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PHOTOS © Uwe Stratmann 2015


Opera Wuppertal
intendant: Toshiyuki Kamioka

première: 17 April 2015

conductor: Ari Rasilainen
stage director / set designer: Michiel Dijkema
costume design: Tatjana Ivschina
light design: Nikolaus Vögele
choreography: Matthew Tusa

Herodes: Michael Hendrick
Herodias: Dubravka Mušović
Salome: Cristina Baggio
Jochanaan: Thomas Gazheli
Narraboth: Emilio Pons
Cappodocier: Jan Szurgot
1. Soldat: Falko Hönisch
2. Soldat: Peter Paul
1. Jude: Noriyuki Sawabu
2. Jude: Johannes Grau
3. Jude: Markus Murke
4. Jude: Kalle Kantilla
5. Jude: Peter Paul
1. Nazarener: Greg Ryerson
2. Nazarener: Ferdinand Junghänel
Page: Lucie Ceralová
Sklave: Laura Demjan

Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal
extras of the Wuppertaler Bühnen


“full of erotic tension [...] enthralling”

“The staging is so exciting, that one would definitely like to see this production more than once [...] Dijkema is also the set designer and has conceived a relatively abstract space for this production, in which the fatal moon and the dark cistern, in which Jochanaan is imprisoned, stand in reciprocal relation. [...] a ghostly atmosphere [...]
During the dance of the seven veils Dijkema doesn’t focus merely on pure eroticism, but also shows how Salome captures her entire environment with this dance. She doesn’t only seduce Herod, but also involves the Jews and Nazarenes in her ecstatic dance. [...] full of erotic tension
[...] at the end of the show frenetic applause [...] Michiel Dijkema succeeds in creating an absolutely enthralling staging of this psychological drama.”

Thomas Molke
19 April 2015

“fiercely intense images”

“Revolt! Salome makes the whole opera ensemble dance
[...] To the strong voices come the fiercely intense images. Behind the contrast of Jochanaan’s chastity and Salome’s awakening sexuality, stage director Michiel Dijkema discovers two complex, contradictory characters.
[...] Unique is Salome’s dance. [...] Gradually, everybody – soldiers, courtiers, Jews, Nazarenes – begin to dance. [...] Not Jochanaan, but Salome acts revolutionary. She tears off her mother’s expensive clothes and knocks over the throne of her stepfather. This Salome sparkles.”

Daniel Diekhans
21 April 2015

“absolutely spine-chilling”

“Salome loses her head [...] the executioner decapitates the standing princess in full view. Absolutely spine-chilling, since one only realizes afterwards, that it is a deceptively genuine wax copy of the singer. [...] Enthusiastic, long-lasting applause”

Pedro Obiera
19 April 2015

“impressive [...] enigmatically beautiful”

“Awakening sexuality flirting with death [...] In this impressive set, Dijkema shows the story as a chamber play. [...] Salome is an adolescent girl, deliberately using her eroticizing influence on her stepfather Herod and on the royal court not only during the dance of the seven veils. [...] an enigmatically beautiful Salome production”

Stefan Schmöe
Wuppertaler Rundschau
23 April 2015 / 1 July 2015

“visually stunning [...] standing ovations”

“an exciting opera evening [...] the visually stunning effects of the last scene leave a long-lasting impression. [...] the delusional kissing scene with Jochanaan’s head sends a true shudder through your spine. [...] standing ovations”

Jochen Rüth
Der Opernfreund
18 April 2015

“extraordinary and imaginative”

“The set design looks attractive. Two superimposed blue halves, each with a hole, above for the moon, below for the cistern. [...] Stage director Michiel Dijkema has made a name for himself, especially with the creation of extraordinary and imaginative visual worlds. [...] the dance of the seven veils more or less triggers mass hysteria and is an energetic theatrical moment.”

Andreas Falentin
Theater Pur
19 April 2015

“this new production hits the nerve of the audience”

“This new production of the work of Richard Strauss hits the nerve of the Wuppertal opera audience. [...] The music drama takes place on a cold, neutral, concave surface. In it gapes a black hole seemingly consuming everything. [...] the focus lies on the characters
[...] This young and untouched Salome is enchanting everybody, seeking for true love, and to find it, all means are right. Her famous expressive dance, which actually is a dance poem, a painting of her soul, escalates into a spectacle, which exposes the decadence of the royal court and the king’s incestuous lust.”

Hartmut Sassenhausen
Solinger Tageblatt / Westdeutsche Zeitung
20 April 2015

“precise and comprehensible story-telling”

“The Wuppertal audience celebrated this new Salome with unanimous applause. [...] also the artistic team received much applause in the premiere. [...] Michiel Dijkema stressed the predefined build-up of tension and placed particular emphasis on precise and comprehensible story-telling, but also incorporated new perceptions in regard to details. [...] The end is astonishing”

Fritz Gerwinn
19 April 2015

“it takes the audience the breath away”

“An impressive production. [...] At the end Dijkema presents a strong coup de théâtre. After Salome gets things her way and Jochanaan is beheaded, Herod commands Salome’s death and servants blind the spectators with bright lights. Then one sees Salome standing again at the edge of the stage and suddenly she is beheaded. A chilling sight and it takes the audience the breath away. [...] a multifaceted Salome”

Mark Duijnstee
Opera Nederland
8 May 2015

“well worth seeing”

“Salome [...] did not experience the first performance at the Viennese State Opera until 1918, because of the constant resistance of the clergy. What the church would have so say about this production of Michiel Dijkema in Wuppertal is hardly imaginable. [...] Salome is a modern young girl
[...] The futuristic set design leads into a more abstract world, which could also be somewhere in space, with a black hole marking the cistern where Jochanaan is imprisoned, and a bright counterpart, which represents the moon. Not a bad idea at all. [...] a performance well worth seeing, and celebrated by the premiere audience accordingly.”

M. Lode-Gerke
Das Opernglas
Edition 6/2015

“Dijkema’s work on the characters was close to optimal.”

“Michiel Dijkema, who staged the production, was also his own set designer. His stage was a blueish-white background, dominated by a hardly inviting, centrally placed black hole. [...] Up in the stage sky there was also a milky veiled full moon. That was it, pure and simple. Dijkema’s work on the characters was close to optimal.”

19 April 2015

“all this is an exposure of the royal household, initiated by Salome”

“In the production of Michiel Dijkema (Wuppertal 2015), Salome animates the whole court, including the Jews and Nazarenes, to dance. In doing so, she takes off garments of Herod and Herodias, all this is an exposure of the royal court, initiated by Salome; it is a demonstration of power by Salome, no a gift to Herod.”

Ann-Christine Mecke
Opernführer kompakt (Salome)
from the chapter "Trends of recent scenic interpretations"
Henschel / Bärenreiter 2016
ISBN 978-3-89487-946-4 / ISBN 978-3-7618-2413-9