Salome 3

“What a crazy opera,” D said, after the curtain went down last night.

It was his first time and my first-planned and third-accomplished at this production.  This time was my best seat.

The front row would have been even better for the orchestra’s big night out, but there were some balance and perspective advantages to being (as we were) in the third.  Looking at the surtitles wasn’t really one of them, as a spotlight was aimed at them, which impeded their legibility.  When I did look, during a dialogue between Herod and someone (I think Herodias), they were for quite a long period a line or so behind – about 8 to 10 seconds when I counted.

No matter, by then I knew the general drift and some of the better lines well enough.

Afterwards, talking to D about the story on the way home, I began to imagine I could make some sense of the opera’s and the antecedent play’s melange of sex, death and religion.  I seay “sense” because of course the music dazzles and the drama provokes and diverts and strikes sparks off all sorts of preconceptions, but what is the message or even cluster of messages (I don’t mind if they are inconsistent alternatives so long as they are internally coherent) beyond that?

But today it’s still snippets of Lucia (my guilty pleasure) that I find myself humming.  – Not that I cast my expectations of “message” so high for that: it’s more a South Pacific kind of opera.

 

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