‘Salome’ at the Is­rael Opera

The Jerusalem Post - - ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT - • By HE­LEN KAYE SALOME. (Yossi Zvecker)

Mur­der. Lust. In­cest. Prophecy. Sav­agery. What more could any­one want? It’s all there in Salome by Richard Strauss at the Is­rael Opera from Jan­uary 8 to 24 in a wholly new cut­ting-edge Is­raeli pro­duc­tion di­rected by Itay Ti­ran.

Tyran­ni­cal Herod (tenors Chris Mer­rit, Hu­bert Fran­cis) lusts after the lus­cious Salome (so­pra­nos Elis­a­beth Strid, Meyrav Barnea), who lusts after the im­pris­oned prophet Jokanaan – aka John the Bap­tist (bari­tones Danile Sumegi, Se­bas­tian Hole­cek), who re­jects her. When Herod prom­ises Salome any­thing if she will dance for him, she dances the erotic “Dance of the Seven Veils,” re­quest­ing in re­turn – to the de­light of her mother Hero­dias (so­pra­nos Edna Prochnik, Edit Zamir), the head of John. She gets it, ca­resses, kisses it – and pays the price.

Strauss based his opera on the play by Os­car Wilde, who took the bare bones of the story from the Chris­tian Bi­ble. Both play and opera were cen­sored for years as be­ing too shock­ing. In­deed, the Wild play was given in the UK only in 1934.

Apart from Ti­ran, the pro­duc­tion team in­cludes set de­siger Eran Atz­mon and video art de­signer Yoav Co­hen. On the poster, a woman holds a huge sun­flower be­hind her back. In­trigu­ing, no?

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