Watch: How to make a severed head
New film shows how the Props Department create the famous head from Salome
Props artist Steve Jolley working on the severed head prop used in Salome © David Kaplowitz/ROH 2012
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!