OperaPrice: - Lt.
Music drama in 1 act
(sung in German with Lithuanian surtitles)
Libretto by Richard Strauss, based on Hedwig Lehman's german translation of Oscar Wilde's like-named play.
Translated into Lithuanian by Jonas Vilimas
Music Director and Conductor Jacek Kaspszyk (Poland)
Director David Alden (USA)
Set Designer Paul Steinberg (USA)
Costume Designer Constance Hoffman (USA)
Lighting Designer Adam Silverman (USA)
Premiere: 24 November 2006
Performance running time: 1h 50min
Not recommended for children under 14
There were thirty eight curtain calls when on 9 December 1905 the Hofoper in Dresden presented the premiere of Richard Strauss‘ opera Salome. In the context of fin-de-siècle art, marked by censorship and scandals, Salome (both Oscar Wilde‘s play and Strauss‘s opera) hit perfect ten. Oriental exotics, a whimsy femme fatale, sensuality, incest, necrophilia along with snaky chromatisms of the score and a stunningly suggestive orchestration – all of this were provoking to love the opera or detest it. The 41-year-old author of Salome, none of whose previous operas had had any success and who was renowned only as the composer and conductor of his impressive symphonic poems, became the brightest luminary on the German operatic scene of the late 20th century.
Richard Strauss‘„Salome“, according to researchers, is the first opera which carefully illustrates the psychoanalytical ideas of Sigmund Freud. At LNOBT this opera was brought to life by famous American director David Alden. Inspired by the architecture of the theatre, he set the story in the times of Cold War, in some anonymous country of Eastern Europe: “I'm always inspired by places I visit. I look for visual information. This time the stage solution is connected with my visits to Vilnius, with what I have read and heard about Lithuania, which endured fifty years of occupation, suppression and persecution.” We can see characters wandering around in suits, important part of the set is a huge red pentagram, Salome’s famous, ill-fated dance of the seven veils (which is a strong erotic accent of the opera) is performed by…Herodes.
Director David Alden:
“Two of Strauss' works, Elektra and Salome, are like dynamite, like an explosive mixture, to me. In a one-act opera, which does not even last two hours, we watch a breathtaking story. The story of Salome is extreme.”
“I like challenges. This opera is my type of thing. I'm quite well-known for very extreme, visceral, shocking solutions. Every time when the audience comes to a new production they've got to be surprised. They should never know what is going to happen.“
“I’m fond of shocking and confronting audiences. For me it is one of the essential things about theatre – to make an event, which is not comfortable for the audience, which is challenging, surprising and in a way, explosive.”