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Hérodiade

Jules Massenet

After Thaïs and prior to Grisélidis at the end of the season, we discover this rare Hérodiade, a work which exudes both sensuality and mysticism.

Daniele Rustioni
Daniele Rustioni © Blandine Soulage

Cast

Nicole Car | Salomé
Jean-François Borras | Jean 
Ekaterina Semenchuk | Hérodiade
Etienne Dupuis | Hérode
Nicolas Courjal | Phanuel
Pawel Trojak* | Vitellius
Pete Thanapat* | A high priest
Robert Lewis* | A voice
Giulia Scopelliti* | A young Babylonian
* Lyon Opéra Studio soloists

Daniele Rustioni | direction
Orchestre et Chœurs de l’Opéra National de Lyon
Benedict Kearns
| choirmaster

Sung in French with French and English subtitles

To read

Massenet reworked this score, which is very loosely adapted from Herodias, one of Flaubert’s Three Tales, several times between 1881 and 1895. Moving away from the biblical version, his Salome is head-over-heels in love with John the Baptist and wants to die with him, but she lacks the voluptuous aspect of Strauss’s heroine (1905). Love and politics mesh as feelings and motives are whipped up by the energy of the music which sucks the spectator into a heady atmosphere. Although Hérodiade has experienced a decline, several elements are still famous, notably Salome’s aria in Act One, “Il est doux, il est bon…” and Herod’s aria in Act Two, “Vision fugitive…”. Massenet had a sumptuous gift for melody, but also enthrals us with his subtle harmonies and sophisticated orchestration, which varies according to the dramatic circumstances. We shall return to Massenet at the very end of the season with Grisélidis, another new discovery for many people, and a legend which will take us into foreign territory.

Coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Elysées / Opéra National de Lyon / Palazzetto Bru Zane
Opera broadcast by France Musique on 07 January 2023 at 8pm in Samedi à l’Opéra

Backstage

Pierre-Paul Rubens – La Fête d’Hérode,

Plea for Herodias

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