New provocative staging by Robert Carsen for Wilde’s drama

Gianandrea Noseda conducts

Teatro Regio - Tuesday 26 February, 20 hour

The Canadian director Robert Carsen returns to Italy for a new production after the outrage caused by his last passing: his irreverent Candide in June at La Scala which presented world leaders in their underwear. To find out whether his Salome provokes similar reactions, we have to wait for Tuesday 26 February, when Richard Strauss’s masterpiece opens, in Carsen’s interpretation and with Gianandrea Noseda, the Musical Director of the Regio, conducting. A new production by the Teatro Regio, in co-production with the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Teatro Real de Madrid, with sets by Radu Boruzescu, costumes by Miruna Boruzescu and choreography by Philippe Giraudeau.

Rai Radio 3, on the occasion of the opening night on 26 February, will broadcast the opera live.

Robert Carsen, with his usual irony, reinterprets from a contemporary viewpoint Oscar Wilde’s drama, staged for the first time in 1896 in Paris to great scandal, and redesigns Herod’s palace as a gambling house - an extreme venue for an extreme story – where Salome is a rebellious adolescent, a not fully conscious Lolita who moves through a society corrupted by the craving for money, gambling and sex. Based on the biblical subject, Wilde’s drama is rich in morbid and obsessive eroticism, and the ethereal pallor of the beautiful princess Salome is bewitching to men: from Narraboth, captain of Herod’s guards, to the same Jewish tetrarch, Salome’s stepfather, who is completely seduced by his beautiful stepdaughter. She, instead, becomes infatuated with Jokanaan who, from the depths of the cistern where he is imprisoned, curses her and her mother Herodias. The princess wants to kiss Jokanaan’s mouth at all costs. Shocked, Narraboth kills himself. The girl, barefoot, performs the dance of the seven veils, and at the end, asks for Jokanaan’s head. Herod has no choice but to yield, and when Salome repeats to the severed head of the Baptist her desire for love, kissing the by now lifeless mouth, the king, disgusted, orders the guards to kill her.

Salome represents the height of musical expressionism achieved by Strauss – who conducted the first Italian performance at the same Teatro Regio of Torino in 1906 – and marks an important chapter in the history of twentieth century music. It is an opera that even today is able to transmit its load of obsession, frenzy and morbidity. Undoubtedly, the allure of German soprano Nicola Beller Carbone and her interpretive ability, as noted by the English audience at the performance in Manchester on February 9 and the many listeners on-line, is particularly befitting to the role of Salome. Herod is the English tenor of Austrian-German origin Peter Bronder, great and versatile interpreter who has collaborated with the most important conductors in the most prestigious theatres in Europe. The Afro-American baritone Mark S. Doss is Jokanaan, a role he has already interpreted at La Scala in Milan. With her magnificent voice, the Czech mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková is Herodias, Salome’s volatile mother, and tenor Jörg Dürmüller is the captain Narraboth.

As part of the international exchanges that the Regio is setting up, on 9 February in Manchester Gianandrea Noseda will conduct an advance performance of Salome in concert form with the BBC Philharmonic, of which he is Principal Conductor, and the same protagonists as the Torino version.

Salome, with nine performances through 9 March, will be presented to the public by Enzo Restagno in Incontro con l’Opera, to take place in the Foyer del Toro on Wednesday, 20 February at 5 pm.

Information and tickets: Teatro Regio Box Office, Piazza Castello 215 - Tel. 011.8815.241/242 - e-mail.

Turin, 22 January 2008

Paola Giunti
Press Office Chair