Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The eighteenth century German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck strove for the ideal of pairing poetry - in its purest form - with operatic score, an end he came closest to achieving with his 1779 opera Iphigeneia in Tauris (Iphigénie en Tauride). The work boasts a French libretto by Nicolas-François Guillard and borrows from Greek myth to weave the tale of Iphigenia, sister of Orestes and high priestess of Diana - plagued by visions of her family members slaughtering each other, and by dark thoughts of murdering Orestes herself. The story recounts the nearly fatal brother-sister relationship, its ultimate reconciliation, and the eventual Scythian-Greek truce as achieved by the intervening hand of the goddess Diana. The home video release Iphigenie en Tauride contains a film of a live performance of the work, as mounted by the Opernhaus Zurich in 2001. Claus Guth directs for the stage, with a cast that includes Juliette Galstian as Iphigenia, Rodney Gilfry as Orestes and Martina Janková as Diana. The Zurich Opera's Orchestra La Scintilla and the Chorus of the Opernhaus Zurich provide musical accompaniment.