Heiko Mathias Förster
Conductor: Jiří Štrunc
Stage director: Mariusz Treliński
Sets: Boris Kudlička
Costumes: Marek Adamski
Light-design: Felice Ross
Video: Bartek Macias
Choreography: Tomasz Wygoda
Dramaturgy: Piotr Gruszczynski
State Opera Orchestra
Premiere: 23 October 2014
According to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, the Judean Princess Salome danced for her stepfather Herod Antipas and in return asked for the head of the prophet John the Baptist to be brought on a silver platter. The biblical temptress has inspired a number of painters (Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Rubens), writers (Heine, Flaubert) and composers (Massenet), yet Salome was above all immortalised in art owing to a play by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) and an opera by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), whose extremely dramatic work, fraught with eroticism, met with thunderous ovations at its premiere at the Hofoper in Dresden on 9 December 1905. Within the next two years, Salome was staged by some 50 opera houses. Nevertheless, there were exceptions. Gustav Mahler called the opera a work of a genius, yet he was not allowed to present it at the Hofoper in Vienna, since the sensors deemed it “perverse”. New York’s Metropolitan Opera did stage the piece (on 22 January 1907), yet the public umbrage was so immense that it had to be withdrawn from the repertoire immediately. The new Prague production was undertaken by the distinguished Polish film and stage director Mariusz Treliński, who set the story in a contemporary interior, creating a suggestive and oppressive atmosphere of family relationships verging on disaster.
The opera is performed in German. Czech and English surtitles.
Approximate running time: 1 hours, 45 minutes, no intermission
Cooproduction with Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa Warsaw. With support by the Polish Institute and LOT Polish Airlines