy Decker was een groot succes. Deze versie van Elektra is niet minder dan vier keer opnieuw opgevoerd.

De Nederlandse Opera heeft zich onder leiding van artistiek directeur Pierre Audi en zakelijk directeur Truze Lodder ontwikkeld tot één van de meest prominente en progressieve operagezelschappen. Marc Albrecht, de nieuwe chef-dirigent, staat bekend om zijn interpretaties van werken van Wagner, Richard Strauss en moderne muziek.

Willy Decker zegt het volgende over het verhaal achter de productie: “Elektra leeft in niemandsland – het land dat door niemand bewoond wordt. Juist daarom houdt zij dit land met ijzeren vastberadenheid bezet, want alleen hier kan zij haar diepste wezen tot gelding brengen: de contradictie. Zij is tegelijkertijd niemand, en meer dan alle anderen; zij leeft hier maar is eigenlijk ook dood. Zij verblijft op deze plek van haar jeugd, maar betreedt nimmer haar ouderlijk huis. Met al deze tegenstrijdigheden is zij de belichaming van deze contradictie zelf. In tweeërlei zin: als contradictie in zichzelf en ten opzichte van de buitenwereld, jegens alles en iedereen, overal en altijd. De plaats van deze tegenstrijdigheid is de drempel, waarop zij voortdurend verblijft en die geen echte plek is of, liever gezegd: die een onplek is, ja, een niemandsland.”

Auftakt einer Opern-Reihe bei Challenge Classics

Marc Albrecht, der neue Chefdirigent der Nederlandse Opera, ist für seine Wagner- und Strauss-Deutungen sowie als Interpret zeitgenössischer Musik bekannt. Mit der Live-Aufnahme von „Elektra“ vom November 2011 aus Amsterdam startet Challenge Classics mit einer neuen DNO-Opern-Reihe, die sowohl Standardwerke wie Raritäten und Zeitgenössische Opern enthalten wird.


De Nederlandse Opera (DNO) is the Netherlands' largest opera company and is based in The Amsterdam Music Theatre. DNO has grown into one of Europe's most prominent and progressive opera companies under the leadership of artistic director Pierre Audi and managing director Truze Lodder. The sixty-member Koor van De Nederlandse Opera contributes significantly to this success.

DNO produces music theatre productions at the highest international level, with a clear focus on artistic quality, diversity and innovation. Examples of DNO's audacious programming include the first Dutch staging of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen and the operas of Claudio Monteverdi.

DNO typically realises eleven opera productions each season. In order to reach a wider audience, most productions are broadcast live on radio and several productions per year are televised. DNO also regularly organizes supplemental activities at other venues and via new media. In addition, many of DNO's opera productions have been issued on DVD.

Since the 2011-2012 season Marc Albrecht has been the chief conductor of both DNO and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Netherlands Chamber Orchestra.

Marc Albrecht
De Nederlandse Opera’s new chief conductor Marc Albrecht is known for his interpretations of works by Wagner and Richard Strauss, and of contemporary music. Albrecht was a guest conductor with Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, City of Birmingham Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the orchestras of Rome (Santa Cecilia), Dresden and Lyon. He has conducted among other works Der fliegende Holländer (Bayreuth Festival, 2003-2006), Egon Wellesz’s Die Bacchantinnen (Salzburg Festival, 2005) and Janáček’s From the House of the Dead (Opéra National de Paris, 2005). He was chief guest conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2001 to 2004 and conducted among other works a highly acclaimed performance of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise. From 2006 to 2011, he was artistic director and chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. He is also closely affiliated with the Semper Opera, Dresden, where in 2007 he led successful productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten and La damnation de Faust. He recently conducted a new production of Henze’s The Bassarids (Bavarian State Opera, Munich), Der fliegende Holländer (Royal Opera House in Covent Garden), Der Prinz von Homburg (Theater an der Wien), Lulu with the Vienna Philharmonic (Salzburg) and Eine florentinische Tragödie and Der Zwerg (Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona). Future plans include Die Soldaten (Zurich), Orest and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and The Maiden Fevroniya (De Nederlandse Opera).

Michaela Schuster
Michaela Schuster (Klytaemnestra) first studied the oboe and later singing with Helena Lazarska at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and subsequently completed her education with honours at the at the Berlin Academy of the Arts with Jarmila Rudolfowa Kratzer. She participated in master classes with Christa Ludwig, Aribert Reimann and Julia Hamari. Schuster won first prize at the international singing competition “Debut in Meran” and that for Wagnerian vocalists at Bayreuth. At the Francisco Viñas Competition (Barcelona), she was awarded the special Wagner Prize. From 1999 to 2002, she was an ensemble member at the National Theatre in Darmstadt. Her repertoire includes the roles of Sieglinde in Die Walküre (German National Opera in Berlin, Vienna Opera), Marie in Wozzeck (National Opera in Hamburg), Herodias in Salome (Royal Opera House in Covent Garden), Eboli in Don Carlo (Frankfurt), Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde (Barcelona), Fricka in Die Walküre (Vienna Opera), Kundry in Parsifal (German National Opera, in Berlin), Caesonia in Glanert’s Caligula (Frankfurt, Cologne) and Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Salzburg Festival).

Evelyn Herlitzius
The German soprano Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra) studied at the Hamburg Academy for Music and Theatre. In 1993, she won first prize at the Meistersinger Competition in Nuremberg. Since 1997, she has been an ensemble member of the Semper Opera in Dresden, singing there the title roles in Jenůfa and Salome, Elisabeth and Venus in Tannhäuser, Sieglinde in Die Walküre, Kundry in Parsifal and Katerina Izmailova in Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. In 1999, she won the Christl Goltz Prize and in 2006 the German Theatre Prize “Faust”. At the Bayreuth Festival, she sang the roles of Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Kundry and Ortrud in Lohengrin. Herlitzius has been a guest performer at the Vienna Opera (Leonore in Fidelio, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde), the German National Opera in Berlin (the title role in Salome), the Scala in Milan (Marie in Wozzeck, Katerina Izmailova), Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona (Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, Kundry) and at the Salzburg Festival (Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten). Future engagements include Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Vienna Opera) and Leonore Fidelio (Semper Opera in Dresden).

Camilla Nylund
The Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund (Chrysothemis) studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Her repertoire includes the title role in Salome (National Opera of Paris), the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos (Vienna Opera) and Emma in Khovanshchina (Bavarian National Opera in Munich). She has also sung the title role in Daphne (Semper Opera in Dresden), Elsa in Lohengrin (Amsterdam, in a concert performance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Hamburg) and Elisabeth in Tannhäuser (Bavarian National Opera in Munich). She toured Japan with Sir Simon Rattle in Fidelio (a production of the Salzburg Easter Festival). She has worked with such conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Adam Fischer, Zubin Mehta, Yakov Kreizberg and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has been a guest performer at the Scala in Milan, and opera houses in Tokyo, San Diego, Baden-Baden, Hamburg and Cologne. She made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival last summer as Elisabeth.

Hubert Delamboye
The Dutch tenor Hubert Delamboye (Aegisth) studied at the Maastricht Conservatory with Leo Ketelaars. He has been a guest performer at the Metropolitan Opera and opera houses in Paris, Brussels, London, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Vienna, and during the Salzburg Festival (the title role in Lucio Silla, Alwa in Lulu, Hauptmann in Wozzeck and Tichon in Kat’a Kabanová). Delamboye performs regularly with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Kurt Masur and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. His repertoire includes such roles as Florestan in Fidelio, Loge in Das Rheingold and the title roles in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Samson et Dalila, Oberon, Tristan und Isolde and Tannhäuser. Recent opera activities include Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero and Volo di notte (Frankfurt), Florestan (Hamburg), Hauptmann and Lilaque le père in Boulevard Solitude (Barcelona), Filka in From the House of the Dead (Paris, Madrid), Le Lépreux in Saint François d’Assise (London and with Radio France Paris). On the concert stage, Delamboye has sung in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Dvořák’s Requiem, Frank Martin’s Golgotha, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde en Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.

Gerd Grochowski
The German bass-baritone Gerd Grochowski (Orest) studied at the Cologne Conservatory with Edith Kertesz. He has recently sung Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde (Metropolitan Opera, the Scala in Milan, German National Opera in Berlin) and Friedrich von Telramund in Lohengrin (German National Opera in Berlin). His repertoire includes Scarpia in Tosca and Orest (Bavarian National Opera in Munich), Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen (Bruckner Festival), Šiškov From the House of the Dead (Aix-en-Provence, Holland Festival, Vienna Festival Weeks), Pizarro in Fidelio (Hamburg, Vienna), Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos (Welsh National Opera) and Der Sprecher Die Zauberflöte (Glyndebourne Festival). On the concert stage, he has sung in among other things Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. Grochowski has worked with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Jurowski, Lothar Zagrosek, Ingo Metzmacher and Pierre Boulez. For his performance in the title role of Doktor Faust he was nominated by Opernwelt magazine in 2005 as “singer of the year”. Future plans include Friedrich von Telramund (San Francisco), Amfortas in Parsifal (Lyon) and Klingsor in Parsifal (Munich).

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
The Netherlands Philharmonic (NedPhO), one of the leading orchestras of the Netherlands, and the affiliated Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (NKO) are the accompanying partners of De Nederlandse Opera (DNO) in the Muziektheater and also perform a variety of concert programmes in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. They are welcome guests in Dutch concert halls and at foreign halls and festivals. Typical of NedPhO|NKO are their inviting programming and welcoming presentations. With their enthusiasm and passion for the music, the musicians provide a special listening experience. NedPhO|NKO has an extensive education and outreach programme, NedPhOGO!, making classical music accessible to everyone. Under the former chief conductor Hartmut Haenchen, the NedPhO scored great successes with a Mahler cycle and the integral performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen (DNO, also on CD). Over the years, it has performed nearly all the great operas by Wagner and Richard Strauss. Successful performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten, hailed by audiences and critics, led to the appointment of Marc Albert as the chief conductor of the DNO and NedPhO/NKO. Albrecht recently conducted the opera Fidelio with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra to widespread critical acclaim. In addition to opera, this season he will perform music by Berlioz, Bruckner, Brahms, Schumann, Mahler and others at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. The main sponsor is Yakult Europe. Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam is a leading concert choir that alternates large-scale choral works with intimate programmes. Its repertoire ranges from Sweelinck to contemporary music. In addition to 19th-century music, it gives special attention to works of the 20th and 21st centuries. For these, the choir focuses on music seldom performed by amateur choirs because of its difficulty. In addition, it performs Bach’s St Matthew Passion on Good Fridays in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, a tradition begun by Willem Mengelberg in 1899. Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam was founded in 1929 and has a rich history, with performances led by Willem Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Eugen Jochum, Eduard van Beinum and Berhard Haitink. Since the 1970s, it has performed annually in concerts with Holland Symfonia and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, under such conductors as Anton Kersjes, Hatmut Haenchen, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi and Yehudi Menuhin. It has also performed with The Hague Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam
Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam is led by conductor and artistic director Boudewijn Jansen. Jansen studied the piano and orchestral conducting at the Utrecht Conservatory, in addition participating in the opera studio of the National Touring Opera in Enschede. After completing his studies, he became the music director and conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Opera Foundation. With this company, he conducted among other things Die Zauberflöte, Carmen, Die Kluge and Hänsel und Gretel. Since 1994, Jansen has been on the DNO staff as assistant conductor and repetiteur. He has assisted Hartmut Haenchen, Sir Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Edo de Waart and conducted the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Holland Symfonia, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1991, he has led the Chamber Choir of the Vrije Universiteit. That choir often performs with the VU-Camerata project orchestra, which he founded. With the VU Chamber Choir, Jansen won the TENSO days for modern music in 2009. In early 2011, he was named artistic director of the Netherlands Concert Choir in Amsterdam. He is the music director of the Poorters Festival in Amersfoort and since 2000 has annually served as music director of the Utrecht Oudegracht Opera Concert. He was the choral conducting teacher at the Europa Cantat Festival in 2009.



A must for Straussians.
Sunday Times, 01-1-2014

L'avant-Scene Opera, 01-1-2014

Her Elektra (Evelyn Herlitzius) is a complete vocal and dramatic creation who is gloriously surly and sardonic in her exchanges with her mother and sister, and soaring and heartfelt in the Recognition Scene. It's a performance in which one has to take the rough with the smooth, but it is compelling. Marc Albrecht brings a genuinely threatening atmosphere to Strauss's score, moving the piece along well without missing its massive, granitic strength. This is a thrilling Elektra.
Opera, 01-8-2013

Everything about this set is very nearly perfect.
Music Web International, 01-6-2013

***1/2 star review 
Music, 01-6-2013

It’s a tight, wiry show, driving Strauss’ phenomenal score to its inevitable conclusion like a thoroughbred.
ClassicsToday.com, 17-5-2013

This handsomely packaged production from Netherlands Opera deserves a hearing, even if Strauss's music ensures it won't be a comfortable one.
Scotland on Sunday, 07-4-2013

The recorded sound is terrific, with only occasional evidence of the live audience.
International Record Review, 02-4-2013

The recorded sound is terrific, with only occasional evidence of the live audience 
Record Review, 01-3-2013

Lead by Marc Albrecht ... the score sparkles and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is in its best shape.
VKZ, 01-1-2013

This Elektra from the Netherlands Opera is a knock-out in every way.
Classicalcdreview.com, 10-12-2012

The Netherlands Opera hits the mark with the casting of the main roles, three female singers who manage to conquer the challenges of Elektra's demaning score.
Opus Klassiek, 03-12-2012

It is very elegant, the booklet is well structured and includes the necessary Informations about the artists, a printed libretto, just as a CD-collector likes.
Opernglas, 01-11-2012

Marc Albrecht succeeds in creating a overwhelming orchestral spectacle, a seldom compelling interpretation of the colouful score.

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