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Salome (2008)

Thomas Moser , Michael Volle , Jason Haswell  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Moser, Michael Volle, Joseph Kaiser, Nadja Michael, Michaela Schuster
  • Directors: Jason Haswell
  • 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: BBC / 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: #302,645 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Among the best October 28, 2008
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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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McVicar's Salome: Bloody Genius! July 8, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood 'n' Guts Opera September 30, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars scary great
Greatest production of Salome ever. Nadia Michael does crazy brilliantly. It makes you wonder what she's like in real life. SCARY!!!
Published 9 months ago by Rick Liu
3.0 out of 5 stars Anachronistist disaster
Now wait! The opera as performed was excellent. A few were underpitch, but so what? McVicar and Devlin had their own ideas and I have respect for both. That said... Read more
Published on November 27, 2011 by Thistle Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL
This is a really powerful Salome mostly becasue of the orchestra and stage design. Soprano Michaels, sometimes off pitch, performs a better Salome as an actress than as a singer. Read more
Published on June 13, 2009 by Chilean Opera lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Incestuous Salome
Strauss's Salome is a purified vision of Wilde's. Strauss in 1915 reduced the depicting of the Jews to maybe appear less antisemite than the original and close that episode on a... Read more
Published on February 8, 2009 by Jacques COULARDEAU
2.0 out of 5 stars Just tell yourself it's all really catsup.
Having bought this Salome DVD because of early reviews, I was disappointed at several aspects. Spoiled by Nilsson, I found the soprano of Nadja Michael to be so underpowered, I... Read more
Published on January 15, 2009 by DesignerMan
5.0 out of 5 stars Head on a Silver Platter De-luxe
Oscar Wilde would have been proud of this opera production; he's actually chuckling somewhere. I however, experienced "hot flashes". Phenomenal performances by all. Read more
Published on December 6, 2008 by VasiKing
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark disturbing vision
This is probably the best quality Salome on the market. The production will not be to everyone's tastes, but if you like clever, intellectual productions, this will be for you. Read more
Published on September 24, 2008 by Valmont
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