Review: Salome, The Royal Opera House

17:51 08 June 2012

ANGELA DENOKE AS SALOME © ROH 2012 / CLIVE BARDA

ANGELA DENOKE AS SALOME © ROH 2012 / CLIVE BARDA

©2012 Clive Barda clivebarda@pobox.com +44(0)20 8579 5202

If you’re easily offended, don’t go and see Salome.

The story itself is ages old and Richard Strauss’s operatic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 1894 play has been around for more than 100 years.

But even in 21st century London the bloody and violent tale of erotic obsession still has the power to shock.

Wilde’s play endured its fair share of controversy; it was banned while in the rehearsal stage in 1892 on the basis that it was illegal to portray biblical characters on stage.

Strauss’s production also ran into difficulties in its infancy when soprano Marie Wittich refused to perform the dance of the seven veils, making it necessary for a dancer fill in for her.

The dance is not performed in the ROH’s current production. Instead Salome (Angela Denoke) and Herod (Stig Andersen) move through a dream-like sequence, punctuated by huge projections, during which his lust for his step-daughter is saited, although Denoke keeps her clothes on.

Having fulfilled her promise to “dance” for the Tetrarch, Salome insists the object of her obsession is delivered to her.

An earlier scene sees the prophet Jokanaan (Egils Silins) reject Salome’s advances and, in a bid for revenge at being spurned coupled with a desire to own what she covets, the princess demands his head on a silver platter.

The scene that follows shows Salome’s dark obsession in all its bloody glory as she cradles Jokanaan’s head, kissing his lips - before she herself is dispatched by a very naked and very bloody Naaman (Duncan Meadows).

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The celebrity chef is embroiled in a bitter dispute over the contract for the lease of one of his restaurants.

Read more

The Labour MP has apologised after posting a photo of a house draped with three red-and-white Cross of St George flags on the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election.

Read more

Saturated fat might not be as bad as we think.

Read more

Promotions

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Special Offer

XLN Telecom are offering small businesses three fantastic deals on business broadband and business phone line rental.

Top Stories

Quizzes

How well do you know Shoreditch? (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

From ancient Roman burial ground to bearded hipsters Shoreditch has always had a lot going on. Prove you know more about it than anyone else by taking our quiz:

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more
Do you know your famous moustaches?  (Photo by Steve Wood/Express/Getty Images)

With the most moustachioed month of the year upon us again we thought we’d test your knowledge of famous facial fuzz. Here are 13 celebrity ‘taches to tackle, just guess the owner:

Read more