Irish premiere production of a Richard Strauss' epic tragedy – Elektra - in a site-specific outdoor production with pre-recorded orchestra at the 2021 Kilkenny Arts Festival
Irish National Opera

In one of the most audacious responses to the pandemic restrictions of 2021, Fergus Sheil conducted and produced one of the most complex and demanding works of the operatic repertoire in the historic location of the Castle Yard at Kilkenny Castle with a cast of outstanding artists led by Giselle Allen (Elektra), Imelda Drumm (Klytaemnestra) and Máire Flavin (Chrysothemis)

A new production conceived by director Conall Morrison and designer Paul Keogan used the outdoor space of Kilkenny Castle courtyard to recreate the outside of the palace of Mycenae in ancient Greece. The large orchestra and chorus were pre-recorded at Dublin's Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, which the principal cast singing live.

Kilkenny Arts Festival 07, 10, 12, 14 August 2021

Creative Team:
Director: Conall Morrison
Set Lighting & Video Designer: Paul Keogan
Costume Designer: Catherine Fay
Choreographer: Liz Roch
Sound Designer: Kevin McGing

Erste Magd: Doreen Curran
Zweite Magd: Raphaela Mangan
Dritte Magd: Niamh O'Sullivan
Vierte Magd: Rachel Croash
Fünfte Magd: Emma Nash
Die Aufseherin: Mairéad Buicke
Elektra: Giselle Allen
Chrysothemis: Máire Flavin
Die Vertraute: Emma Nash
Die Schleppträgerin:
Rachel Croash
Imelda Drumm
Ein junger Diener:
Andrew Gavin
Ein alter Diener:
Brendan Collins
Tómas Tómasson
Der Pfleger des Orest:
Brendan Collins
Peter Marsh

Irish National Opera Chorus and Orchestra 
Conductor: Fergus Sheil

Irish National Opera, presenting a new staging of this work, hit the jackpot” – The Irish Times.

"Irish National Opera’s staging of Richard Strauss’s 1908 one-act opera Elektra for Kilkenny Arts Festival is an achievement of stunning magnificence."  - The Sunday Independent

Unusually for an opera production, the score, featuring an 80-piece orchestra conducted by Fergus Sheil, was pre-recorded, with video projections of the orchestra appearing intermittently. In the absence of a live pit, the luscious score was presented as a soundtrack, giving more focus to the dramatic element and a sense almost of a cinematic experience - Irish Examiner.

It is a strong choice of work, boldly defiant with real punch. The optimism and trust in this work by performers and producers wins out, absolutely, and movinglyGoldenplec