Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Watch: How to make a severed head

Watch: How to make a severed head

New film shows how the Props Department create the famous head from Salome

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

10 May 2012 at 4.04pm | 3 Comments

The final scene of Salome, in which the lead soprano caresses and kisses the severed head of John the Baptist, is one of the most dramatic moments in 20th-century opera.

Over the last three months (and eight separate film shoots), we followed props artist Steve Jolley stage-by-stage as he created the iconic head for the revival of David McVicar's production, offering a glimpse into the Royal Opera House's Props Department.

On finally completing the head, Steve said:

 “It’s great to finish and present what is now our third severed head. You have to see the show – it’s my favourite operatic experience and it’s fantastic to have the honour of being part of it. Enjoy!”

We'll be uploading a longer, more detailed documentary film in due course, so watch this space!

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

10 May 2012 at 4.04pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged David Mcvicar, Production, Props department, ROH, Salome, Severed head, The Royal Opera

This article has 3 comments

  1. Brian Jolley responded on 14 May 2012 at 11:04pm Reply

    Amazing props for amazing shows.......Well done to Steve, who aslo happens to be my brother.... and the rest of the props team.....

  2. Having watched Steve make this head for the last few still amazes me how 'bloody' real it looks! excellent job Stevie. Cant wait to show the kids. : )

  3. ALLAN responded on 21 October 2015 at 7:22am Reply

    bloody amazing!!!!!
    where can i buy one!!!
    or at least ingredients used so i can try to make one

Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional