Richard Strauss, Die ägyptische Helena (The Egyptian Helen)
Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 6 November 2019
The face that launched a thousand ships: Strauss’ Helena lands at La Scala
The penultimate collaboration between Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss, Die Aegyptische Helena (The Egyptian Helen), is on stage for the first time at La Scala and for only the second time in Italy since the 1928 premiere in Dresden. The librettist had proposed to the composer the Hellenistic subject of the beautiful Helena, the woman for whom the Trojan War had broken out, but the text combines the Homeric myth with Euripides.
Returning from Troy, Helen’s husband Menelas plans to kill the woman who betrayed him…