Gluck the modernist: Pierre Audi’s production of the Iphigénie operas | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167



This article examines the productions of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) and Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), which Pierre Audi staged in Amsterdam in 2011; they were released as a set of two DVDs in 2013. These productions present a radical new vision of Gluck’s last Greek-based operas; far from their being works of neo-classical serenity, Audi encourages us to read them as startlingly modernist psychological dramas of an intensity which is far ahead of its time, and suggests that they are true precursors of Strauss’ Elektra (1909) and Henze’s The Bassarids (1966). The argument is grounded in detailed analysis of Audi’s staging of several crucial scenes in each opera, with particular attention to the two Finales, in which Audi opposes the lieto fine that French operatic convention forced Gluck to adopt.


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