Arrow down iconArrow left iconArrow right iconArrow up iconAudio iconBasket iconClose iconDocument iconExclamation mark iconMenu iconPhoto iconQuotation markQuote iconTick iconUser icon

Salome

Religion, sexuality and perversion potently combine in David McVicar’s gripping production of Richard Strauss’s opera.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Salome. It was last on stage 8–30 January 2018 as part of the Winter 2017/18 season.

The Story

Salome, stepdaughter of Herod, has become obsessed with her father’s prisoner John the Baptist. Herod promises to give her anything she wants if she dances for him. She dances.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Richard Strauss brought an extravagant intensity to his adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé. The glitter of Herod’s palace, the flicker of torches and the pale light of the moon are all vividly evoked in a sumptuously rich score. When Salome had its premiere in Dresden in 1905 it received 38 curtain calls and established Strauss as a first-rank opera composer. Gustav Mahler called it ‘one of the most important works of our day’.

The opening tableau of David McVicar’s 2008 production for The Royal Opera introduces a world of decadence and injustice. On the upper floor there is a banquet for the elite, while in the grimy kitchen downstairs servants, guards and prostitutes wait to be summoned. Moral and physical decay is reinforced by Es Devlin’s Art Deco-inspired designs. The role of Salome blends innocence, sensuality and violence, and places immense demands on a singer. Strauss famously said the role was ‘written for a 16-year-old with the voice of an Isolde’.

News and features

View more

On Wikipedia

Salome (opera)

Salome, Op. 54, is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by the composer, based on Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of the French play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. Strauss dedicated the opera to his friend Sir Edgar Speyer. The opera is famous (at the time of its premiere, infamous) for its "Dance of the Seven Veils". The final scene is frequently heard as a concert-piece for dramatic sopranos.

Read the complete Salome (opera) article on Wikipedia, available under a Creative Commons license.