ALKESTΙΣ

new creation
2021/ Classic/ Hybrid
Commissioned by DRΑΜΑΤΕΝ | In collaboration with The Royal Swedish Opera

A radical overwrite of the mythical play, in which Alkestis now receives long-awaited redress.

Alkestis is a musical interpretation of Euripides’ comic tragedy, a tale of fear of death and sacrifice.

Greek Elli Papakonstantinou is one of Europe’s most exciting directors. She is known for her strong, feminist, groundbreaking and often multilingual and multidisciplinary productions, which are happy to let the audience also speak. To help her, she has an artistic team consisting of the American composer Julia Kent, who composed new music for the production, and the set designer and costume designer Maria Panourgia.

 

 

Alkestis was last played at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in 1968.

 

 DIRECTOR’S NOTE

“I have been interested in myths since I was a child. My parental grandmother -being a refugee from Minor Asia – instead of fairytales told me true experiences from the big exodus of the Greeks, interpreted dreams and recounted ancient myths to me as a girl. The writings of theorists like Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and James Hillman, who find strong connections between myths and dreams make a lot of sense to me. Myths give us access to some of the vast riches beyond the limited, time-bound constructions of consciousness. 

 

I chose not to create a variation of Euripides’ “Alkestis” or a certified copy of it, since that would lead to annulling the most essential part of a writer’s and director’s work: to reconstitute the world. I ran through the basic ideas of the myth keeping whatever was useful for the story I wanted to tell, but mainly I listened again to the underground grinding of Euripide’s play. And to the many relevant questions of today’s world. (Death in the covid era, gendered power relations, micro violence, political correctness.) During my writing process, I came back to the idea of the stage as a field reflecting perpetual transformation.

 Revisiting this myth, I tried to follow in my own way the structure of the Greek tragedy (the plot is known from the beginning), the musical narrative, the transition from tragedy to comedy, the phallic connection to the Silenus chorus. 

Credits

Directed by: Elli Papakonstantinou
Written by: Elli Papakonstantinou (based on Euripides’s “Alcestis”)
Original music composition: Julia Kent
Dramaturge: Emma Meyer Dunner
Translation: Mara Lee
Set & Costume Design: Maria Panourgia
Set & Costume Design Assistant: Sotiris Melanos 
Lighting Design: Jens Sethzman
Choreographer: Rasmus Ölme 
Make-up design: Nathalie Pujol/Moa Hedberg
Video: Pantelis Makkas


  

 

Performers: Mia Benson (Admetos Mother), Karin Franz Körlof (Alkestis), Gunnel Fred (Herakles), David Fukumachi Regnfors ( Choir), Sten-Johan Hedman ( Feres), Göran Martling, (Choir), Torkel Petersson (Death), Shanti Roney (Admetos),  Helmon Solomon (Alkestis II & Choir),  Joel Valois (Apollo), Marcus Vögeli (Choir),  Pierre Wilkner (Head of the Choir)

The Royal Swedish Opera Singers: 
Peter Achrén, Thorvald Bergström, Peter Haeggström, Henrik Hugo, Ian Power, Jan Söderberg

Tour

DRAMATEN- The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden 
In repertoire – more information on dates & shows @ Dramaten.se

In collaboration with: The Royal Swedish Opera

© Sören Vilks
© Sören VIlks
Alkestis Euripides klassiker i en överskrivning av Elli Papakonstantinou
Dramaten 2021
Regi: Elli Papakonstantinou
Scenografi: Maria Panourgia
© Sören VIlks
Alkestis_0560
© Sören VIlks
Alkestis_1424
© Sören VIlks
© Sören Vilks
© Sören VIlks
Alkestis Euripides klassiker i en överskrivning av Elli Papakonstantinou
Dramaten 2021
Regi: Elli Papakonstantinou
Scenografi: Maria Panourgia
©Sören VIlks
Alkestis Euripides klassiker i en överskrivning av Elli Papakonstantinou
Dramaten 2021
Regi: Elli Papakonstantinou
Scenografi: Maria Panourgia
©Sören VIlks

Videos

Play Video

The Dramaten has asked the Greek director Elli Papakonstantinou to make her own interpretation of Euripides’ more than 2,400-year-old text. She does it with live video and a direction that is as self-conscious as it is ironic. It is full of playful anachronisms, and winks to the audience […]. What impresses most is the cavalcade of images that the director rolls forward: scenes from various rites, as well as how Papakonstantinou draws mythological figures. […] The staging is effective and eclectic. […] an expressive visual world that sincerely wants to talk about gender, power and structures.

Lars Ring in the national Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet 

An invigorating way to deal with Euripides’ drama Alkestis. Yes, a thunderously hilarious flashy stage joy that is not afraid to underline and even exaggerate. […] The director breaks in several ways against traditional ways of telling with theater.

Rosemari Södergren, Kultur.se 

In Elli Papakonstantinou’s feminist reinterpretation, the female victim becomes even more enigmatic. […] As a commentary on the pandemic, the drama’s “Alkestis” is both obvious and surprising, unlike all the mandatory markers and analogies we’ve seen in culture in the past. two years.

It is the painful movement in and out of the underworld, and the absurd negotiation of who has the most right to remain among the living. “I don’t want to die,” sings the choir – and Julia Kent’s music seems to be a sad miracle. The audience coughs. It is getting dark.

Kristina Lindquist, Remonews.se

Elli's Island

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