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MUSIC: Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra
Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra


Elektra is known to be one of the most difficult operas to perform with any of these three characters: Elektra (the protagonist), Chrysothemis (Elektra's timid sister), and Klytemnestra (Elektra's paranoid mother). The title role of Elektra demands that the singer be on the stage for the duration of the opera, with no breaks or rest, singing high and loud notes over a brazenly huge orchestra (almost 200 musicians in the pit) most of the time, and also demanding the singer to act and dance.

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra
Gwyneth Jones as Elektra
Leonie Rysanek as Klytemnestra

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra

Gwyneth Jones as Chrysothemis, Elektra and Klytemnestra



Dame Gwyneth Jones has had the honor of performing all the three leading ladies' roles throughout her career. She stated in her 2014 masterclass interview that "Elektra is my favorite, but I waited 20 years to sing it!"




Thus I present to you this collection of performances by Gwyneth Jones as the three leading ladies, from the opera ELEKTRA, by Richard Strauss. Please watch...


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Dame Gwyneth Jones first sang as Chrysothemis, alongside the legendary Elektra, Birgit Nilsson. Nilsson's final opera performance was in 1982, alongside Gwyneth as Chrysothemis.




A year later in 1983, dame Gwyneth finally inherited the throne and began to sing Elektra for the first time. This performance exists as a bootleg recording, hopefully the recording is clear.




Years went on, and dame Gwyneth became the next greatest Elektra in history. This time, she usually sang alongside Leonie Rysanek as the Klytemnestra (Leonie was more known as Chrysothemis, but also sang Elektra once for a movie film.)




In her later career, dame Gwyneth moved back to mezzo soprano roles, and then to sing as Klytemnestra.




Dame Gwyneth Jones is a threatening Queen Klytemnestra. We also have two other worthy contenders here: Leonie Rysanek's looney Klytemnestra, and Astrid Varnay's demonic Klytemnestra are each in a class of their own.


Leonie Rysanek as Klytemnestra





Leonie Rysanek as Elektra
Astrid Varnay as Klytemnestra


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