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Salome 1995

July 22 - August 24, 1995

Witness the explosion of a willful princess…

… whose awakening sexuality erupts into passionate loathing and destroys the very object of her desire.  One of the Bible’s most powerful episodes depicting the rise and fall of evil is transformed by Richard Strauss and Oscar Wilde into an operatic tour-de-force that will haunt you with its shocking poetic and musical intensity.

Music By
Richard Strauss
based on the play by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Hedwig Lachmann



The scene is set on a terrace above the banquet hall in the palace of Herod, Tetrarch of Judea.

Palace soldiers are on guard as the Tetrarch entertains within the hall. Narraboth, Captain of the Guard, speaks with the Page of his deep infatuation with the beautiful Princess Salome. The Page, hurt by Narraboth’s feelings, warns him of the dangers and futility of his love.

Salome, bored with the excesses of the banquet and the persistent attentions of her stepfather, appears on the terrace, and is intrigued by the strange voice coming from the cistern. The voice is that of Jokanaan, a prophet who has been preaching against Herodias as a murderous adulteress. Curious to see him, Salome asks that he be brought up from the cistern. Narraboth, unable to resist her persuasion, does as she asks, against Herod’s orders.

Jokanaan comes into the open continuing his denunciation of the Tetrarch’s wife and the court. Salome is immediately and completely overcome with desire for him, and Narraboth, realizing that he will never be regarded as more than a servant, kills himself unnoticed. When Jokanaan discovers Salome to be the daughter of Herodias, he curses her also and returns to the cistern leaving Salome pouting as a frustrated child.

Herod, Herodias, and their company enter the terrace. The dissolute Herod is full of personal and political fears, and is torn between his desire for Salome and his constant reading of ill omens and signs. He again turns his attention to Salome who, still intent on her encounter with Jokanaan, ignores him.

An argument ensues between the Tetrarch and his wife, who is jealous and derisive of his obvious attraction to her daughter. The disagreement is climaxed with Jokanaan’s voice again rising in denunciation of Herodias, who berates Herod for leaving the prophet unpunished.

The Jews and Nazarenes in the company become involved in a religious debate, and Salome, to her mother’s anger, gives in to Herod’s offer of any reward if she will dance for him.

Salome performs her sensual dance, ostensibly for Herod, with all her attention on the cistern. As her reward she demands the head of Jokanaan, which Herod finally allows her after frantic attempts to reach an alternative.

On receiving the head, Salome is transported into a sexual frenzy, speaking with Jokanaan as though he were alive, and finally fulfilling her frustrated lust by kissing the mouth she had been denied. Herod, horrified, orders her to be killed by the soldiers.


Inga Nielsen headshot

Inga Nielsen


Salome (July 22 - August 10)

Mary Jane Johnson headshot

Mary Jane Johnson


Salome (August 18 & 24)

Richard Cowan headshot

Richard Cowan



Ragnar Ulfung headshot

Ragnar Ulfung



Katherine Ciesinski headshot

Katherine Ciesinski



Mark Baker headshot

Mark Baker



Santa Fe Opera

Leah Creek


A Page

Carlos Conde headshot

Carlos Conde


First Soldier

John LaForge headshot

John La Forge


Second Soldier

Christopher Feigum headshot

Christopher Feigum


A Cappadocian

Santa Fe Opera

Margaret Lloyd


A Slave

Steven Harrison headshot

Steven Harrison


First Jew

Darren Keith Woods headshot

Darren Keith Woods


Second Jew

Gregory Schmidt headshot

Gregory Schmidt


Third Jew

Kenn Chester headshot

Kenn Chester


Fourth Jew

François Loup headshot

François Loup


Fifth Jew

Dean Peterson headshot

Dean Peterson


First Nazarene

Patryk Woblewski headshot

Patryk Wroblewski


Second Nazarene

John Crosby headshot

John Crosby


(July 22 - August 10)

John Fiore headshot

John Fiore


(August 18 & 24)

Ken Cazan headshot

Ken Cazan


Tom Hennes headshot

Tom Hennes

Scenic Designer

Martin Pakledinaz headshot

Martin Pakledinaz

Costume Designer

Amy Appleyard headshot

Amy Appleyard

Lighting Designer

Daniel Pelzig headshot

Daniel Pelzig