Where life goes on: Bulgaria stages new Elektra

Where life goes on: Bulgaria stages new Elektra


norman lebrecht

November 14, 2020

Sofia National Opera will stage a new production of Richard Strauss Elektra on November 26, its first-ever production in Bulgaria.

The conductor is an American, Evan-Alexis Christ.

The orchestra will be arrayed at different points around the house to ensure safe spacing.



  • Greg Bottini says:

    – Not for long.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Good for them. How the conductor will keep the orchestra together is anyone’s guess but it’ll be fascinating for the audience members sitting near the individual groups (if that’s what they’re envisaging).

    • Marfisa says:

      Perhaps not the quite the same thing, but consider music written for great cathedrals, and the way different performance spaces within them were exploited. Wonderful example: Biber’s Missa Salzburgensis, Vaclav Luks and Collegium 1704, Salzburg 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IWpwbw6-So. Luks keeps them together pretty well!

      On the new format of SD. Perhaps it is a good thing to have to sign in each time. At least you have to think whether your comment is worth making. And in fact it is no more difficult than writing your signature at the end of a letter (remember, anybody?). I do miss the up/down ticks, though.

  • A.L. says:

    Best wishes to them. Not an easy opera to pull through especially under current circumstances.

    Consolation here in the final scene with Marton and Studer during better, freer, happy go lucky times.


    Or Nilsson and Rysanek


  • Tatyana says:

    Given the situation in Bulgaria, I wouldn’t expect the performances to actually take place (at least on the anticipated dates). Our government has been reluctant to “close the economy” but with the COVID-19 getting out of hand, I would expect to have some stricter measures imposed in the next 2 weeks. One of them, of course, would be to close the theatres and the operas which were already shut in the spring (I believe that is seen by the government as the perfect scapegoat which would show that they do care and they do take some extra measures, without, in fact, closing the economy).

    Not too optimistic about the quality seeing the the cast anyway, but I still wish them in bocca al lupo and I hope things will be not too bad by then and whoever chooses to risk it, will have the chance to go see the performances.

  • Firing Back says:

    How the heck will they do this logistically? Elektra uses a HUGE orchestra.
    It’ll either be a complete wow-fest, or a real old clanger, I guess.
    I hope it’s the former – it could be so spectacular if done well.


  • Nik says:

    The country that produced Ljuba Welitsch has never staged Elektra?