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on June 13, 2024
Music Richard Strauss Text Hedwig Lachmann
→ Oper in einem Akt

Future dates

05. June 2024
No intermission
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09. June 2024
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13. June 2024
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17. June 2024
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Cast 13.06.2024

Conductor Philippe Jordan
Production Cyril Teste
Künstlerische Mitarbeit Céline Gaudier
Stage Design Valérie Grall
Costume Design Marie La Rocca
Lighting Design Julien Boizard
Video Mehdi Toutain-Lopez
Video - Live Kamera Rémy Nguyen
Choreography Magdalena Chowaniec


In Salome, composer Strauss confronts a princess harassed by her stepfather with a captive prophet who recognizes in her not the desirable young woman but the traumatized child. When the prophet Jochanaan, desired by Salome, rejects the young princess, however, she prevails upon her stepfather Herod to behead him.

Music: The one-hundred-minute one-act play glows like a feverish frenzy; the composer courageously exploded both the sound and moral concepts of his time. To this day, the music captivates the listener with its enormous imagery, highly charged emotionality and sharp, sometimes garish characterisation. Strauss not only portrays the decadent, sultry atmosphere of the royal court, which has Salome's childhood on its conscience, with a tremendous orchestral artistry, but also shows a differentiated fanning out of the external and internal psychological events in a captivating way.

Direction: In his direction of Salome, Cyril Teste wants to make Salome's energy and heartbeat tangible, to make her traumas real and to fundamentally tell the family history of a powerful dynasty whose inner mechanisms must produce what is at the end: Destruction.  


Herod, the Tetrarch, is celebrating his birthday with a select group of guests. Two soldiers and the captain of the guard, Narraboth, are watching the prisoner, Jochanaan (the prophet, John the Baptist). Narraboth loves Herod’s step-daughter, Salome. He ignores the warnings of the Page. The voice of the prophet sounds from the dungeon. He is announcing the arrival of the Messiah.

Repelled by her stepfather’s advances, Salome leaves the feast. She hears the prophet’s warnings and wants to see him. She persuades Narraboth to ignore the Tetrarch’s explicit ban and grant her wish.

Jochanaan appears before Salome. Without at first paying attention to her, he accuses her stepfather of his incestuous marriage with her mother, Herodias. The strange man arouses Salome’s curiosity and desire. She is seized by a longing to touch his hair and his body, and to kiss his lips. Her ecstasy drives Narraboth to suicide. The prophet spurns Salome, saying there is only one who can save her – Jesus of Nazareth. When Salome continues to haress Jochanaan, he curses her and returns to his prison.

The Tetrarch enters, looking for Salome. The prophet’s voice is heard again, reprimanding. Herodias demands that he be given into the hands of the Jews. Herod refuses, as he believes Jochanaan is a holy man, an opinion which prompts a sharp disagreement among the Jews – while some believe he is a charlatan, the Nazarenes honour him as a herald of the Saviour.

Herod presses Salome to dance for him. She refuses until he swears to give her anything she wants. Salome dances, and demands Jochanaan’s head. Appalled, Herod offers her his most precious treasures, but Salome insists on her demand. She loses herself in gazing on the severed head. When she finally kisses the prophet’s bloody mouth, Herod orders the soldiers to kill her.

Due to explicit depictions of violence and abuse that is clearly recognisable by association, we recommend that you attend the performance only from the age of 16. 

The young Salome performers and their parents were accompanied throughout the rehearsals by the child welfare team of the Vienna State Opera. Together with the director, they worked out how the subject matter of the play can be presented in a way that is appropriate for children's well-being, with the participation of young actors.


This production is sponsored by