Grotesque, erotic, forbidden, psychotic, macabre – Salome mirrors the extreme limits of the darkest sides of the human condition.
In the 1890s, Oscar Wilde passionately took hold of the biblical story about Salome, Herod and John the Baptist. A few
years after his death, Richard Strauss transformed Wilde’s words into an
intense opera that reaches its chilling climax in the course of just one act.
It was not
the shocking story that appealed to Strauss, but the opportunity to make glittering,
explosive music. He makes straight for the disturbingly violent emotions of the
characters: Herod sneers and his wife Herodias nags, while Princess Salome
sings, uninhibited and sensually, in an unparallelled soundscape. The oriental-sounding
orchestral “Dance of the Seven Veils” is one of the opera’s highlights, until
the double basses tremble, warning ominously of something falling heavily to
the floor …
Wood is the director of this unique staged concert which opens the 2020 Bergen
International Festival. Lithuanian soprano Ausrine Stundyte, highly acclaimed
for her Salome in Berlin, Bologna and Vienna, makes her first appearance in
Introduction by Gunnar Danbolt in the Grieghallen foyer 20 May at 18:00 and 22 May at 18:45. These introductions are held in Norwegian.