The biblical story of stepdaughter of heriod Antippas has been reworked many times in drama and opera. The best-known opera version is by German composer Richard Strauss. First performed in Dresden in 1905, it became an international sensation. Strauss was suddenly considered one of the most successful composers of the early 20th century. He wrote the opera from a german translatian of English playwright Oscar Wilde's 1893 play, enjoying success at the time. Salome is one of the most significant and demanding operas of the 20th century, and has only been performed once previously in Pilsen, in 1944.
"This extremely demanding work stands and falls with the performance of the title role. Katja Beer's achievement is breathtaking. Her singing is utterly assured across the whole range, while as an actor she is a riveting, electrifying, pulsating creature who with her demand for the head of Jochanaan plays murderously with Herod himself. Katja Beer knows for sure what sort of Salome here is, how she feels and what is bringing her to perdition (...) Ivan Pařík's excellent musical work is one of his best feats ever. And if the solo performances are clear candidates for the Thalia award, the conductor can only regret that such awards are not made to the man with the baton. Salome exceeds the bounds of ordinary productions. Modern shocking in places, but compelling enough to adress aficonados of classical productions. It sends out a clear message to audiences at repeat performances - don't be afraid of Strauss, don't be afraid of Salome.
(by Gabriela Špalková, MF DNES)
"The production created is emotionally-communicative, hardhitting, challenging -and, of course, perverse and cruel. (...) The director and conductor, together with set designer Ján Zavarský and costume designer Dana Svobodová, have created a creation that is strong and also exremely artistic. The musicians of the orchestra and the singers put in tremendous and riveting performances - especially the magnificent and expressive german spoprano Katja Beer in the title role.
(by Petr Dvořák, Plzeňský deník)
Music rehearsed and conducted: