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SalomeNew production

OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
Dates/times in Zurich time zone
Friday 24 September 202120:00
Thursday 30 September 202119:00
Sunday 03 October 202114:00
Thursday 07 October 202119:00
Sunday 10 October 202120:30
Sunday 17 October 202114:00
Performers
Zurich Opera
Simone YoungConductor
Andreas HomokiDirector
Hartmut MeyerSet Designer
Mechthild SeipelCostume Designer
Franck EvinLighting Designer
Claus SpahnDramaturgy
Wolfgang Ablinger-SperrhackeTenorHerodes
Michaela SchusterMezzo-sopranoHerodias
Elena StikhinaSopranoSalome
Kostas SmoriginasBass-baritoneJochanaan
Mauro PeterTenorNarraboth
Ilya AltukhovBaritone1st Nazarene
Cheyne DavidsonBaritone2nd Nazarene
Valeriy MurgaBass1st Soldier
Alexander FritzeBass2nd Soldier
Stanislav VorobyovBaritone5th Jew
Oleg DavydofBass5th Jew
Flurin CaduffBass5th Jew
Andrew OwensTenor4th Jew
Luis MagallanesTenor4th Jew
Yi-An ChenTenor4th Jew
Iain MilneTenor1st Jew
Riccardo BottaTenor1st Jew
Diego SilvaTenor1st Jew
Siena Licht MillerMezzo-sopranoHerodias's Page
Henri Bernard GuizirianBaritoneCappadocian
Philharmonia Zürich

The Galilean princess Salome is one of the best-known mythical female figures in Western cultural history. The Bible’s gospels tell the tale of the erotic dance she performed for her stepfather Herod in exchange for the severed head of John the Baptist, brought to her on a platter. Salome has inspired poets and visual artists alike since time immemorial: she is a figure who unleashes fantasies of unbounded sensuality, the demonic feminine spirit, bloodlust, and fairy-tale exoticism. Irish poet Oscar Wilde wrote his scandalous play about Salome at the end of the 19th century, and it was promptly censored in England. In it, he uses powerful imagery to illuminate Salome’s desires and states of mind, revealing her to be a strong, autonomous woman – and providing a stark foil to the prudish Victorian society in which Wilde lived. His account has Salome lustily kissing the prophet’s severed head. Richard Strauss created a gripping one-act opera out of Wilde’s drama, which was successful at its premiere in 1905. It remains one of the most popular works of the repertoire to this day. The score is grand in its scope, and, stylistically speaking, is on the brink of modern music, pulling the listener into its powerful current from the first downbeat. And it is especially attractive for stage directors, for the opera delivers thrilling psychological profiles of its characters, capturing the forces that drive them in dense tones.

In Zurich, Salome is directed by Andreas Homoki, who holds Richard Strauss’ works near to his heart. In his approach, he looks not only at the psychological aspects of the work, but also considers the societal forces at work. In his production, the appearance of the prophet Jochanaan (John the Baptist) marks the beginning of a new time, in which the power structures of yore are destroyed. The cast brings new voices to the stage of the Opernhaus: the promising Russian Elena Stikhina (a member of the ensemble at the Mariinski Theater in St. Petersburg) is our Salome. Lithuanian bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas makes his debut in Zurich in the role of Jochanaan. Australian conductor Simone Young, an internationally-renowned Strauss interpreter, returns to the Opernhaus Zürich.

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