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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Iphigenie auf Tauris

Play in five acts based on Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris



  • 23 May 2015, 11:00

Print programme (PDF)


The story so far: Iphigenia and her siblings, Electra and Orestes, have
inherited a curse. Their ancestor Tantalus invited the gods to a banquet at which, in order to put their omniscience to the test, he served his own son as the main course. The gods condemned Tantalus to eternal torment in
the Tartarus. They cursed his descendants for five generations: each new
generation was to spawn a murderer who would turn violently against his own family. And so it came to pass. The brothers Thyestes and Atreus fought each other ferociously. When setting off to wage war on Troy,
Agamemnon, a son of Atreus, was marooned in the port of Aulis by a lull in the wind. To appease the goddess Diana, the oracle advised him to
sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. However, Diana herself took pity on the girl, and before the priestesses could sacrifice her, Diana carried her up
into the sky and landed with her on Tauris, where she turned herself back into a statue and designated Iphigenia as her priestess.
Believed her child was dead, Iphigenia’s mother Clytemnestra plotted revenge. When, after a ten-year absence, her husband returned from Troy, Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus killed him. Electra has in the meantime persuaded her brother Orestes to avenge their father’s murder: Orestes kills Aegisthus and his own mother, and is now pursued by the goddesses of vengeance. Together with his friend Pylades, the tormented Orestes visits an oracle. He is advised to bring “the sister” home. Believing that “the sister” means Diana, sister of Apollo, Orestes sets out in search of her, and finds her statue, as well as Iphigenia on Tauris…