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Richard Strauss: Salome 

Oscar Wilde's scandalous play set to equally outrageous music by Richard Strauss. It caused riots when it opened but has become one of the most-often performed operas around the world.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Karita Mattila Karita Mattila ... Salome, the princess of Judea
Juha Uusitalo Juha Uusitalo ... Jochanaan, the prophet
Kim Begley Kim Begley ... King Herod
Ildikó Komlósi Ildikó Komlósi ... Herodias
Joseph Kaiser Joseph Kaiser ... Narraboth
Lucy Schaufer Lucy Schaufer ... Page
Allan Glassman ... Jew
Mark Showalter ... Jew
Adam Klein Adam Klein ... Jew
John Easterlin John Easterlin ... Jew
James Courtney James Courtney ... Jew
Morris Robinson Morris Robinson ... Nazarene
Donovan Singletary Donovan Singletary ... Nazarene
Keith Miller Keith Miller ... Soldier
Richard Bernstein Richard Bernstein ... Soldier


Bubbie's Seder was never like this: Herod's wife is already drunk, so he asks his step-daughter Salome for a lap-dance. She'd rather kiss John the Baptist on the mouth, but all he does is shout Bible verses at her, which is really annoying. One of Herod's guards is crazy in love with Salome and gets so jealous, he just up and kills himself right there. In the background, some Jewish scholars argue about the Talmud, but Herod insists on that lap-dance. Salome plays along if it means she can get that kiss, and before you can say "Dayenu" or "silver platter," she ruins Seder for everyone. The whole thing is just sick, sick, sick, and is set to some of the most thrilling, luscious music you ever heard. Written by dnitzer

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Plot Keywords:

opera | classical | See All (2) »







Release Date:

11 October 2008 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

No wonder opera is dying
1 February 2009 | by boblindsSee all my reviews

When one of the world's greatest opera houses can mount a production of Salome so devoid of acting talent, directorial insight, and theatrical skill, it makes it much easier to understand why opera is held in such ridicule by most of the population.

Mattila sings the role well enough; but it hardly makes any difference when her dramatic performance is at the level of hambone hijinx on the family camcorder. She lurches from one faux emotion to another with no character and less physical control. I've rarely seen such clumsiness onstage, much less in a world-class theater. Her dance (lauded elsewhere for tubby nudity that wasn't shown in the HD broadcast--THANK GOD!!!) wouldn't play at a 1927 Minsky's matinée. Arousal? I was fighting back the nausea.

Elsewhere, performances and direction were slipshod and generalized with little to none of the subtext and atmosphere of Strauss and Wilde's genius. Did anyone CARE about this material? Did they even rehearse? The evidence says no.

A shameful and shocking exhibition of amateurism from the stage of The Metropolitan Opera. Low rent theater in high def video.

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