Agathe Poupeney / OnP

Opera

Salome

Richard Strauss

Opéra Bastille

from 09 to 28 May 2024

from 32 € to 175 €

1h40 no interval

Some scenes may offend the sensibilities of young audiences.

Salome

Opéra Bastille - from 09 to 28 May 2024

Synopsis

Listen to the synopsis

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When King Herod promises his stepdaughter Salome, princess of Judea, whatever she wants in exchange for a dance, little does he know that she will ask for... the head of the prophet Iokanaan (John the Baptist), and worse still, that she will kiss his mouth. If the story of Salome dates back to the Gospels, it is Oscar Wilde's tragedy, written in 1891, that lends the myth all its force, intertwining as it does sexuality and religion, desire and death, obsession and decadence. Richard Strauss's third opera preserves the play's sultry contours whilst introducing highly modern vocal and orchestral music, causing a scandal at its 1905 premiere in Dresden. How is it possible to restore the disturbing force of this intense and sensual work today? By placing Salome in a near future where death and sex are commonplace, Lydia Steier delivers a radical vision that profoundly renews the character and invites us to question our own excesses.

Duration : 1h40 no interval

Language : German

Surtitle : French / English

Show acts and characters

CHARACTERS

Herod: Tetrarch of Judea
Herodias: Herod’s wife, mother of Salome
Salome: Princess of Judea, fascinated by Jochanaan
Jochanaan: Prophet, prisoner of Herod
Narraboth: Captain of the guard, in love with Salome
Herodias’ Page: serving in the palace
Five Jews: who claim Jochanaan from Herod
Two Nazarenes: who report the miracles of Christ  

Contemplating the feast given by Herod, Narraboth, the young Syrian, only has eyes for Princess Salome. Indifferent to the discussion of the soldiers, he hears neither the page, who advises him to divert his gaze, nor the disturbing prophesies of Jochanaan who has been locked up in a cell on the orders of the Tetrarch. 

Salome appears, seeking refuge from the ogling of her stepfather, Herod, and the debauchery of the guests. The voice of the prophet rings out again and the princess speaks of the Tetrarch’s fear of this man who has cursed her mother, Herodias, for adultery. Seized by a violent desire to see and speak to him, Salome turns to Narraboth and, disregarding the soldiers’ refusal, extracts from him the order to have Jochanaan brought out. 

On emerging from his cell, Jochanaan defies Herod and reviles Herodias, impugning her with every villainy. Salome is fascinated by this man so different from all she knows. She voices her desire to touch his body and kiss his mouth. Unable to bear her gaze, the prophet repulses her, while she shouts out her love for him, deaf to the supplications of Narraboth, who, despairing when she does not hear him, kills himself. Jochanaan curses her and returns to his gaol. 

The Tetrarch and Herodias appear in search of Salome. Herod is worried. He stumbles over Narraboth’s corpse and asks that it be removed. The queen urges him to come back in, but he invites Salome to share his meal. The Jews, then the Nazarenes, enter into an argument about the coming of the Messiah, a debate punctuated by the imprecations of Jochanaan. Paying no attention to Herodias, who, beside herself, begs that he be silenced, the Tetrarch entreats Salome to dance for him. She refuses, but he insists, swearing that he will give her anything she desires. Salome accepts, in spite of her mother’s protestations. 

The dance leaves Herod in ecstasy, ready to grant the recompense he has promised. Salome demands the head of Jochanaan. Horrified, the Tetrarch tries to dissuade her, offering all his treasures in exchange. Salome stands her ground, reminding him of his pledge. Exhausted, Herod capitulates. The execution takes place in silence in the prison. Having received the reward for her dance, Salome takes it and kisses the mouth that scorned her. Herod turns his back and orders the soldiers to kill Salome.

Artists

Lyric drama in one act (1905)

After Oscar Wilde's eponymous play, in German translation by Hedwig Lachmann

Creative team

Cast

Paris Opera Orchestra

Media

[TRAILER] SALOME by Richard Strauss
[TRAILER] SALOME by Richard Strauss
  • Draw-me Salome

    Draw-me Salome

    Watch the video

  • Salome : « it will punch you in the stomach »

    Salome : « it will punch you in the stomach »

    Watch the video

  • Podcast Salomé

    Podcast Salomé

    Listen the podcast

Draw-me Salome

Watch the video

Understand the plot in 1 minute

1:42 min

Draw-me Salome

By Matthieu Pajot

Salome, princess of Judea, the daughter‑in‑law of King Herod, finds life in her father‑in‑law’s palace dreary. Her curiosity is roused when she hears the voice of Jochanaan, a prophet held prisoner by Herod who is afraid of him. Obsessed by this enigmatic and virtuous man, Salome is ready to do anything to possess him, dead or alive. 
Drawing on Oscar Wilde’s scandalous play of the same name, in 1905 Richard Strauss produced the work that was to ensure his status as Wagner’s successor in the history of German opera. 
“Dance for me, Salome”. From Herod’s lubricious injunction to the young woman stems one of the most emblematic orchestral passages in opera: the dance of the seven veils. A hypnotic interlude in itself sufficient to capture the fatal mounting desire that suffuses this work whose orchestration is as rich as it is modern. 

A dazzling hour and forty minutes, decadent in its very essence, which, for her debut at the Paris Opera, Lydia Steier treats as a dystopia in which amorality rules.

© Agathe Poupeney / OnP

Salome : « it will punch you in the stomach »

Watch the video

Interview with Simone Young and Lydia Steier

7:29 min

Salome : « it will punch you in the stomach »

By Isabelle Stibbe

On the occasion of the new production of Salome, conductor Simone Young and director Lydia Steier discuss Richard Strauss's music and their vision of the work. 

© plainpicture/Jasmin Sander

Podcast Salomé

Listen the podcast

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" - by France Musique

07 min

Podcast Salomé

By Charlotte Landru-Chandès

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" offers original incursions into the season thanks to broadcasts produced by France Musique and the Paris Opera. For each opera or ballet production, Charlotte Landru-Chandès (opera) and Jean-Baptiste Urbain (dance), present the works and artists you are going to discover when you attend performances in our theatres.

  • Salomé (saison 22/23)

  • Salomé (saison 22/23) - Elza Van Den Heever

  • Salomé (saison 22/23) - Orchestre Seul

  • Salomé (saison 22/23) - John Daszak, Karita Mattila, Elza Van Den Heever

  • Salomé (saison 22/23) - Iain Paterson

  • Salomé (saison 22/23) - Elza Van Den Heever

Press

  • A splendid vocal line-up.

    L'Humanité, 2022
  • A splendid vocal line-up.

    Le Figaro, 2022
  • A very radical production, transposed into a post-apocalyptic world.

    France musique, 2022
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Salome


Watch online the recording from season 22/23 on Paris Opera Play, with Elza van den Heever, Iain Paterson, John Daszak, Karita Mattila...

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Access and services

Opéra Bastille

Place de la Bastille

75012 Paris

Public transport

Underground Bastille (lignes 1, 5 et 8), Gare de Lyon (RER)

Bus 29, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91, N01, N02, N11, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Opéra Bastille 34, rue de Lyon 75012 Paris

Book your parking spot
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The American director offers a singular interpretation of a key character in opera, often characterised by her oriental identity or as a young girl victim of her libidinous stepfather. Here, the teenager – more Mercredi Addams than Princess of the Thousand and One Nights – takes on the features of a protester wishing to destroy a family environment plagued by behaviours and practices that she deems amoral and rejects in every way.

€10

BUY THE PROGRAM
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Opéra Bastille. It is located at 34 rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris. 

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €35 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €70 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Opéra Bastille
  • Open 1h before performances and until performances end
  • Get in from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 40 01 17 82

Opéra Bastille

Place de la Bastille

75012 Paris

Public transport

Underground Bastille (lignes 1, 5 et 8), Gare de Lyon (RER)

Bus 29, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91, N01, N02, N11, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Opéra Bastille 34, rue de Lyon 75012 Paris

Book your parking spot
super alt text
super alt text
super alt text
super alt text

The American director offers a singular interpretation of a key character in opera, often characterised by her oriental identity or as a young girl victim of her libidinous stepfather. Here, the teenager – more Mercredi Addams than Princess of the Thousand and One Nights – takes on the features of a protester wishing to destroy a family environment plagued by behaviours and practices that she deems amoral and rejects in every way.

€10

BUY THE PROGRAM
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Opéra Bastille. It is located at 34 rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris. 

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €35 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €70 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Opéra Bastille
  • Open 1h before performances and until performances end
  • Get in from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 40 01 17 82

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3 min

Salome

Salome: the true/false story

Seduction, belly dancing and unhealthy fascination... Can you unravel the truth about Salomé?

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