Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
When Goetz Friedrich was preparing to stage and film "Electra" in Vienna with that city's famous orchestra, the late Karl Boehm conducting, this companion documentary was created to introduce the filmed performance (titled Elektra 82). The camera follows Boehm, thin and wan, as he leaves his apartment to rehearse with the Vienna Philharmonic before the staging of the opera -- and with his baton in hand, the maestro seems to transcend his frailty. From the orchestral rehearsals, the scene shifts to the singing rehearsals in the building where the performance will be held, not in Vienna's grand Staatsoper opera house but in an abandoned locomotive factory. After some views of the opera company being put through their paces, the scene shifts again to a bridge just outside the factory. In that humble setting, Mechthild Grossmann as Elektra and Siemen Ruehaack as Orestes, her brother, read from Sophocles' play, Electra. The combination of orchestra, opera company, stage actors, and the working film crew brings forth the realization that multiple artistic and technical talents can give one ancient drama new and different, and ultimately unlimited incarnations.