Friday, November 20, 2009

An opera of lust, suicide & beheadings? Oh boy...

Dr Desert Flower and I have tickets for the Richard Strauss opera Salome Saturday night here in Phoenix. I don't know what I was thinking when we bought tickets for this one... OK, all operas are sort of messed up as a baseline, granted, yes that's a fact. There's death and sex and mayhem / intrigue in just about every opera - it's what sells I guess. But Strauss's version of the story of the beheading of John The Baptist (Jochanaan) sounds really messed up.

Slutty Salome as Herod's step daughter is bored, and fascinated with imprisoned Jochanaan. She seduces the head of the guards to get access to Jochanaan, then creeps out the guard in her desire for the prisoner, so the head guard kills himself. Herod shows up and "slips on the blood", hallucinates, is scorned by his wife, so he lusts after his step daughter instead. Twisted psycho Salome devises a plan to seduce her step dad and convince him to behead Jochanaan, so that she can finally HAVE him, speak with him, kiss the lips of his severed head - ew! Incest, filicide, suicide, seduction, execution, unrequited desire - maybe I better take the LARGE flask instead of the small one.

I am looking forward to the Saturday after Thanksgiving when the Phoenix Symphony will be playing Mozart and Strauss. Hopefully, 'no "flask-ette" required'!

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