MUSIC

Opera: Richard Strauss's “Salome”

09.10.2014 (Thu)
19:30
10.10.2014 (Fri)
19:30
11.10.2014 (Sat)
19:30
12.10.2014 (Sun)
15:00
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$900, 660, 450, 300*, 150*

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An Opera in One Act

A Co-production of Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana and Opera Hong Kong

Performed in German with Chinese and English Surtitles

This programme contains nudity

 

 

About the Programme

The première of Richard Strauss’s one-act opera Salome in Dresden, 1905, caused an uproar.  Salome, the daughter of Herodias, seduces her stepfather Herodes and has her lust for Jochanaan the Baptist, a prisoner of Herodes, nakedly revealed.  After asking the prophet killed, she sings to the severed head, now on a silver plate, and kisses the dead prophet’s lips.

 

The successful, if not scandalous, première of Salome would catapult Strauss, an illustrious symphonist at the time who has written Also Sprach Zarathustra and Don Juan, to an opera composer in high demand.  Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, the intense emotion of biblical characters is laid bare, and this unprecedented intensity and brutality continues to shock modern audience.  Strauss penned colourful harmonies for the orchestra, with the oriental Dance of the Seven Veils that Salome dances to seduce Herodes, now becomes an orchestral showpiece.  The singers, with surging Straussian lyricism, are challenged with ecstatic melodies of high drama.  This is a challenge for performers and a unique theatrical experience of audience.

 

This shocking opera is now considered one of the definitive works that marks a turning point in music history.  Slovenian National Theatre Opera, Ballet Ljubljana and Opera Hong Kong join hands in producing Salome, marking the composer’s 150th anniversary.

 

Synopsis

Narraboth, the Captain of Herodes's guard, is fascinated by the princess Salome's beauty.  When she enters onto the palace terrace the voice of the prophet Jochanaan is heard from the cistern where he is imprisoned.  She orders him to be raised up and Narraboth eventually surrenders to her will and disobeys Herodes's decree.  Jochanaan emerges into the moonlight and denounces the incestuous union of Herodes and Salome's mother Herodias and demands that Salome repents and follows Christ. Equally appalled and mesmerised she is increasingly overcome by desire, praising his body, hair and mouth.  Narraboth is distraught and kills himself, but Salome steps over his body in pursuit of her passion.  Jochanaan curses her and returns to his prison.  

 

Herodes emerges from the palace with Herodias, seeking Salome who ignores his advances.  Stepping in Narraboth's blood - a bad omen - he seeks relief from his nightmare visions.  The voice of Jochanaan is heard again and Herodias demands that he be delivered to the Jews, provoking a religious debate about the true nature of the prophet and of Christ himself.  Herodes's attention is solely focused on Salome who he begs to dance for him and swears an oath to grant her any wish. She performs the Dance of the Seven Veils and tells the horrified Herodes that her payment will be the head of the prophet.  She waits nervously at the edge of the cistern until the executioner delivers her prize on a silver platter.  She ecstatically kisses Jochanaan's lips, achieving fulfilment at last. In disgust, Herodes orders her death.

 

The content of this programme does not represent the view of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

About the Performers

 

Producer

Warren Mok

Director

Andrejs Zagars

Conductor

John Neschling

Set Designer

Reinis Suhanovs

Costume Designer

Kristine Pasternaka

Lighting Designer

Kevin Wyn-Jones

Video Designer

Ineta Sipunova

Choreographer

Kiril Burlov

Assistant to Creative Team

Dace Volfarte

 

 

Main Cast

 

Salome

Annemarie Kremer(1)(3) / Kirsten Chambers(2)(4)

 

Herodes

Stig Andersen(1)(3) / Peter Bronder(2)(4)

 

Herodias

Natascha Petrinsky(1)(3) / Jacqueline Dark(2)(4)

 

Jochanaan

Tomasz Konieczny(1)(3) / Daniel Sumegi(2)(4)

 

Narraboth

Ta'u Pupu'a(1)(3) / Jason Wickson(2)(4)

 

The Page of Herodias

Carol Lin(1)(3) / Samantha Chong(2)(4)

 

Jews

Alex Tam

 

 

Frankie Liu

 

 

Christopher Leung

 

 

Chen Yong

 

 

Apollo Wong

 

Nazarenes

Freddie Tong

 

 

Andrew Chan

 

Soldiers

Sammy Chien

 

 

Freddie Tong

 

A Cappadocian

Apollo Wong

 

A Slave

Kathy Tang

 

 

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

(1) 9/10, 7:30pm     (2) 10/10, 7:30pm     (3) 11/10, 7:30pm     (4) 12/10, 3pm

 

Opera Hong Kong

Artistic Director: Warren Mok

 

Established in July 2003 as a non-profit making organization, Opera Hong Kong is committed to the mission of enhancing the appreciation of the art of opera in Hong Kong and promoting local music talents.  In addition to staging operas and concerts, educational programmes are also held regularly to reach the young population.  Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus were established in 2004 and 2008 respectively and are becoming recognized forces in the local choral scene.

 

Warren Mok

Producer

World-renowned Hong Kong tenor Warren Mok has been making frequent guest appearances in many leading opera houses throughout the world.  His operatic repertoire exceeds 60 roles including Calaf in Turandot, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Radames in Aïda and many others.  In recent years, Mok is very active in the promotion of western opera and music in the Mainland and has established Opera Hong Kong.  He is currently the Artistic Director of the Macao International Music Festival and Opera Hong Kong.  Mok was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2011, World Outstanding Chinese Award in 2010, and both Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (Knight of the Star of Solidarity of Italy) by the Government of Italy and Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Art and Letter) by the Government of France in 2008.  In 2012, Mok joined the China’s Three Tenors world tour together with Dai Yuqiang and Wei Song to promote Chinese cultures to the world.

 

Andrejs Zagars

Director

A General Manager of the Latvian National Opera (LNO) from 1996 to 2013, Andrejs Zagars is now the Artistic Director of the Department of Directing and Acting of the Musical Theatre of The Russian University of Theatre Arts.  Graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music and the Film Actors’ Studio, he worked in both film industry and theatrical stage.  He established the annual Riga Opera Festival and LNO has developed into an internationally acclaimed opera house under his leadership.  As a stage director since 2002, he has worked in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Israel and Czech Republic for over 24 productions.  For his merits in the development of opera in Latvia, Zagars was widely recognized with several awards including The Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by Republic of Estonia, The Order of the Three Stars by Republic of Latvia and Title of Citizen of Riga 2011 and many others.

 

John Neschling

Conductor

A grandnephew of composer Arnold Schoenberg and conductor Arthur Bodanzky, Brazilian born conductor John Neschling started very young his conducting career which took him to collaborate with most of the renowned orchestras worldwide.  He was the Music Director of the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, the Opera in St. Gallen in Switzerland, the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and the Orchestre National De Bordeaux in France.  In Brazil, he was the Music Director of both opera houses of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. He also took over the post of Music Director of Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in the period of 1997 to 2009, and led the local orchestra into leading symphony orchestra of Latin-America with invitations of the United States and Europe tour for several times.  In 2011 he returned to Europe with collaborations in Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Poland. Since 2013, he has been the Artistic Director of Municipal Theatre of São Paulo.

 

Salome

Annemarie Kremer

Soprano

Born in Netherlands, Annemarie Kremer has received international recognition for both her vocal and dramatic power.  She joined the State Opera Theatre in Aachen of Germany after her studies where she made her German debut as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo.  Roles such as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in France with famous film director Gérard Corbiau which was broadcasted worldwide won critical acclaim in international press.  In 2012 she made a triumphal debut as title role of Norma with Opera North and received rave of positive reviews.  Engagements in 2011/2012 included her debut as Salome at the Wiener Volksoper - Vienna, a return as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly at the Aalto Theater Essen.  Latest engagements included Tosca at the Oper Leipzig, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus in Essen, Salome in Belèm of Brazil, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito at Opera North, the title role of Norma in Chemnitz and Cherubinis in Medée at Theater Bielefeld.

 

Kirsten Chambers

Soprano

Highly applauded by The Dallas Morning News for her ‘appealing high notes’ and a voice sustaining ‘fullness that blossoms to a consistently brilliant top well-suited to Strauss and Wagner’, Kirsten Chambers’s featured repertoire includes the title roles in Tosca, Turandot, and Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as Chrysothemis in Elektra, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Elsa in Lohengrin. Recently she made her European debut with Savonlinna Opera Festival as Elsa in Lohengrin, a featured soloist in excerpts from Lohengrin with the Oulu Symphony in both Oulu and Helsinki, as well as in excerpts from Die Walküre and Tristan und Isolde with Orchestra Kentucky.  She also made her Lincoln Center debut in Nora, In the Great Outdoors with American Opera Projects, followed by a staged performance of Tosca with the Martha Cardona Opera and Cavalleria Rusticana as Santuzza. Opera companies collaborated included Lake George Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera New Jersey, Bronx Opera, Shreveport Opera, Center City Opera and many others.

 

Herodes

Stig Andersen

Tenor

Stig Andersen has sung all important tenor roles by Richard Wagner in nearly all important theatres including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Chicago Lyric Opera, Paris Opéra-Bastille, De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, Munich State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and New National Theatre in Tokyo.  In 2012 he added Loge in Das Rheingold in London to his repertoire, so that he sang all tenor roles except Mime in Der Ring des Nibelungen. Other roles included Herodes in Salome, the title role of Peter Grimes, The King of Naples in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest and Canio in I Pagliacci. Being a stage director as well, he has produced Götterdämmerung in Esbjerg, Tristan und Isolde in Copenhagen as well as Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in Odense.  Andersen was awarded the title Kongelige Kammersänger of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.

 

Peter Bronder

Tenor

Peter Bronder studied at the Royal Academy of Music and National Opera Studio, before appearing at Glyndebourne and Welsh National Opera, where he was a principal tenor in mainly Italian lyric repertoire. Recently he developed into the more dramatic, predominantly German repertoire. Notable engagements include Mime in Der Ring des Nibelungen at Teatro alla Scala and Staatsoper Berlin, the title role in Rienzi at Oper Frankfurt, Herodes in Salome at Teatro alla Scala Milan, Teatro Real Madrid and Teatro Regio Turin, the notoriously demanding title roles in Der Zwerg and Palestrina in Frankfurt, Loge in Das Rheingold at Edinburgh Festival and Stuttgart Opera, Erik in The Flying Dutchman in Rouen and Paris, as well as his American debut with the Cleveland Orchestra as Mime in Siegfried. In 2005, he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in Falstaff. Bronder has been a regular guest in the United Kingdom at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Opera North and Scottish Opera.

 

Herodias

Natascha Petrinsky

Mezzo-soprano

Born in Vienna, Natascha Petrinsky made her debut in Carmen with New Israeli Opera. She had a close collaboration with renowned conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli for productions including Wozzeck in La Scala, Das Rheingold at Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, Der Ring des Nibelungen in Bayreuth, where she also sang Parsifal with Christoph Eschenbach. She also appeared in Lulu at La Scala and Wiener Festwochen, both Oedipe and Elektra as Clytemnestra in Bruxelles, Das Rheingold in Venice, Tannhäuser in Rome, Rigoletto for the Ravinia Festival conducted by James Conlon, Carmen in Helsinki, Tempest in Strasbourg, Ariadne auf Naxos in Naples, Aïda and Il Trovatore in Halle, Der Ring des Nibelungen in Bayreuth and Amsterdam, Katya Kabanova in Madrid and Antwerp. She was also a regular guest in La Scala, singing Ariadne auf Naxos, Sancta Susanna, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, La Traviata, Rake’s Progress and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 

Jacqueline Dark

Mezzo-soprano

After time as a Principal Artist for the Wiener Staatsoper, Jacqueline Dark returned to Australia and has become one of the best-loved and most prolific artists at Opera Australia. Her roles for the national company have included the title role and Tisbe in La Cenerentola (for which she won a Green Room Award), Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Rosmira in Partenope and many others. She has sung Dorabella in Così fan tutte and The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos for Victorian Opera and Suzuki for Opera Queensland. In 2012, Dark sang Herodias in Opera Australia’s new production of Salome and won the Green Room Award for Outstanding Principal Female in Opera for the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Her 2013/2014 schedule in Opera Australia includes Emilia in Otello, Donna Elvira, Lady Billows in Albert Herring and Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen. She also appears in concert with the West Australian and Darwin Symphony Orchestras.

 

Jochanaan

Tomasz Konieczny

Baritone

Born in Poland, Tomasz Konieczny won the 33rd Dvorak International Vocal Competition in Carlsbad in 1998. Mannheim bestowed upon him the Arnold-Petersen-Award in 2004, a special prize for outstanding young talents. He appeared in the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg as Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande, the title role of The Flying Dutchman, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Selim in Il Turco in Italia, the title role of Falstaff and Escamillo in Carmen. In 2008 he made his debut at the Semperoper Dresden where he sang a highly acclaimed Alberich in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried under Peter Schneider. He has been a regular guest at the Wagner In Budapest Opera Festival, where he sang Amfortas in Parsifal in 2006, Wotan in Die Walküre in both 2007 and 2009, Wanderer in Siegfried in 2010 and Kurwenal in Tristan and Isolde in both 2010 and 2011.

 

Daniel Sumegi

Baritone

Daniel Sumegi is one of Australia’s leading singers, with a 26-year international career encompassing some 100 operatic roles. He has sung at many of the world’s major opera houses and continues to expand his repertoire with new music and standard classics – in 2014 alone adding four new roles and two symphonic/choral works.  He has worked under noted conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle, Jeffrey Tate, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Carlo Rizzi, Simone Young, Nello Santi, Donald Runnicles, Sebastian Weigle, Edo de Waart, Richard Hickox and Placido Domingo. Recently seen in Melbourne’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, he appears in 2014 at Los Angeles Opera’s Billy Budd, Opera Australia’s Rigoletto and Eugene Onegin, West Australian Opera’s The Magic Flute, Victorian Opera’s Norma and in recital in Auckland and Sydney. In 2015, he will take part in the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate for Minnesota Opera; in future seasons, he returns to Opera Australia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

 

Narraboth

Ta'u Pupu'a

Tenor

A graduate of the Julliard Opera Center, Ta’u Pupu’a began the 2011/12 season by collaborating with San Francisco Opera in their world premier of Heart of a Soldier, followed by singing Dr. Caius in excerpts from Falstaff for the Richard Tucker Gala Concert at Avery Fisher Hall. He then made his European debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Theatre de stadt Heidelberg. In 2012/13 season, he performed Radames in Aïda with Santa Barbara; Cavaradossi in Tosca at Hawaii Opera Theatre; Cassio in Otello at Baltimore Opera; and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos opera in concert at Danish Radio Concert Hall. In 2009 Pupu’a studied under the tutelage of Kiri Te Kanawa at the Georg Solti Bel Canto Academy, where he also performed in concert and recital. Other roles he sang included the Duke in Rigoletto, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Don Jose in Carmen. Upcoming engagements include Pollione in Norma and Ismaele in Nabucco.

 

Jason Wickson

Tenor

Possessing a voice that is currently being recognized for its vast power and beauty, tenor Jason Wickson is emerging as one of the next leading tenors in the United States, making huge strides in the last two seasons by adding eight new roles to his performed repertoire.  In a recent performance as Erik in The Flying Dutchman, The New York Times wrote, 'best was another tenor, Jason Wickson, as a passionate, bronze-toned Erik. With his hapless love for Senta, Erik seems ridiculous in many productions, but Mr. Wickson gave him affecting seriousness.' Seamlessly transitioning from Puccini, to Verdi, to Wagner, Wickson has garnered critical acclaim in recent engagements: Erik in The Flying Dutchman at Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera and Princeton Festival; Pollione in Norma at Baltimore Concert Opera; Macduff in Macbeth at Opera Delaware and Opera in the Heights; Florestan in Fidelio at Michigan Opera Theatre. His upcoming international debut includes Narraboth in Salome at Opera Hong Kong.

 

 

The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

Ticketing


Opera: Richard Strauss's “Salome”

VenueDatePrice
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre09.10.2014 (Thu)
19:30
10.10.2014 (Fri)
19:30
11.10.2014 (Sat)
19:30
12.10.2014 (Sun)
15:00
$900, 660, 450, 300*, 150*

Opera Talk

 

Tickets available from 31 July onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Telephone Credit Card Booking.

 

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

 

15% discount for Opera Hong Kong Members, Opera Hong Kong Chorus Members and Friends of Opera Hong Kong.

 

Group Booking Discount

10% discount for every purchase of 10 - 19 standard tickets; 15% for 20 or more standard tickets.

 

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase. Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

 

Programme Length

Running time of each performance is about 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission.

 

Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break in the programme.  

 

Enquiries

Programme Enquiries:2268 7321 (LCSD) / 2234 0303 (OHK)

Ticketing Enquiries:3761 6661

Telephone Credit Card Booking:2111 5999

Internet Booking:www.urbtix.hk 

 

 

Opera Talk

 

Salome – The Killing Dance (Conducted in Cantonese)

Speaker: Prof. Rupert Chan

 

 

Venue

Date & Time

Price

Activity Room 1, Hong Kong Central Library
map

28.09.2014(Sun)

19:30

Free Admission

 

     

 

An Introduction to Richard Strauss's Salome: background, story and music (Conducted in English)

Speaker: Peter Gordon

 

 

Venue

Date & Time

Price

Activity Room 1, Hong Kong Central Library
map

05.10.2014(Sun)

19:30

Free Admission

 

 

Free admission and limited seats available on a first-come-first-served basis (80 seats for each talk)