Houston Grand Opera Presents R. Strauss's SALOME
R. Strauss's powerful psychodrama Salome returns to Houston Grand Opera for the first time in 20 years in a production directed by Francisco Negrin. The revolutionary score reinvents Oscar Wilde's biblical drama of a deeply disturbed princess who has fallen in love with Jokanaan (John the Baptist). After he denies her, she performs the infamous and seductive "Dance of the Seven Veils" for King Herod in exchange for John's head.
Lise Lindstrom makes her HGO debut as Salome and joins HGO Studio alumnus and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as Jokanaan. Eun Sun Kim returns to conduct as HGO principal guest conductor. The opera will be sung in German with English projections. The length is 1 hour and 45 minutes with no intermission; audience discretion is advised due to subject matter.
Soprano Lindstrom has dazzled the world with compelling performances that are "truly world-class." Her unique vocal power combined with her expansive range, extensive palette of vocal colours, and unrivalled stagecraft, make her one of the most sought-after talents of her generation. In roles that range from Turandot to Senta, Elektra and Brünnhilde, Lindstrom's distinguished career has taken her to the world's leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and Teatro alla Scala.
This season, bass-baritone McKinny was last seen at HGO in the title role of Don Giovanni in the 2018-19 season. This season he makes his role and house debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Joseph de Rocher in Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's Dead Man Walking, a new production by Leonard Foglia. He then returns to the Washington National Opera as the title role in Don Giovanni and to the Santa Fe Opera for Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, which he will have just sung in concert with the Atlanta Symphony. Further orchestral engagements this season include two appearances with the San Francisco Symphony: their opening night performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and a double bill of Michael Tilson Thomas' Rilke Songs and Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
HGO Studio alumnus Chad Shelton (1997-2000) appears regularly at HGO, most recently as the Witch of Endor in Saul (2019) and Patrick Kelly as well as a variety of other roles in The Phoenix (2019); Pollione in Norma and Aegisth in Elektra (both in 2018); Mao Tse-tung in Nixon in China (2017); Cavaradossi in performances of Tosca (2015-16); Charles II in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players (2016); Froh in Das Rheingold and Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music (2014); and Alfredo in La traviata (2012), among many others. Last season, his performances included Pollione with North Carolina Opera, Don José in Carmen on tour in Japan for a second time as a guest artist of the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project, Roderigo in Otello at the Metropolitan Opera, and Charles II in Prince of Players with Florentine Opera (recorded for commercial release).
Mezzo soprano Susan Graham, in her role debut as Herodias, has been hailed as "an artist to treasure" by the New York Times. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi's Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her.
Tenor Dimitri Pittas as Narraboth has appeared on leading opera stages throughout North America and Europe, including the Bavarian State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Canadian Opera Company. He is a graduate of The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and has been heard on the Met stage in many roles, including as Rodolfo in La bohème.
Mezzo soprano and HGO Studio artist Leia Lensing sings the role of Page in Salome and Third Lady in HGO's upcoming The Magic Flute. She also appeared as Mary in HGO's The Flying Dutchman (2018) and was first prize and the Online Viewers' Choice Award winner in the 2018 Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias.
Additional cast members include:
Anthony Robin Schneider, First Nazarene
Geoffrey Hahn, Second Nazarene
Daniel Noyola, First Soldier
Nicholas Newton, Second Soldier
Keith Jameson, First Jew
Jon Janacek, Second Jew
Richard Trey Smagur, Third Jew
Christopher Bozeka, Fourth Jew
William Guanbo Su, Fifth Jew
When: Friday, Apr. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Apr. 19 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, Apr. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Apr. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002
Tariff: Tickets range from $25 to $270. Go to houstongrandopera.org/Salome to purchase tickets or call the box office at 713-228-6737.