With Salome, the NNTT presents another opera by Richard Strauss, one of the greats of late German Romanticism. His Arabella and Der Rosenkavalier were staged during the 2010/2011 season.
The opera, developed for the Bayerische Staatsoper (with production by the late August Everding), has become a firmly established piece of the NNTT Opera repertoire. It is a brilliant work, powerful and mysterious, featuring a stage set with a massive old cistern at the center. Counting the premiere in 2000, Salome has been staged here four times with different singers in the title role, thereby giving audiences the chance to enjoy the same production performed by different casts. This time the audience can look forward to a fine performance from Erika Sunnegårdh, who is making her debut at the NNTT. Sunnegårdh has earned accolades for her portrayal of Salome in Europe and the US. For centuries, the story of Salome has inspired artists to create great works of music, literature, fine art and theatre. In fact, this season's play lineup includes Oscar Wilde's own Salome. The NNTT hopes to attract a broad segment of theatergoers by giving them the chance to enjoy Salome as both a play and an opera.
(The production of the NNTT play Salome is scheduled for June, 2012.)
The setting is King Herod's palace in Jerusalem around 30 A.D. Salome, daughter-in-law of Herod, who wins his favor, takes interest in Johanaan (John the Baptist), who is imprisoned in the cistern in the courtyard, and orders Naraboth, captain of the guard, to bring him out for her to see him. She tries to make advances to him, but he repels them and accuses her mother Herodias for the sins she has committed and is taken back to the cistern. Asked by Herod to dance on condition that he will grant her whatever she desires, Salome puts on seven veils over her naked body and dances a bewitching dance. After her Dance of the Seven Veils, she demands the head of Johanaan.