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Subject: Re: Vienna Staatsoper Voigt's Salome
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 Dec 2008 18:33:08 -0800
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (78 lines)


On Dec 2, 2008, at 6:03 PM, Ruth C. Jacobs wrote:

> Marc, I checked www.theoperacritic.com and there is nothing there; I
> checked the Wiener Zeitung (Vienna's main newspaper) and there is  
> nothing
> there.  The Vienna Staatsoper web site www.staatsoper.at will not  
> show me
> past performances; at least if there is an archive I do not know how  
> to
> access it.  A search for "Salome" produced listing of performances  
> in 2009.
> Are you sure it was Vienna?  Ruth C. Jacobs, San Francisco

Googling around, I found a review of last week's (11/24) performance  
at operinwien.at.

http://www.operinwien.at/werkverz/strauss/asalome4.htm

The title of the review was "Too Little Sensuality" and says that any  
erotic fireworks were doomed from the start
by Segerstram's inability to draw sensuality and erotic decadence from  
the orchestra.  "This 'Salome' came across
more like an old German piece of furniture - there was little sign of  
wild, provocative innovation."


While the review didn't quite lambast Voigt's performance as being a  
catatrosphe, the critic (Domink Troger) found her singularly lacking  
in eroticism and
any sign of deeper motivation in the character, saying that she lacked  
any sign of a "modern concept of the role."

He also comments that her voice has lost much of its previous  
characteristically velvety tone.  In that
regard there was little seductive about the sound, and that she was  
unable to suspend piano tones of any
fineness of quality and that the overall sound was hard and forced in  
the dramatic outbursts.

He goes on that having a doubled dancer do the "Seven Veils" dance fit  
in all too well with the dry, unerotic characterization, since the
whole confrontation with Herod and probably the entire Final Scene are  
an outgrowth of the aroused sexual tension that
is ignited by her dance, which the critic sees as a kind of foreplay  
to the finale.  Having a ballet dancer start it off negated the entire
buildup.

He comments that singers of a certain level of status and reputation  
have a harder time pushing the boundaries of convention
(referring to the relatively prosaic and earthbound nature of Voigt's  
Salome overall), but also says that
eroticism in art affects different people in different ways, so others  
may have walked away with a quite different
impression.

He does say that after the last chord, there was a single but very  
clear "boo!" that took away much of the impact of the
following applause.  There were then a number of bravo's but the  
applause died down fairly quickly.  At the end of the day,
the public didn't seem particularly enthused by what they saw.

Max



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