Composition and libretto by Richard Strauss • November 5, 8, 11 & 13, 2016
First performed in 1905, Salome was originally censored in Vienna, banned in London, and even protested in New York. However, now it’s considered a classic. Salome helped reinforce Strauss’s reputation as “the greatest genius of the age”.
Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, Salome reimagines the biblical story of King Herod, his stepdaughter Salome and John the Baptist - Jochanaan. Salome provides one interpretation of why exactly Salome forced Herod to give her John the Baptist’s severed head on a silver platter.
We are thrilled the title role of Salome will be sung by Patricia Racette, who sang the role to critical acclaim last year, including the famous, seductive “Dance of the Seven Veils”*. The dance is being choreographed by Michele de la Reza of Attack Theatre.
Season sponsor: PNC. Tuesday performance** sponsor: Ambridge Regional Distribution and Manufacturing Center.
*The dance will contain brief nudity
**The “Meet the Artists” reception after the Tuesday 11/8 Salome has been canceled due to intense interest in the Presidential election results. We regret any inconvenience. Pennsylvania voting locations will be open from 7 AM–8 PM. Please remember to vote before coming to the Tuesday performance.
First Soldier - Joseph Barron
Second Soldier - Matt Scollin**
A Cappadocian - Andy Berry*
A Slave - Shannon Jennings*
First Jew - Michael Papincak
Second Jew - James Flora
Third Jew - Adam Bonanni**
Fourth Jew - Eric Ferring*
Fifth Jew - Andy Berry*
First Nazarene - Thomas Shivone+
Second Nazarene - Brian Vu*
The Artistic Team
Conductor - Antony Walker
Stage Director - Andrew Sinclair
Set Designer - Boyd Ostroff
Costume Designer - Richard St. Clair
Lighting Designer - Andrew Ostrowski
Wig & Make-up Designer - James Geier
Choreographer - Michele de la Reza of Attack Theatre
Stage Manager - Cindy Knight
Asst. Conductor - Glenn Lewis
Associate Coach/Pianist - James Lesniak
Asst. Stage Director - Frances Rabalais*
Asst. Stage Manager - Sarah Cowing
Asst. Stage Manager - Attitra Lelahuta
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
- Pittsburgh Magazine: November- Best of Culture in Pittsburgh
- Entertainment Central Pittsburgh - November Theater Guide
- Pittsburgh Owl Scribe blog: "Salome" Comes to Benedum Stage as Richard Strauss' Opera
- City Paper - Short List: November 1st - 8th
- The Almanac - Pittsburgh Opera presents Richard Strauss’s Salome
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette Opera preview: Soprano finally makes her Pittsburgh Opera debut in Strauss’ challenging 'Salome'
- Tribune Review preview: 'Salome' at the center of most tragic romance at Pittsburgh Opera
- The Glassblock video/article: How to Make a Severed Head
- WQED preview interviews:
- Entertainment Central Pittsburgh: Hot Picks
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette review: Pittsburgh Opera's 'Salome' a don't-miss event
- Tribune Review review: Pittsburgh Opera's 'Salome' powerful, strikes proper balance
- Pittsburgh in the Round review: Salome
- Empty Nest blog: Salome, Pittsburgh Opera-regretful lust
- Discover the Burgh: Taking in the Opera at the Benedum Center
- Opera News review: Salome, Pittsburgh Opera 11/7/16
- Iron Tongue of Midnight: New Nymphet on the Block
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Run time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes), with no intermission
- Study Guide for Salome (PDF), created by our Education department
- Understand Every Word: Salome is sung in German, but has English supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Parking Downtown: get real-time parking availability
- Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
- Audio Description available at The Benedum Center
- Braille Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Large-Print Programs available at The Benedum Center
Based on the play by the one and only Oscar Wilde, Salome recreates the biblical story of King Herod, his daughter Salome and John the Baptist (called Jochanaan).
Princess Salome is obsessed with Jochanaan, who is being held prisoner in her father King Herod’s dungeon. She is filled with an overwhelming desire for him and wants to kiss him, but he rejects her. King Herod, meanwhile, fancies his own daughter Salome, much to his wife Herodias’ disgust. Herod implores Salome to dance for him, promising to reward her with her heart's desire – even if it were one half of his kingdom.
Sensing an opportunity, Salome agrees and performs the seductive “Dance of the Seven Veils”. This dance, a sort of biblical strip tease, has her slowly removing her seven veils until she lies naked at her father’s feet. Having danced for her father, Salome intends to make good on Herod’s promise to give her whatever she wants. What she wants is the head of the prophet Jochanaan, presented on a silver platter. Herod tries to no avail to change her mind, and ultimately he is forced to accede to her demands.
Salome holds her trophy triumphantly. Jochanaan had prevented her from kissing his lips before- now she mocks him and passionately kisses his severed head. Disgusted and terrified, Herod has his guards kill Salome as the curtain falls.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has implemented new security and bag policies, effective starting October 1, 2016, at the Benedum Center and their other venues.