Saturday, 4 April 2009

Salome- Welsh National Opera

Richard Strauss' opera Salome, performed by Welsh National Opera at Milton Keynes Theatre on Thursday evening, was sensational. I played this a number of times with Opera North, and recall a particular performance in Sheffield, when Rodney Macann, a Baptist Minister as well as a professional singer, sang  the role of Jokanaan (John the Baptist). It was memorable. 

The libretto is taken from Oscar Wilde's play, which is loosely based upon the biblical story, with the emphasis upon 'loosely'. It's one continuous act and lasts about 100 minutes.

The high point was the Dance of the Seven Veils, which included no veils and was understated but absolutely sizzled; and from there to the end, Salome's expressive and ecstatic outpouring over the severed head of Jokanaan. It was strangely moving and exhilarating in a manic sort of way!

The orchestra of huge forces, including at one point eight percussionists, were terrific, and a special mention of Chris Vale, the contra bassoonist who played splendidly. 

2 comments:

Sarah said...

wow Chris Vale. I wish I'd known, I would have gone to see him

Anonymous said...

Andy said...

I thought Baptist ministers were trained never to lose their heads!