Strauss’ Salome in Berlin



Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)

A music drama in one act
Music and libretto by Richard Strauss
after the play SALOME by Oscar Wilde
Translation by Hedwig Lachmann
World premiere 9th December 1905 in Dresden
Premiere at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: 24th January 2016

In German language with German and English surtitels


conductor Alain Altinoglu
Stage Director Claus Guth
Set Design, Costume Design Muriel Gerstner
Lighting Gérard Cleven
Dramaturge Curt A. Roesler
Dramaturge Yvonne Gebauer
Herodes Burkhard Ulrich
Thomas Blondelle (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
Herodias Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet
Salome Catherine Naglestad
Jochanaan Michael Volle
Narraboth Thomas Blondelle
Attilio Glaser (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
A bellboy Annika Schlicht
1st Jew Paul Kaufmann
James Kryshak (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
2nd Jew Gideon Poppe
3rd Jew Jörg Schörner
Andrew Dickinson (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
4th Jew Clemens Bieber
5th Jew Stephen Bronk
1st Nazarene Noel Bouley
Dong-Hwan Lee (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
2nd Nazarene Thomas Lehman
1st soldier Tobias Kehrer
2nd soldier Alexei Botnarciuc
Andrew Harris (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
A Cappadocier N. N.
Michael Adams (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
A slave Matthew Peña
N. N. (02.04.2016 | 06.04.2016)
Orchestra Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Catherine Nagelstad Photo Tanja Niemann

Catherine Nagelstad. Photo By Tanja Niemann


Claus Guth Regine Korner

Claus Guth. Photo By Regine Korner

Long after the Paris world premiere in 1896 Oscar Wilde’s tragedy “Salomé” remained a thorn in the flesh of the establishment across Europe. In Wilhelminian Germany and the Danube Monarchy, too, official art adjudicators considered the subject “repulsive” and the text “an insult to morality”. In the minds of the guardians of public morals the New Testament story of Herod’s daughter was as ill-suited to the stage as it was to pictorial representation, which was experiencing a boom at the time. Salomé’s stepfather, Herod, the Roman’s client king of Judea, Galilee and Samaria who is said to have ordered the massacre of the innocents around Bethlehem, persuades her to dance for him. Encouraged by her mother, she demands to be given the head of John the Baptist as a reward.

Alain Altinoglu Photo Fred Toulet

Alain Altinoglu. Photo By Fred Toulet

Official disapproval meant that the performance of Wilde’s play that Richard Strauss saw in 1902 in Max Reinhardt’s “Kleines Theater” in Berlin was a private function. The composer, who was already in possession of the beginnings of an opera libretto in verse form, resolved to use Hedwig Lachmann’s prose text as the basis for his composition. His SALOME was one of the first literaturopern of the 20th century and reflected a number of operatic preferences of the time such as the predilection for one-act works and for exotic, oriental subjects. A literaturoper is an opera whose lyrics are lifted directly, albeit sometimes in shortened and rearranged form, from a pre-existing play.

Michael Volle Photo Suzanne Schwiertz

Michael Volle. Photo By Suzanne Schwiertz

Claus Goth, an internationally feted director since his MARRIAGE OF FIGARO in Salzburg in 2006, is taking on his first production at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. His SALOME focuses on the interior motivations of the characters and explores the power dynamic within the house of Herod. Will Salomé manage to break free from her hellish domestic situation?

Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.
Presented by Wall AG and kulturradio vom rbb

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