It would be difficult to find an opera better suited to the small screen
than Richard Strauss's "Salome". It has unity of time and place, no scene
changes, and concentrates on optically rewarding motifs such as faces,
which play a much more significant role in this work than groups of
individuals. With his TV "Salome" production, Götz Friedrich has created a
compelling transposition of Oscar Wilde's text and Richard Strauss's music.
The palace courtyard becomes a world of its own, faces turn into landscapes
of conflicting emotions, and passions into overwhelming obsessions. With
filmic means, Friedrich draws the viewer's attention to the seductive
fascination of evil. In the title role, Teresa Stratas is impressively
convincing as the young and sensual princess, but she is equally impressive
as a singer and actress. Karl Böhm conducts the Vienna Philharmonic with a
verve and dramatic impetus that fit seamlessly into the action.
"'Best' is not a word criticism should indulge lightly, but there are times
when nothing else will do. In particular, the Unitel production of Richard
Strauss' 'Salome' is the most extraordinary instance of televised opera
I've ever encountered ... Stratas is also a superb musical artist and a
formidable actress to boot. Many of her scenes in this production would be
no less hair-raising with the sound turned off. With it on, what one gets
is precisely that combination of amoral innocence and pathological
intensity the role craves but so rarely receives. As a totality, her
performance is nothing short of electrifying." (The Washington Post, 2
February 1977)
"To sing and act Richard Strauss' Salome equally well has always been an
impossible proposition; at least on television Teresa Stratas brilliantly
succeeds. Her Salome is flat out one of the most successful musical-
theatrical performances I have ever seen. She gives the impression of
teenage youth, her figure is perfect and her face a myriad of expressions.
She moves lithely and with intelligence, and her sexuality is flamingly,
constantly and excitingly evident." (New York Post, 12 October 1977)

Composer: Richard Strauss
Title: Salome
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Staged By: Götz Friedrich
Soloist: Hans Beirer, Astrid Varnay, Teresa Stratas, Bernd Weikl, Wiesław Ochman, Hanna Schwarz
Set: Gerd Staub
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Video Director: Götz Friedrich
Genre: Opera
Length: 102 minutes
Cat.No.: A05004523
Gallery         DVD