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Run time: 1 hrs 45 min, no intermission

Sung in GERMAN

Subtitles in English, German, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese

Malin Byström is in the title role of Strauss’s groundbreaking opera, opposite Evgeny Nikitin as Jochanaan (John the Baptist), the object of her deadly passion. Tanja Ariane Baumgartner is Herodias, Salome’s mother, and Jörg Schneider sings her husband, King Herod, whose desire for his stepdaughter sets the tragedy in motion. Alexander Soddy conducts the colorful score that includes the famous Dance of the Seven Veils.

Born in Munich into a family of musicians, Richard Strauss (1864–1949) began his musical studies at the age of four, began composition studies aged 11 and in 1883 became a protégé of the conductor Hans von Bülow, who encouraged him to study the music of Wagner. Strauss’s early masterpieces include several orchestral tone poems and many songs. Around the end of the 19th century, Strauss turned his attention to opera. His first two operas, Guntram (1893) and Feuersnot (1901), received lukewarm responses, but Salome (1905) was a major success - although regarded by some as blasphemous and obscene, it triumphed in all the major opera houses except Vienna, where the censor forbade Gustav Mahler to stage it. The Austrian premiere was given at the Graz Opera in 1906 under the composer, with Arnold Schoenberg, Giacomo Puccini, Alban Berg, and Gustav Mahler in the audience. Today, Salome is a well-established part of the operatic repertoire.

The libretto is the German translation of the play Salomé by Oscar Wilde (1854 –1900), edited by Strauss. The play tells the Biblical story of Salome, who requests from her stepfather Herod Antipas the head of Jokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the dance of the seven veils. Strauss saw Wilde's play in Berlin in November 1902, and began composing his opera in the following year.