Alexandra Loutsion Headlines Bard College Conservatory of Music’s ‘Salome’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Kristin Hoebermann)

The Bard College Conservatory of Music is set to present Strauss’ “Salome.”

Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s one-act play, “Salome” depicts the biblical story of Salome, the Judean princess who demanded, and obtained, the head of St. John the Baptist. Bard Visiting Associate Professor of Music Peter Laki writes that the first performance of “Salome,” given in Dresden on December 9, 1905, caught even the most progressive critics off guard. He said, “There was little doubt that the opera was a masterpiece, that its music was radically innovative, even ‘revolutionary,’ but many were profoundly disturbed by the image of Salome kissing the severed head of John the Baptist on the mouth. The opera certainly stands with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which followed eight years later, at the threshold of a new era. It did away with many old taboos and presented human situations and emotions in a way they had never been presented before. Strauss made an old story breathtakingly new, boldly confronting the dark sides of the human psyche.”

The production is set to feature the Bard Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein. R. B. Schlather is set to direct the production with Alexandra Loutsion in the title role, Jay Hunter Morris as Herod, Nathan Berg as Jochanaan, Katharine Goeldner as Herodias, and Robert Stahley as Narraboth.

“Salome” is set to be presented on March 18 and 20, 2022 at the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. The performance will also be live stream.