Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris is an opera of stark contrasts, filled with overwhelming passions and wild scenes of terror counterpointed by spellbinding moments of tenderness. With a strictly minimalist approach to the production, director Barrie Kosky puts the focus on the theatrical core of this ingeniously constructed piece, leading audiences head-on into its startling and gripping power.
Already in 2007 Barrie Kosky created a stir with his stark interpretation of Gluck’s disturbing masterpiece. Now, nearly ten years later, he will take an entirely new look at this modern-seeming drama about humans within a dark reality, subjugated, struggling and loving in the face of the crushing power of gods and kings. Together with the leading performers – Nadja Mchantaf as Iphigenie, Dominik Köninger as her brother Orest and Tansel Akzeybek as his friend Pylades – Kosky concentrates entirely on the fateful entanglements of the three main characters.Thoas, the King of Tauris, lives in terrible fear: he is to die at the hands of a foreigner, according to an oracle. All strangers who come to the island are sacrificed at the altar of Diana. Hunted by the Furies, the mother-killer Orest and his friend Pylades arrive in Tauris where they are to be killed by the priestess of Diana, Iphigenie, Orest’s sister who was believed to be dead. At the last moment, brother and sister recognize each other and Iphigenie refuses to obey. A battle ensues…
Libretto by Nicolas-François Guillard
German version by Bettina Bartz and Werner Hintze