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Salome, the preview

In Thursday's Washington Post: Philippe Auguin and I talk about "Salome," which opens tonight at the Washington National Opera.

Thoughts on Salome? Reports from the dress rehearsal? Reactions to tonight's performance? Post them here.

By Anne Midgette  | October 7, 2010; 12:49 AM ET
Categories:  Washington, opera  
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Comments

Deborah Voigt is definitely not Maria Ewing. There wasn't much sensual side of Salome that came through. The dance of seven veils falls totally flat on this production. The dance last night was a superfluous waste of time -- an expose of musical misfit that it is.

Having said that, the orchestra and Voigt come together quite powerfully in the final necrophilliac closing. You are left very disturbed as as you watch Salome slowly become unhinged in the process of making love to the bloody head. The music compounds the horror and yet holds you in morbid fascination of the grotesque. It's an operatic theater of the Macbre and it worked in the end.

Posted by: woodsyi | October 8, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

woodsyi, how was the opera leading up to the failed Dance? Convincing? Together?

Posted by: CruzerSF | October 8, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll assume that woodsyi was holding out Maria Ewing only for her performance of the D7V. Ewing, while serviceable, is certainly not the first soprano, or even the sixth or seventh, who comes to mind for great exponents of this role.

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | October 8, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I only mentioned Ewing because it was the last time WNO staged it. A lot of opera glasses went up during the dance as I recall. Between the two, I think I prefer this production as I think it's a more authentic portrayal of the opera in that the tortuous descent of Salome is more powerfully realized here.

As for the parts leading up to the dance, I don't think Herod's lust for Salome came through. Failing that, the dance just didn't fit in.

Posted by: woodsyi | October 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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