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Features & Reviews

Virginia Opera presents 'Salome,' a tour de force etched in love and death

By Grace Jean - Washington Post


Virginia Opera's cinematic production of Richard Strauss's "Salome" was a passionate tour de force that etched love and death in vivid bas-relief Saturday evening at George Mason University's Center for the Arts.

Virginia Opera's "Salome" revives a legendary opera that presents challenges for any era.

By Rich Griset - Style Weekly

Few operas have generated as much controversy as “Salome.”

London banned all performances until 1910. Gustav Mahler’s attempt to conduct it in Vienna was thwarted after the Catholic archbishop deemed it immoral. The Metropolitan Opera’s 1907 production saw only one performance before wealthy patron J.P. Morgan pressured its closing, a ban that remained for 27 years.

Salome, the original temptress in popular culture

The Virginian-Pilot January 29, 2015

Art: In classical painting, Salome has been presented both as a naive, innocent teenager and as a seductress by such masters as Titian, Caravaggio and Gustave Moreau.

Book: Oscar Wilde's 1891 play, which is the origin of the Strauss opera, was considered scandalous when it premiered in Paris in 1896. Since British law forbade depicting biblical characters onstage, Wilde wrote it in French.

Salome, No doubt, she was the bad girl to top them all

By Mal Vincent Virginian-Pilot correspondent January 29, 2015

She was a bad, bad girl.

Even by biblical standards, Salome was a seductress of the first rank. After all, Delilah only gave Samson a haircut. Salome got the entire head of John the Baptist, served on a platter.

The Gospels of Matthew and Mark describe what has come to be known as Salome's erotic Dance of the Seven Veils, but do not specifically name her or it.

In lore, she has been pictured either as a naive teenager, used by her evil mother to seduce King Herod into executing John the Baptist, or, in other versions, a scheming sexpot who lusted after the holy man.