Strauss: Elektra - Stapp, Costa, Chookasian, Cross, Crabbe; Keene. 1977
Listen to a Sample:
If you are like me, and think that you have heard all of the great Elektras, then think again. Olivia Stapp may not have been an international sensation, but she tackles the title role with a gutsy abandon worthy of the greatest exponents of this colossal part. Stapp’s voice has a burnished beauty that won’t buckle even during the most dramatic moments and she is able to scale back that sound to deliver truly beautiful singing during the recognition scene. She is well paired with the Klytämnestra of Lili Chookasian. Like Stapp, Chookasian eschews the campy stylings of some her colleagues and actually SINGS the part as if it were… music. The result is one of the most sympathetic portrayals of Klytämnestra I have come across, achieving the ambiguity between protagonist and antagonist that was such a hallmark of the great ancient Greek play writes. Christopher Keene brings a fresh take to Strauss’ score taking some liberties that might offend the purists. Still he extracts much pathos and drama from the score. The sound is good.