Saturday afternoon, November 12th at NOON
Be forewarned! This shocking opera is not for the faint of heart! For a change of pace from the sweet and gentle heroines of Puccini and Verdi we will be showing Richard Strauss’ intense and scandalous one-act opera, Salome, based on the French play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. It is one of my favorite operas — but one I also consider “deliciously depraved.”
Salome, the beautiful Princess of Judaea, having been rudely rebuffed by the holy man, John the Baptist, seeks her revenge by demanding his head on a silver platter. This somewhat outrageous opera is famous for its provocative “Dance of the Seven Veils,” and for the more shocking and grotesque final scene, where Salome makes necrophilic love to the severed head of John the Baptist.
We’ll be showing the spectacular 2008 Covent Garden production with Nadja Michael, who creates a Salome that is mesmerizing, bringing the Princess of Judaea to life as no one else can. The music includes some of the most haunting and lush orchestration in the operatic repertoire. Salome is an opera filled with sensuality and depravity — not for the faint of heart, but one to be sure not to miss!
After the opera. (1) Listen to Birgit Nilsson sing the final aria as no one else can. (2) This production by David McVicar has been updated to the 1930s with some innovative interpretations. There’s a lot to discuss here. Since this opera is only one act (around 1¾ hours long), as well as being so controversial, for those of you who wish to stay, we’ll have an open discussion about it — your feelings, opinions, etc.
Left: Salome with the head of John the Baptist (Louvre) by Bernardo Luini (1481-1532);
Center: Salome with head of John the Baptist by Andrea Solari (1460-1524);
Right: Salomé by Pierre Bonnaud (1865-1930)
Newcomers to opera — These DVD presentations by the Pescadero Opera Society are a great way to learn about opera. The atmosphere is always friendly and informal — never stuffy. An introduction to the opera is given before the show, letting you know what you are about to see and hear, and any opera trivia available. Programs are provided that include a synopsis of the opera. The DVD includes English subtitles, and there’s always room for questions and discussion.
The opera is held in our fabulous Event Hall (lovingly referred to as “The Barn”). It will be shown on our wonderful giant-sized Gracie Anderson Memorial Movie Screen (donated by her son, Rodney), in six-channel digital surround-sound (donated by Jason Skinner and family, and several yard sales). Sit in our comfy theater seats (donated by Coastal Repertory Theatre), all set on our wonderful carpeting from the Ritz Carlton ballroom (donated by Kevin Palmer of Floors to Go, Premier Termite & the Long Branch Saloon/Event Center). Munch on popcorn from our fantastic popcorn machine (donated by Chris and Suneva from Aratas Pumpkin Farm). Keep warm and cozy with our 60,000 BTU heater, and enjoy the show with our fabulous projector (both made possible by your generous donations).
Socializing, barbecue and pot luck are held between 12:00-2:00 p.m. We will provide the main dish, large salad, drinks and snacks. Please bring a dish that you want to share for the pot luck. The opera starts promptly at 2:00 p.m. with a brief introduction by Phyllis Neumann.
Opera Programs. Opera programs will be distributed at the opera. But, if you want to bone up on this month’s opera before you see it go to the Pescadero Opera website and download it from there.
Opera Schedule 2016-17
2nd Saturday of the month
Pot-luck and socializing: 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Opera starts promptly at 2:00 p.m.
“La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi
Starring Reneé Fleming, Rolando Villazon and Renato Bruson
“The Enchanted Island” by Jeremy Sams
Starring David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle de Niese and Plácido Domingo
“Salome” by Richard Strauss
Starring Nadja Michael, Thomas Moser and Michael Volle
“Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss II
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa and Hermann Prey; conducted by Plácido Domingo
“Faust” by Charles Gounod
Starring Roberto Alagna, Bryn Terfel and Angela Gheorgiu
“Manon Lescaut” by Giacomo Puccini
Starring Jonas Kaufmann and Kristine Opolais
“Tannhäuser” by Richard Wagner
Starring Richard Cassilly, Eva Marton, Tatiana Troyanos; James Levine
“Daughter of the Regiment” by Gaetano Donizetti
Starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Florez
“Cavalleria Rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni
Starring Plácido Domingo and Elena Obraztsova
“Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Starring Plácido Domingo, Teresa Stratas and Juan Pons