Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Video: Manoel Felciano on Playing Orestes in “Elektra”

Sophocles’ Elektra—which concludes its run at the Getty Villa this Saturday—is the story of a woman’s thirst for revenge: Elektra rages and plots against her mother (and her mother’s lover) for slaying her father. But Elektra’s brother, Orestes, is the one charged with the bloody deed that serves as the chilling—and, in this production, off-stage—climax of the action.

Playing Orestes with a dash of “hunky heroism” is accomplished vocalist and stage actor Manoel Felciano, who’s starred in plays as diverse as The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Sweeney Todd, and Much Ado About Nothing. In this video, Felciano talks about his role in Elektra, his work with director Carey Perloff at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco, and why he chose to delve into the classics after enjoying success on Broadway.

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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