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05 April 2019 (Fri), 19:00 Moscow theatre "New Opera" - Opera "Salome" (opera in the concert). R. Strauss

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes


Schedule for "Salome" (opera in the concert). R. Strauss 2019/2020

Composer: Richard Strauss
Choirmaster producer: Yulia Senyukova
Music Director: Jan Latham Koenig
Stage Director: Ekaterina Odegova
Costume Designer: Etel Ioshpa
Light Designer: Sergey Skornetsky

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the "New Opera" Theatre

Opera in 1 acts

Performed in German with synchronised Russian supertitles

Premiere of this production: 14 September 2015, Moscow theatre "New Opera", Moscow, Russia

Rchard Strauss saw the infamous play Salome by Oscar Wilde in Berlin in 1903 and immediately set to work on an opera. The composer was attracted by the Christian biblical tale, the magic exotica of the Orient, the torrid eroticism, the keen dramatic conflict and, of course, the main heroine, the Jewish princess Salome. Having a lust for Jokanaan (John the Baptist), she performs the ecstatic Dance of the Seven Veils, for which she demands from King Herod the severed head of the prophet on a silver platter. The score of Salome is written with amazingly masterful skill: a very large orchestra conveys every nuance of the heroine’s mixed feelings – from admiration to aversion, from lust for life to the dark of death.

Salome’s first performance in Dresden in 1905 caused quite a sensation, and the opera became the apotheosis of music modernism. Along with Debussy’sPelléas et Mélisande/(1902) and Strauss’ /Electra (1909) Salome ushered in a new era in the arts. “Salome is emphatically a work of genius, one of the greatest masterworks of our time,” wrote the great composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, who was Strauss’ contemporary and friend.




Synopsis

A great terrace in the Palace of Herod, set above the banqueting hall. Some soldiers are leaning over the balcony. To the right there is a gigantic staircase, to the left, at the back, an old cistern surrounded by a wall of green bronze. The moon is shining very brightly.

Narraboth gazes from a terrace in Herod's palace into the banquet hall at the beautiful Princess Salome; he is in love with her, and apotheosizes her, much to the disgusted fearfulness of the Page of Herodias. The voice of the Prophet Jochanaan is heard from his prison in the palace cistern; Herod fears him and has ordered that no one should contact him, including Jerusalem's High Priest.

Tired of the feast and its guests, Salome flees to the terrace. When she hears Jochanaan cursing her mother (Herodias), Salome's curiosity is piqued. The palace guards will not honor her petulant orders to fetch Jochanaan for her, so she teasingly works on Narraboth to bring Jochanaan before her. Despite the orders he has received from Herod, Narraboth finally gives in after she promises to smile at him.

Jochanaan emerges from the cistern and shouts prophecies regarding Herod and Herodias that no one understands, except Salome when the Prophet refers to her mother. Upon seeing Jochanaan, Salome is filled with an overwhelming desire for him, praising his white skin and asking to touch it, but he rejects her. She then praises his black hair, again asking to touch it, but is rejected once more. She finally begs for a kiss from Jochanaan's lips, and Narraboth, who cannot bear to hear this, kills himself. As Jochanaan is returned to the well, he preaches salvation through the Messiah.

Herod enters, followed by his wife and court. He slips in Narraboth's blood and starts hallucinating. He hears the beating of wings. Despite Herodias' objections, Herod stares lustfully at Salome, who rejects him. Jochanaan harasses Herodias from the well, calling her incestuous marriage to Herod sinful. She demands that Herod silence him. Herod refuses, and she mocks his fear. Five Jews argue concerning the nature of God. Two Nazarenes tell of Christ's miracles; at one point they bring up the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead, which Herod finds frightening.

Herod asks for Salome to eat with him, drink with him; indolently, she twice refuses, saying she is not hungry or thirsty. Herod then begs Salome to dance for him, Tanz fьr mich, Salome, though her mother objects. He promises to reward her with her heart's desire – even if it were one half of his kingdom.

After Salome inquires into his promise, and he swears to honor it, she prepares for the "Dance of the Seven Veils". This dance, very oriental in orchestration, has her slowly removing her seven veils, until she lies naked at his feet. Salome then demands the head of the prophet on a silver platter. Her mother cackles in pleasure. Herod tries to dissuade her with offers of jewels, peacocks, and the sacred veil of the Temple. Salome remains firm in her demand for Jochanaan's head, forcing Herod to accede to her demands. After a desperate monologue by Salome, the head of the prophet is brought up out of the well and presented to Salome as she requested.

Salome declares her love to the severed head, finally kissing the prophet's lips passionately. Disgusted, the terrified and superstitious Herod then orders his soldiers to kill Salome.




Schedule for "Salome" (opera in the concert). R. Strauss 2019/2020


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