The Metropolitan Opera’s Live HD series gets started this weekend — more than a month and a half earlier than last year — with a live broadcast of Richard Strauss’ Salome at 1 p.m. Saturday. It will show in Lexington at the Lexington Green Movies 8 and the Regal Hamburg Pavilion 16, and repeat at both locations at 7 p.m. Oct. 22.
We’ll be seeing the new modern-dress production by German Jürgen Flimm with set and costume designs by Santo Loquasto.
According to the New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini though, the reason to see the show is Karita Mattila in the title role.
“Given the physical and emotional toll of her portrayal, that she could also sing this daunting role with such gleaming power, eerie expressivity and, most remarkably of all, beguiling lyricism was stunning. When the opera ended and Ms. Mattila appeared alone before a black curtain, looking spent and dazed, she seemed almost frightened by the vehemence of the audience’s applause and shouts of ‘Bravo!”’
Salome, considered a 20th Century masterpiece by many, is the story of King Herod’s beguiling stepdaughter and her infamous role in the execution of John the Baptist. In the already emotionally unbalanced world of opera, Salome does outdo itself in eroticism — including the dance of the seven veils, which ends with Salome naked — and grisliness. It is not to be missed, though you may want to leave the younger kids at home. It is also a one-act opera that clocks in at a tidy 90-or-so minutes.
Met Live HD is getting off to a modern, er, relatively modern start, with John Adams’ Dr. Atomic Nov. 8.