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(c) Agathe Poupeney / OnP

Strauss R. Salome

The 28 May 2024
Opéra Bastille - Paris
Program

Strauss R. : Salome

1h40 without intermission
Cast
  • Conductor
    Mark Wigglesworth
  • Director
    Lydia Steier
  • Performers
    Salome: Lise Davidsen
    Jochanaan: Johan Reuter
    Herodes: Gerhard Siegel
    Herodias: Ekaterina Gubanova
    Narraboth: Pavol Breslik
    Ein Page der Herodias: Katharina Magiera
Details on the Performance

The princess of Judea, Salome, is bored in the palace of her father-in-law, King Herod. Her curiosity is aroused when she hears the voice of Jochanaan, a prophet held captive by Herod who is afraid of him. Obsessed by this enigmatic and virtuous man, Salome is ready to do anything to possess him, alive or dead.

A dazzling hour and forty minutes in which director Lydia Steiner summons the decadent essence of the work for her debut at the Paris Opera.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Opéra Bastille - Paris Location Pl. de la Bastille - 75012 Paris France

  • Venue's Capacity: 2745

From its beginnings under Louis XIV to the present day, including the construction of the Palais Gamier under Napoleon III, the history of the Paris Opera has been marked by the wishes and whims of the French government. The decision to build a new opera on the Place de la Bastille is no exception, made by Frangois Mitterrand less than a year after being elected President. A competition was organized, and of the 750 projects presented, the one designed by the Uruguayan-Canadian architect Carl Ott won. The new building, whose large ground surface ostentatiously marks the site where the French Revolution broke out, was inaugurated during the bicentennial celebrations of that same Revolution in 1989.

 

From the Place de la Bastille, the building's glass facade, with its "aleatory" lighting designed by Yann Kersale, suggests the sober modernism of its interior, even more so because the interior uses the same construction materials as the exterior, symbolizing a desire to open out to the public. Once inside, one can discover the warmth of the light wood that adorns the large 2703-seat hall with its proscenium stage. But the building barely stops here, for one must imagine the enormous backstage that takes up 55 per cent of the edifice's total volume, the six underground stories of technical premises, the workshops that make and stock the mobile sets as well as the costumes, not to mention the Gounod Hall, that has a stage identical to the main one, used for rehearsals. Designed around a symmetrical axis that is symbolized by the sculpted tuning forks that decorate the public premises, the Bastille Opera is a formidable computerized machine for staging opera productions, employing the population of a veritable city-within-a-city.

 

The conductor Myung-Whun Chung faced the difficult task of starting up this machine. The audience discovered productions staged by Bob Wilson or Peter Sellars, which it did not always unanimously applaud. But today, in full possession of its impressive technical means, permitting the rotation of different productions, the Bastille Opera proposes the most diverse performances. Currently managed by Hugues Gall and his music director James Conlon, revivals, premieres and major productions now share the season's billing, at a pace that leaves the audience little respite.

Since 2014, Stépahne Lissner is the Director of the Paris Opera.

Opéra Bastille

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Salome

SALOME OPERA


Salome is the most attention-grabbing and an incredible French play which was written by Oscar Wilde. The play has been translated further to German wordings, by Richard Strauss and is based on Hedwig Lanchmann translation.

This play by Richard Strauss is renowned for it is referred to as the dance of seven veils based on biblical account.
The play focuses on the Herodias daughter, her bizarre relationship with john the Baptist leads to her end and her father. It has a superfluous disgusting preceding scene in which Salome declare her love and kisses the detached head of John the Baptist.

This is the most interesting play to watch, it is well-matched to melodic adaptation. Moreover the playwright has used refrain and frequent motifs. Therefore, making it more musical and can collectively been referred to as ballad.

HISTORY

The play was first written by Oscar Wilde in French. It was further composed in German by Richard Strauss and after which it became more popular. The history of the play is deep and long, it was also performed in New York by Mary Garden in 1930s. In 1930, Strauss also made another version of the play in French which did not hit and was later revitalized in the year 1990 in Lyon, and the performance was recorded by Kent Nagano and Karen Huffstodt.

In 2011 it was edited by Liège opera. It was first performed in Dresden 9/12/1905 at the semperoper. It was allowed o be performed at Vienna State Opera in 1918. Up to date it is a renowned play with several recordings.

Act 1

The story takes place in Galilée, at Tiberias, Year 28.

Narraboth is madly falling in love with the princess who is exhausted of the feasting in the house, so she goes on to the terraces to get a fresh air.


Suddenly, she finds herself facing Narraboth who is the head of the guard. The captain is possessed by the beauty of the princess. Jochanaan the prophet is heard screaming from the palace cistern, and this makes Herod to fear, and warns everybody not to concentrate on him.

Act 2

King Herod and his colleagues move to the terraces after their banquet. Narraboth tends to approach the princess in spite of the Herodias opposition, but unfortunately the princess declines. Jochanaan shouts again cursing Herodias, however the king is afraid to tell him to remain silent. Herod hears the discussion of two gents from Nazareth speaking about the miracles by Jesus and he is frightened.

Act 3

Herod finally urges his daughter to bop with him, and vows to give her whatever she asks for, including half his realm. She accepts to join him in the dance regardless of Herodias objection. As they continue to dance, the princess undresses in front of her stepfather. She then asks for the Head of Jochanaan on a silver plate.

Herodias is happy although Herod becomes doomed he accepts. The princess is very happy and takes the head of jochanaan and kisses it.

MAIN ROLES


Salome, his daughter and niece, soprano

Jochanaan, John the Baptist, baritone

First soldier, bass

Second soldier, bass

 Herodias, his wife and sister in law, mezzo-soprano

The page of Herodias, contralto

Opéra Bastille (c) Christian Leiber

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