Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Opera North Brings Life to the Darkness

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Opera North Brings Life to the Darkness

Article excerpt

SALOME, Opera North, Sage Gateshead I CAN'T imagine anyone would disagree there is something particularly ghastly about a beheading.

That sudden transition from being to not is something the mind can't help but dwell upon.

Not for nothing has it been the punishment of choice for those wishing to make a very public point.

But the grim fascination long attached to the beheading of John the Baptist drew a big audience to Sage One on Saturday.

Rather, it was the music of Richard Strauss and the renowned brilliance of Opera North that filled the hall.

Strauss didn't shy from sensational material and Oscar Wilde embraced it.

The latter's play, Salome, written in French, scandalised when first performed but the composer latched onto it with relish.

His opera, playing on febrile emotions of lust, fear and revenge, allies a terrible tale with uplifting music.

Herod, the tetrarch (Rome's ruler of Galilee), has married Herodias, his half brother's ex, and thereby acquired a stepdaughter, nubile Salome. …

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