Salome

 

Richard Strauss Salome opera to a libretto from Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of Oscar Wilde's play Salome. Directed 2018 by Romeo Castellucci at the Großes Festspielhaus as part of the Salzburg Festival. Stars John Daszak (Herodes), Anna Maria Chiuri (Herodias), Asmik Grigorian (Salome), Gábor Bretz (Jochanaan), Julian Prégardien (Narraboth), Christina Bock (A Page of Herodias), Matthäus Schmidlechner (First Jew), Mathias Frey (Second Jew), Kristofer Lundin (Third Jew), Joshua Whitener (Fourth Jew), David Steffens (Fifth Jew), Tilmann Rönnebeck (First Nazarene), Paweł Trojack (Second Nazarene), Thomas Bennett (Kappadozier), Peter Kellner (First Soldier), and Dashon Burton (Second Soldier). Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker. Sets, costumes, and lighting design by Romeo Castellucci; choreography by Cindy Van Acker; artistic collaboration by Silvia Costa; dramaturgy by Piersandra Di Matteo. Directed for TV by Henning Kasten. Sung in German. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

This is a Salome for advanced opera lovers who already know the libretto and music and want something wildly different from a traditional production. Romeo Castellucci delivers this with his usual banquet of cryptic symbolism and shocking images that leaves newcomers totally baffled and the critics sharply divided between lovers and haters. But all agree, it seems, that Asmik Grigarorian is stupendous as the the teen-aged sex fiend. Gramophone gave this its Blu-ray of the Month award in October 2019 so it’s on our buy list.

Here’s a clip from C Major which probably is entirely from the Blu-ray disc:

And next below are two clips from the production that may not be exactly what you see on the disc, but which still give you fair warning about what you are getting into with this:

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