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(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Opera opens its 2008/'09 season with Richard Strauss's SalomÃ©, his unabashedly carnal opera based on Oscar Wilde's play of that name. Directed by David Alden and conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk, this acclaimed production originated at the Lithuanian National Opera in 2006; the Lithuanian National Opera - all 200 members, including the show's original cast - will present the opera in Tel Aviv from November 18 through 26.
SalomÃ© is set in Judea during the reign of Herod the Great. Its perverse carnality centers around the Princess SalomÃ©'s (sopranos Sigute Stonyte/Eilana Lapplainen) unrequited passion for the imprisoned John the Baptist (baritones Mikolaj Zalasinski/Johannes von Duisburg), and Herod's (tenor Pawel Wunder) incestuous lust for her.
SalomÃ©'s demand for the head of John the Baptist in return for dancing before Herod horrifies the king, but his promise to her forces his agreement. When she receives the prophet's head, the distraught SalomÃ© sings her love for him and kisses his dead lips. Revolted and terrified, Herod orders his soldiers to slay SalomÃ©.
Renowned director Alden and his long-time partner, set designer Paul Steinberg, are Israel Opera veterans. Previous productions here include Tales of Hoffman, Faust and Sweeney Todd. Polish conductor Jacek Kaspszyk, currently the Lithuanian National Opera music director, makes his local debut.