When it opened in Dresden in 1905, it caused a sensation, and more than a century on it still packs a punch, with its frank eroticism against a religious backdrop, a combination that many could not handle at the time.
The title role of Salome, as a woman scored and hell-bent on revenge, makes huge demands on the singer in that role. As well as fiendishly complicated vocal lines, the singer must perform the notorious Dance of the Seven Veils, Salome's bargaining chip in her quest for the head of John the Baptist.
Musically and thematically this is strong fare, and it opens English National Opera's woman-focused 2018/19 season, one in which ENO hopes to show that women, even when they are victims, as so often in opera plots (and life) are people with personalities and power of their own. Director Adena Jacobs is noted for re-evaluating female roles, and in soprano Allison Cook she has a Salome with the potential to impress.
The cast also includes Michael Colvin as Herod and ENO favourite Susan Bickley, also appearing at Garsington Opera in summer 2018 in The Skating Rink, as Herodias. Martyn Brabbins conducts the chorus and orchestra of English National Opera.
Booking is open now. Click here for the entire ENO season 2018/19
|What||Salome by Richard Strauss, English National Opera|
|Where||English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
28 Sep 18 – 23 Oct 18, Seven performances, times vary; duration 1 hr 45min
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|