[Met Performance] CID:263710
Salome {109} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/24/1981.

(Debut: Andrew Davis
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 24, 1981


SALOME {109}
R. Strauss-O. Wilde/Lachmann

Salome..................Gwyneth Jones
Herod...................Richard Cassilly
Herodias................Mignon Dunn
Jochanaan...............Bernd Weikl
Narraboth...............Timothy Jenkins
Page....................Claudia Catania
Jew.....................Robert Nagy
Jew.....................Andrea Velis
Jew.....................Dana Talley
Jew.....................Michael Best
Jew.....................Andrij Dobriansky
Nazarene................Ara Berberian
Nazarene................Arthur Thompson
Soldier.................Richard Vernon
Soldier.................James Courtney
Cappadocian.............Russell Christopher
Slave...................Louise Wohlafka
Mannassah...............Gilbert Ireland

Conductor...............Andrew Davis [Debut]

Production..............GŁnther Rennert
Stage Director..........Bodo Igesz
Designer................Rudolf Heinrich

Salome received nine performances this season.

Review of Patrick J. Smith in Opera (UK)

This season's revival of "Salome" (February 24) brought to the house the debut in the pit of Andrew Davis. His lyrically moulded performance, sovereign in its felicities of phrasing and played for Straussian beauties rather than for thunder, but with plenty of punch when required, contributed greatly to the evening. The singers, in the perfunctory production by Bodo Igesz, pretty much went their own ways. Gwyneth Jones's Salome was, for most of its distance, extremely squally vocally, and her conception - and enunciation - alternated between focus and shapelessness. But with the Dance (which she makes almost credible) Miss Jones achieved a control, and her final scene, if hardly overwhelming, was very well done, not least in the patch of singing on her back after kissing the head. I have, however, heard her do this role much better in Vienna. Bernd Weikl's voice has grown in command since he was last here, and his Jochanaan was splendidly projected, if rather haphazardly acted: one never felt in the presence of either a fanatic or a man of God, but a solid singer not quite sure what to do next. Richard Cassilly has no sympathy for neurasthenic or for drunk-depraved Herods. He plays it relatively straight, and allows his large voice to make the dramatic points necessary. Mignon Dunn made a consistently dramatic Herodias.


Review of Speight Jenkins in the New York Post

A Sizzling 'Salome'

The feverish sexual intensity of Richard Strauss' "Salome" blazed fiercely at the Metropolitan Opera last night. This was a night of theater, violent, depraved, occasionally obscene, with equal credit earned by every member of the cast and the conductor. In his debut Andrew Davis led a wonderfully played performance which boiled and snarled, sang and caressed. Davis' feel for color and line and his obvious theatrical flair made his debut one of the most important at the Met in some time

If Davis supplied the cushioned bed, Gwyneth Jones as Salome certainly jumped on it. Her physical beauty and innocence at her entrance only barely masked the sexuality which flamed when Jochanaan denied her. For once the thrashings on the cistern reflected inner frustrations, the Dance of the Seven Veils really seduced the eye and the Final Scene was an orgy of necrophilia. If only she had her voice together! But many times on this night it did work. Often the wobble disappeared, the pitch righted and the sound poured out free and powerful. Fortunately, her best singing was in the Final Scene in which note after note carried out her amazing characterization.

Bernd Weikl, whose baritone has become far richer since he was last here, in 1979, sang a commanding, useful Jochanaan. Mignon Dunn's Herodias stood out for its intensity and enormous vocal strength and Richard Cassilly's well-sung Herod oozed with lecherous intensity. On such an extraordinary night the Narraboth, too, proved superb. Young tenor Timothy Jenkins, one of the company's discoveries.



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