Opera in the 20th Century

September 12, 2004

September 17: Salome (1905)

Posted by Charles T. Downey at 12:07 AM | Link to this post

Aubrey Beardsley, "Climax" (1894, for English edition of Oscar Wilde's Salome)
Richard Strauss
World premiere: December 9, 1905, Court Opera, Dresden

American premiere: January 22, 1907, Metropolitan Opera, New York

Libretto: Hedwig Lachmann, German translation of the play by Oscar Wilde, Salome, a play in one act, originally written in French (corrected by Wilde's French friends) in 1891. Wilde's play was published in French in 1893, and then in an English translation by Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde's lover, in 1894. The play was premiered in Paris in 1896 (the original French version), in which director Aurélien Lugné-Poë cast the Page as a woman (often done in stage versions, as well as by Strauss). Toulouse-Lautrec designed the program.

The play was first performed in Germany at the Neues Theater in Berlin in 1903: Max Renhardt produced it based on the success of his earlier private production at the Kleines Theater in 1902. The production ran for 200 performances. Richard Strauss was in the audience for some of those performances.

Wilde's Salome has also been made into several different film versions, including Ken Russell's Salome's Last Dance (1988).

See also the The Salome Cartellone (on the text and music, in Italian).

Related Posts:
Available at Amazon:

Derrick Puffett, Richard Strauss: Salome, Cambridge Opera Handbooks (1989)
Richard Strauss, Salome, Hildegard Behrens, Vienna Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan
Richard Strauss, Salome, Birgit Nilsson, Vienna Philharmonic, Georg Solti