january 8th & 11th (m), 2015
It will be an historic night when, on January 8th, 2015, the curtain goes up on our new production of Strauss’s monumental opera Salome. The first fully staged OPERA SA production in the H-E-B Performance Hall; Patricia Racette’s first fully staged appearance as the eponymous seductress anywhere in the world; role debuts for nearly the entire cast; this Salome will mark an era of new beginnings.
With its superlative cast, our Salome will be an exclusive operatic event of the of the 14/15 season, attracting opera lovers from all over the world."
We are at the palace of Herod, in a courtyard with a cistern. Narraboth, Captain of the Guard, is infatuated with the princess Salome; a Page warns him that such an infatuation is dangerous. Two soldiers comment that the Jews at the banquet inside are making a racket with their religious disputes and that Herod is in a dark mood.
When a voice is heard coming from the cistern, a Cappadocian visitor asks who is being held captive. The soldiers reply that it is a man named Jochanaan, thought to be a prophet.
Salome comes out to the courtyard, hoping to escape Herod’s glances and the raucous party. Hearing Jochanaan’s voice, she demands to see him. Refused by the soldiers, she turns to Narraboth. When she offers to meet him in the market the next day, he relents and orders the soldiers to let Jochanaan out.
Jochanaan rants about the sins of Herod and Herodias, his wife, who is Salome’s mother. Salome extols Jochanaan’s body, his hair, and his mouth. As she becomes more and more fascinated with Jochanaan, Narraboth tries to divert her attention. When he fails, he stabs himself and dies.
When Salome insists that Jochanaan kiss her, he curses her and returns to the cistern.
Herod, Herodias and their party guests move their festivities outside. While looking for Salome, Herod steps in the blood of the dead Narraboth and speaks of ill omens. He tries to entice Salome to take food or wine with him, but she refuses. Herodias warns him to stop looking at her daughter.
Jochanaan’s voice is heard again, inspiring a debate among the banquet guests. When Jochanaan resumes berating Herodias’ sins; she demands that he be silenced.
Herod asks Salome to dance. She refuses, but when he offers her any reward she could wish, she decides to dance.
After the dance, Herod tells Salome to name her reward. She demands a silver platter with the head of Jochanaan. Herod is aghast; Herodias is triumphant. Herod offers Salome jewels, pearls, land, anything but a man’s life. When she refuses even the high priest’s robe and the veil of the sanctuary, Herod relents.
The executioner is sent into the cistern.Salome waits anxiously. Hearing no pleas or fighting, she thinks the executioner has failed. Finally, he returns with the severed head.
Becoming ever more impassioned, Salome relives her lust for Jochanaan, finally kissing his dead mouth.
John Robert Lindsey
Andrew Craig Brown
Önay Kağan Köse
Andrew Cavanaugh Holland
Chad R. Jung