Iphigénie en Tauride
Director: Thomas Grimm
Distributor: Digital Classics Distribution Ltd.
Length: 108 mins.
16:9 | stereo & 5.1 surround sound
© 2001, a co-production with BR/3sat, RM Ass. & NHK
Iphigenia, daugh­ter of Agamem­non and Clytem­nes­tra, is liv­ing in ex­ile on the is­land of Taur­is, which is in­hab­ited by the bar­bar­i­an Scythi­ans. Haunted by memor­ies of the murder of her moth­er and fath­er, she be­lieves she was re­spons­ible for her broth­er Or­este’s death... At the heart of "Iphigénie of Taur­ide" is the psy­cho­lo­gic­al drama. The prot­ag­on­ists ex­ist in a tense at­mo­sphere of vi­ol­ated blood ties, fears and trau­mas, and are dom­in­ated by a sense of doom and pre­des­tin­a­tion that only ends with re­lease at the con­clu­sion of the op­era. In Klaus Guth’s Zurich pro­duc­tion, this is un­der­lined by his use of huge masks and en­closed spaces.
As Guth him­self puts it: "I have of­ten used such a sys­tem of masked fig­ures to give visu­al ex­pres­sion to the in­ner psy­cho­lo­gic­al state of the in­di­vidu­als con­cerned." Gradu­ally, the fig­ures free them­selves from these con­straints and find their way back to nor­mal life. "When we look on what he (Gluck) was try­ing to re­form, it means sim­pli­city. It means es­sen­tially get­ting rid of things", ex­plains con­duct­or Wil­li­am Christie. His typ­ic­ally trans­par­ent but nev­er cold or­ches­tral sound per­fectly matches the de­script­ive ele­ments in Gluck’s score.

Ori­gin­ally staged at the Salzburg Fest­ivals, this pro­duc­tion was re­vived at Zurich Op­era with its Op­era Or­ches­tra La Scin­tilla; Ant­on Scharinger per­forms as Thoas, Ju­li­ette Gal­s­ti­an as Iphigi­ena, and Rod­ney Gil­frey sings the part of Or­este, with Deon van der Walt on his side as Pylades.
The DVD "Iphigénie en Taur­ide" in­cludes the doc­u­ment­ary "Gluck - The Re­former."