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As Herod and Herodias, veteran character tenor Ragnar Ulfung and mezzo-soprano Anne-Marie Owens were credible as an older couple trying to be young again. Claudia Huckle was an elegant page, while Leena Chopra was a subservient Slave. Apprentices Ricardo L Lugo and David Salsbery Fry were commendable soldiers, while Andrea Silvestrelli was an authoritative Cappadocian and Andrew Funk a virile sounding First Nazarene.

Anne-Marie Owens as Herodias and Ragnar Ulfung as Herod. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Anne-Marie Owens as Herodias and Ragnar Ulfung as Herod. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

Conductor John Fiore drew translucent playing from the orchestra in this romantic reading of the sensuous Strauss score. The accompaniment of the voices was well balanced and the tempi, while relatively brisk, always gave the singers room to breathe.

A full stage shot during the final scene of 'Salomé'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
A full stage shot during the final scene of 'Salomé'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

With the combination of fine singing and a full complement of orchestral players in a partially open theater on a stormy night, this Salomé was an experience to remember.

Copyright © 10 September 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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Maria Nockin's recent reviews of several other 2006 Santa Fe Opera productions - Carmen, Cendrillon and The Magic Flute - are also available. You might also be interested to read reviews of other performances of Salomé by Mike Wheeler, Robert Hugill and Roderic Dunnett.

Since 1957, Santa Fe Opera has been attracting visitors every July and August to the company's dramatic adobe theater in the nothern New Mexico mountains. Casts, production teams and audiences are all international. In 2003, the world première of Bright Sheng's Madame Mao received world-wide press attention.

The company's 2007 season (29 June to 25 August) includes the American première of Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of Soul, new productions of Puccini's La bohème, Strauss's Daphne and Rameau's Platée, and a revival of Mozart's Così fan tutte.

You can find further information at www.santafeopera.org

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