Strauss’ SALOME is one of the most thrilling musical and theatrical experiences that opera has to offer. Based on Oscar Wilde’s provocative re-telling of the Biblical story, the opera features gorgeous music, rich characters and a potent story about sex, greed and morality. As Salome says in Wilde's play, "This mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death." In my view, SALOME lends itself perfectly to a theatrical symphonic staging. Opera audiences are usually denied the opportunity to actuallysee the orchestra playing a score. A staging in a symphonic setting allows us to feature the music front and center; the orchestra itself plays a major character both musically and theatrically. We are excited to make SALOME an immersive theatrical experience, with the orchestra front and center.
In the play, Herod says, “It is not wise to find symbols in everything that one sees. It makes life too full of terrors.” My production designer Vita Tzykun and I are drawing on the “symbols of terror” in the opera: the mysterious cistern, Salome's virginal veils, and, most importantly, the moon. All of the characters in SALOME have a different vision of the moon and it’s symbolism. We plan to transform Abravanel Hall into a night sky of seven moons. These seven moons shift in color and dynamic throughout the evening, reflecting the many colors and dynamics in the score. We hope that our staging of SALOME will allow the audience to hear Strauss' music and follow this well-known story in an an exciting, thought-provoking, theatrical new setting.