L.A. Opera’s 30-year-old ‘Salome’ is back, and not a kid anymore

“On Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, L.A. Opera revisited that ancient, if once steamy, “Salome,” now as a vehicle for soprano Patricia Racette, a very different, 21st century singer. …Racette’s efficient Salome and Gabriele Schnaut’s gleeful Herodias are, on the other hand, neither vulnerable nor unhinged. They are empowering.

The athletic Racette leaped with ease onto the raised lip of the cistern to get a look at John. She mastered a dance with difficult steps, and she proudly removed all veils. Vocally too, Racette (after a period of warming up and a few not-yet-there low notes) remained in full command of an exhausting role.

She never pretended to be a teen. From her attempted seductions of John to her contemptuous dance for Herod to her cavorting with John’s head brought to her on platter, she knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it. Rather than a self-destructive, narcissistic Salome undone by obscene passions, here was a woman not seductive but triumphant.

That resonated along with the gleam of her voice, and the second the curtain came down, the crowd was on its collective feet cheering.”

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Published: February 19, 2017