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20 May - 03 June 2020
Opening Performance


Music Opera
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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 …

British Lloyd 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 Bergen.


​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. 

Soprano Ausrine Stundyte. Photo (main image): Sylwia Makris / Trevillion Images / BNO



​1 h 40 min


  • Standard: 250/650/850 
  • Senior: 225/585/765 
  • Under 30/student: 190 
  • FiB Fordel until 13 April: 175/455/595 
  • FiB Fordel from 14 April: 200/520/680
  • BT Fordel May 22: 187/487/637

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​Performed in German. Surtitled in Norwegian and English.


  • Edward Gardner conductor
  • Lloyd Wood director
  • Cathrine Ahlsen costume design
  • Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Ausrine Stundyte Salome
  • Johan Reuter Jochanaan
  • Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke Herodes
  • Linda Watson Herodias
  • Stuart Jackson Narraboth
  • Hanna Hipp The Page of Herodias
  • Michael Müller-Kasztelan First Jew
  • Petter Moen Second Jew
  • John OlsenThird Jew
  • James Kryshak Fourth Jew
  • Callum Thorpe Fifth Jew
  • James Creswell First Nazarene
  • Ola Marius Ryan Second Nazarene
  • Igor Bakan First Soldier
  • Tapani Plathan Second Soldier
  • James Berry A Cappadocian
  • Rita Therese Ziem A Slave

Co-production with

  • ​Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Bergen National Opera

Music by

  • ​Strauss


  • ​Richard Strauss (1864–1949) 
    Salome, op. 54 ​

Supported by

​​H. Westfal-Larsen og Hustru Anna Westfal-Larsens Almennyttige Fond


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