Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If You Had Looked At Me...

This past weekend I had the great pleasure to take in a little culture at the Ordway.   Every year my mom, sister and I see an opera, and this year we chose Salome.

It's been a while since an opera put a lump in my throat but this performance was so intense I couldn't help but be overwhelmed.  The artists on stage and in the pit were phenomenal and the story was, well, dramatic to say the least.

Based on Oscar Wilde's play Salome, this opera is scandalous and letcherous.  The score was written by Richard Strauss which necessitated a little bit of the 3/4 time he is so famous for.  (The waltzes, for those of you less familiar with musical composers.) 

Much to Salome's displeasure, John the Baptist rejected her affections while he was in captivity.   Also to her displeasure her stepfather, Herod, requests she dance for him to satisfy his lusty inclinations.  Salome does the Dance of the Seven Veils (a very elegant strip tease) for her stepfather, and as her reward demands the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter.  When eventually Herod honors her request, Salome finally gets to kiss the lips that had previously rejected her.  "If you had looked at me, you would have loved me," Salome tells the head of John the Baptist.

I wasn't kidding when I said it was intense! 

After the marvelous performance we headed off to Cafe Latte for a little sustenance, which of course included decadent desserts.

Some may think the opera is stuffy, but if you've never experienced it you should give it a try.  The stories are usually very dramatic and guess what?  At the Ordway they provide translations on an unobtrusive screen so you actually know what the performers are saying. 

Although it's a little more expensive, the opera is a welcome alternative to American Idol.  Hop off the couch, get dressed up and grab some culture.  Hobnob with patrons of the arts!

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