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4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Oct 28, 2008)
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$33.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Even though Strauss's operatic setting of the tale of Salome is over a century old, it still has the power to shock as well as enthrall. On stage the story has provoked scandal - violence and nudity are inevitably part of its nature. Inspired by the potent combination of themes, David McVicar returns to explore the psychology of its hypnotically degenerate central character. Nadja Michael performs the demanding role of Salome, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the baton of Philippe Jordan bring their dazzling orchestral virtuosity to the sutnning showipece score.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Moser, Michael Volle, Joseph Kaiser, Nadja Michael, Michaela Schuster
  • Directors: Jason Haswell, Philippe Jordan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 169 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001E08TDK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,526 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This performance has so many strengths that it seems almost churlish to complain. The production design is totally effective, with none of the missteps that undercut the effect of the new production at the Met in New York. The 20th century costumes and set decoration update without distraction, and the "downstairs" atmosphere of the main playing space--as though in a kitchen/slaughterhouse--is stark and dramatic. The choice of having the executioner on stage, holding his sword, during the whole performance adds a sense of menace without forcing a symbolic element (like the winged angels of death in the Met production), and his descent into the cistern stark naked and his return with his body covered in blood certainly make powerful stage imagery.

The performers are almost uniformly superior. Narraboth looks his part and sings it well; Herod is especially effective in conveying the psychological weakness of the character. Herodias is, perhaps, a bit too much the ordinary matron, avoiding the caricatured portrayal of, for example, Astrid Varnay. Crucially, Jokanaan has a powerful voice and a powerful, if somewhat older than described, visual presence. The direction of the interactions between him and Salome is particularly effective and harrowing.

The weak link is Nadja Michael's Salome. She acts the role interestingly, and I think her characterization is defensible and effective, but her voice--rather light and high pitched as compared with other great performers in this role--is a problem. She has a noticeable wobble that she may be deploying to intensify the emotional effect of Salome's big moments, but unfortunately, it often just sounds like a wobble.
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Let's get this out of the way first: With all the negatives continually hurled at Nadja Michael's voice, I happen to think she is a spectacular singer and seriously cannot understand the criticisms about her voice. Her Tosca was tough to gauge as it was mic'd onstage, but other roles I've heard now have impressed me favorably and none more than Salome. If she ain't your cup of tea, read elsewhere for a rave review follows.

Nadja Michaels may be the best Salome I've ever seen (including Mattila's stunning turns the past few years) and David McVicar's production is one of the most disturbing, brilliant and perfect weddings of music and staging I've seen for a production of ANY opera. It's the first Salome I've seen in - forever maybe - that had not one false step and seamlessly strung the evening along with shock, horror and beauty. Michael's voice was thrilling, possessing a quick flickering of the text that I haven't heard from a Salome since Cheryl Studer's recording - and before that Behrens. The text (as with the two previous ladies) flies off of her tongue, ever deliciously caressed with maximum impact on every syllable. While I try to remain impartial in matters of diva-weight, there is no denying the thrill of watching a singer whose body possesses the true and rare physique du role, as Michael's does. Her body is incredible by any standard and she truly moves with the lithe moves of a dancer gracefully throughout the entire role, which seems almost through-choreographed for her, adding a liquid sensuality from start to bloody finish one is simply unlikely to encounter in this opera. Credit Andrew George who is listed in the program as responsible party for Choreography and Movement.
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This is an INCREDIBLY theatrical and innovative production of SALOME. I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a McVicar fan -- I've never seen an opera that he directed (including his Glyndebourne CARMEN and Covent Garden MAGIC FLUTE) that didn't work for me 100%. He knows how to make opera theatre, and yet he somehow also seems to know how to put the music where it belongs: in the forefront. Philipe Jordan's conducting is passionate and intense, I've been his fan ever since seeing the afore-mentioned Glyndebourne CARMEN on DVD.

This production will also serve as a WONDERFUL introduction for those friends of yours who may not ever have seen an opera before. The staging (design by Les Devlin) was inspired by Pasolini's 1975 film "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom" and this is a very apt metaphor for the Strauss-Wilde opera: we're now being treated to a front row seat and allowed to see what effect Fascism has on the human spirit. Nadja Michael is stunning in the title role. It was a treat getting to see how she and McVicar interacted during the rehearsal process in the documentary that comes on the bonus DVD. Thomas Moser is a fantastic Herod, very funny and not afraid to be unpleasant in the suggestion of incest, for which I applaud him. The "Dance of the Seven Veils" in no longer a literal striptease, but a surrealistic pas-de-deux for Salome and Herod, in which they move through seven different rooms in Herod's mansion, each room represent a phase in the development of their disturbing relationship. Michael Volle is a solid Jochanaan, and Michaela Schuster finds some surprising moments of mother/daughter pathos in her turn as Herodias.

Much has been made of Duncan Meadows nakedness in the end, that it is a cheap trick, a gimmick, gratuitous, etc.
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