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Subject: Re: Salome
From: Dennis Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sat, 17 Dec 2016 17:52:02 -0500

text/plain (53 lines)

Hi, Y'all!  
    I really rather liked the delivery of that last  line.  But then, I am 
in a distinct MINORITY about Herod's primary  motivation for delivering it, 
even though there are other motives  clearly driving him as well.  Most 
people seem to believe that  Salome's kissing the lips of John the Baptist's 
severed head is at last a  deed that even Herod finds to be beyond the moral 
pale,  so that even HE is at last offended by the immorality that he has  
sanctioned and, indeed approved of and encouraged at his court.  I see  this as 
a lesser factor, here, just as his lust for Salome is less  a driving a 
force than another, more powerful one.  Given the  immoralities that have been 
seen, heard, spoken, and done at Herod's court, not  only during the course 
of the opera but during the history of his reign, and all  with his total 
approval, Herod would quite logically find "the kiss"  ironically amusing, and 
would positively chortle his approval.  No matter  how he may "lust" after 
Salome, the love of Herod's life is Herodias.  This  "love" has always been 
expressed through an intense love/hate  relationship that has run so deep 
that it has become a defining life experience  for both of them.  The opera 
merely depicts the latest round in Herod's and  Herodias' years-long game of 
"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," in which they  have been playing the roles 
of George and Martha with great  enthusiasm--one-upmanship carried to the 
extreme.  In my imagination, I can  clearly visualize Herod, after delivering 
that final line, turning to his wife  with the most lovingly vicious smirk 
that he can muster, and growling, "The ball  is now in your court, my dear."
    Dennis Ryan 
In a message dated 12/17/2016 4:12:06 P.M. Central Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:
It does bother me when tenors "fake" too much of Herod - I'd say  today's 
tenor did pretty 
well with the role. I didn't like his yelling the  last line, though.


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