Audiences and critics are raving about Salome!
When Salome premiered, it was so disturbing that it was banned in Vienna and London, and later in New York. Salome’s combination of eroticism and religion, spirituality and lewdness, and devotion and obsession, were appealing and appalling to early audiences. Today’s audiences are less easily shocked, but Salome has lost none of its power to send shivers through the theater.
In South Florida Classical Review, Lawrence Budmen wrote that the production “packed a musico-theatrico wallop. . . Bernard Uzan’s tense production vividly paints the characters and their desires with the dramatic pacing and explosive power of a psychological horror film.”
Budmen also had praise for Melody Moore in the title role of the princess who submits to her stepfather’s demands to perform the teasing, provocative Dance of the Seven Veils—and insists that her reward be the thing she most wants in the world: the head of Jochanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter. “Moore even made the heroine’s grotesque infatuation with the lifeless prophet’s head believable. She spun the line ‘The mystery of love is greater than the master of death’ with supple delicacy.” In South Florida Theater Review, Bill Hirschman wrote that Moore’s “voice effortlessly sank into the depths of her register and then soared into the upper reaches to mirror her character’s inner tumult.”
In a follow-up to his review of the opera’s opening-night cast, Budmen raved about Kirsten Chambers’s interpretation of Salome: “From her first entrance Chambers proved a Salome to be reckoned with. She brought movie-star glamour and a sense of cunning to the princess’s every move. Chambers is a terrific singing actress, and even when she stood perfectly still on stage, she commanded attention.”
The other performers also came in for their share of accolades. Budmen singled out Mark Delavan’s Jochanaan for his “dark-hued timbre” and felt that he “dominated the stage with his every move and utterance.” In South Florida Theater Review, Bill Hirschman wrote that Delavan possessed “censorious strength, equaled by his imposing physical presence and stern piercing visage.”
As Herod, the brilliant character tenor John Easterlin, a fourth-generation Miamian, recently profiled on WPLG, the local ABC affiliate and on the National Public Radio station WLRN, also won rave reviews. “His artful portrait of Herod’s bipolar personality avoided the descent into caricature that sometimes plagues interpreters of the role,” wrote Budmen.
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop, as Salome’s dissolute mother Herodias also contributed powerfully to the proceedings. Budmen wrote that she “cut a proud, imperious figure and her impressive mezzo voice made the most of her pronouncements.”
In his Florida Grand Opera debut, conductor Timothy Myers earned Budmen’s praise for “drawing lush sonority from the excellent FG) orchestra. The big climaxes registered like thunderbolts.”
Featuring Sopranos Melody Moore (Feb 3 & Feb 8) and Kirsten Chambers (Feb 2 & Feb 10) who have graced opera stages across the globe, and now are debuting in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Sung in German with English and Spanish projected surtitles.
Advisory: This opera contains adult content, including suggestive themes, graphic scenes, and partial nudity.
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Florida Grand Opera’s Doral Center
8390 NW 25th Street,
Miami, FL 33122
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