Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Elektra (1901) written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and produced at the Little Theatre in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt in October 1903

A scene from Elektra (1901) written by the German playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874 - 1929) and produced at the Little Theatre in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt (1873 - 1943) in October 1903




"Hofmannsthal turned to the Greek tragic tradition in his first attempt after his turn-of-the-century crisis of language to produce a drama for the stage. The fourth century in Athens had been an era during which he felt poets had fulfilled their socialresponsibility. Hofmannsthal hoped his  Elektra would be for him and his time what the Electra of Sophocles had been for him andhis—a poet speaking to his world. It was immensely popular and ran in several languages across Europe for several years. Das Burgtheater in Wien, which now runs a multitude of Hofmannsthal’s plays as exemplary of the Austrian cultural heritage, refused to produce the premiere of the Elektra. It was not on his Vienna that Elektra’s screams first fell. It was in Berlin, the cultural and political antagonist of Vienna, under Max Reinhardt
im Berliner Kleinen Theater on the 30th of October, 1903 that it was first produced."
 

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