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Richard Strauss's opera "Salome" to be staged in October

     To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the German composer Richard Strauss, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Opera Hong Kong (OHK) will jointly present Strauss's opera in one act "Salome" in October.

     Strauss based his libretto for the opera on Oscar Wilde's play via Hedwig Lachmann's German translation. The story begins as Princess Salome hears the voice of the prophet Jochanaan from the cistern in which he is imprisoned. She orders the captain guard to raise Jochanaan up. He emerges into the moonlight and denounces the incestuous union of Herodes and Herodias, Salome's mother, and demands that Salome repent and follow Christ. Equally appalled and mesmerised, she is increasingly overcome by desire. Jochanaan curses her and returns to his prison.

     Herodes emerges from the palace with Herodias in search of Salome, who ignores his advances. The voice of Jochanaan is heard again and Herodias demands that Jochanaan be delivered to the Jews, provoking a religious debate. Herodes' attention is, however, solely focused on Salome, and he begs her to dance for him and swears to grant her any wish. After performing "Dance of the Seven Veils", Salome shocks Herodes by revealing her demand of the prophet's head and sets in motion a horrifying chain of events.

     "Salome" is a co-production of Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana and OHK. Warren Mok is serving as producer and Andrejs Zagars is the director, while John Neschling will conduct the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for live accompaniment. The main cast includes Annemarie Kremer and Kirsten Chambers (for Salome), Stig Andersen and Peter Bronder (for Herodes), Natascha Petrinsky and Jacqueline Dark (for Herodias), Tomasz Konieczny and Daniel Sumegi (for Jochanaan), and Ta'u Pupu'a and Jason Wickson (for Narraboth).

     To be performed in German with Chinese and English surtitles, "Salome" will be staged at 7.30pm from October 9 to 11 (Thursday to Saturday) and at 3pm on October 12 (Sunday) at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $150, $300, $450, $660 and $900 are now available at URBTIX. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 15 per cent is offered for group booking packages. The programme contains nudity.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321 or visit . Ticketing enquiries can be made on 3761 6661 and telephone credit card booking on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Thursday, July 31, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:01


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