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Editorial Reviews

Indisputably one of the greatest Salomes of our time, Karita Mattila reprises her stunning interpretation including her unforgettable “Dance of the Seven Veils.” With Strauss’s groundbreaking music magnifying the degenerate atmosphere and building the erotic tension, this is one opera that is as shocking today as it was at its premiere in 1905. Patrick Summers conducts the Metropolitan Opera and Chorus. Originally broadcast October 11, 2008 as part of the Peabody and Emmy Award®-winning Live in HD transmissions to movie theaters.

This is a normal DVD and only the special series was recorded live in HD.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Karita Mattila, Juha Uusitalo, Kim Begley, Joseph Kaiser, Patrick Summers
  • Directors: Jürgen Flimm, Barbara Willis Sweete
  • Writers: Richard Strauss, Oscar Wilde, Hedwig Lachmann
  • Producers: Peter Gelb, The Metropolitan Opera
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Classics
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 106.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,101 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DDD VINE VOICE on January 31, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This new release of Salome will do little to appease those of us tho have been waiting for a release of the 2004 staging. Rumor had it that the earlier production had been taped. Perhaps this was never the case, but the internet being what it is many of us had assumed that it was only a matter of time. I did not see it but did hear the production on the radiio; it was quite exciting and Mattila was thrilling. I missed the 2008 HD release ini theatres and didn't listen to the broadcast.

If there is an earlier taping extant with the release of this later revival it is unlikely that the 2004 edition will see the light of day--a pity. I can only echo most of what Ivy Lin has already written. The camera is cruel in the close ups of Mattila. In the house this probably would not be a problem, but in HD it does no favors for the diva. She has retained her figure and is able to wear a dress that would not look out of place in a thirties movie. Vocally four years have robbed the voice of much of the freshness that was evident in 2004 and her low notes are almost growled.

The rest of the cast surely does not represent a major house at its best. The Jochannan, Juha Uusutalo, sounded underpowered and parched whether from the cistern (I assume electronic assistance was used) or on stage. Neither did he command the sort of charisma physically that one associates with this role. Herod has frequently been the home of aging heldentenors but Kim Begley (to the best of my knowledge) has not had a career in Wagner. Even so the sounds that he emits are not steady nor are they mellifluous. More egregious is the singing of Ildiko Komlosi. Painful is the only adjective that comes to mind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ringcycle on May 16, 2011
Format: DVD
I agree that it's too bad we do not have the 2004 performance, which I didn't see, so I can't compare it to this one. But I was in the audience at this performance, and it was absolutely gripping. You couldn't turn your head away from Karita Matilla, even when others were singing. She was in constant motion, feline, playful, a little out of control. When she stripped, it was more sensual live than what comes across with this camerawork. At the climactic moment, I have to confess I had my opera glasses trained on her, and believe me, her body is still quite beautiful. As for her singing, I felt that the warmth of her more mature voice, together with the slight strain at the top, just added to the intensity of her performance. This strange guy (Jochanan) just drove her out of her mind, making her go far beyond where a spoiled brat princess should go. I felt the Jochanan was good, but I agree, it would have been better if he were more physically attractive, as I've seen in other productions. Kim Begley as Herod sang very clearly (I could understand much of his German), with much less barking than in other productions. Herodias was a bit over the top, but it worked. As for the orchestra, I very much liked the sound on this dvd, although it can never sound as good as it did in the house. As others have pointed out, none of the available dvd versions is perfect, so just enjoy what's good about each of them (if you have the time and the money!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo R. Villanueva on June 8, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was lucky to have been there in the Spring of 2004 when this production was unveiled with Karita Mattila, and remember being mesmerized by it. Four years later it was revived, and I was lucky for it to have been taped. In both, Mattila is absolutely incandescent, a real force of nature. On film, I own the Stratas who, of course, is perfect for the role, and I do like the secondary characters better. On record, though many sopranos excel in the last scene (just think of Leontyne Price) my favorite complete recording is Caballe's. Interestingly, I found the NYT reviews for both of Mattila's performances, both by the same reviewer, four years apart, utilizing almost the identical terms. For those interested in the life and career of this magnificent soprano, search for her on Wikipedia. Juha Usitalo makes for an estentorious if ungainly Jochanaan, but Kim Bagely and Idiko Komlosi are a bit too tame for Herod and Herodias.Joseph Kaiser shows off a lovely voice as Narraboth, and Patrick Summers shines in the pit.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on January 29, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Strauss' decadent opera Salome has always posed a major problem in casting the lead character of Salome herself. Either you get a soprano that has "the voice" for the role (i.e., can "ride" Strauss' orchestra) but is not physically believable in the role (i.e. a little chunky and too matronly to be a young "sex kitten") OR a soprano is cast that is slim, trim and considered to be believable as desirable BUT with a voice unable to meet the vocal demands of the role (I.e.. battle Strauss' orchestra and able to plummet into the low notes of the role) Karita Mattila possesses BOTH requirements of the role. She has a voice that is well able to ride Strauss' orchestra and ride it she does with gleaming tones able to soar to the stratosphere one moment and plunge to the depths the next--the extreme range of the role seem to hold no terrors for her PLUS she is physically believable-- she plays the very demanding little "sex starved" young girl very well--so flirtatious and playful.

This production is not set in biblical times but, I suppose it is considered a modern production being set in what I think is the 1930s. Whenever, I enjoyed it, to me, it really works very well for this opera. All of the secondary roles are well done. I especially enjoyed "bosomy" and drunk Ildiko Komlosi as Herodias. However, I must say, that Karita's performance simply knocked me out; she is fantastic on this DVD. I am so glad that they taped Karita Mattila as Salome because after seeing this DVD, I feel that she truly is the Salome of our age.

In case you are wondering, Karita manages to do a very discreet but sensual "dance". From what I understand, this filmed version of the "dance" was altered for PBS in order to avoid it being censored because originally, Karita stripped "all the way".
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