English translation by Charles Polachek. G. Schirmer controls the rights in the English translation by Eric Salzman and Charles Polachek for this work but does not supply orchestral materials.

  • 1 hr 30 min
  • Libretto by the composer, based on Hedwig Lachenmann’s translation of the Oscar Wilde play.
  • English, German

Programme Note

Cast List:
   HEROD ANTIPAS, Tetrarch of Judea: Tenor
   HERODIAS, wife of the Tetrarch: Mezzo-Soprano
   SALOME, daughter of Herodias: Soprano
   JOKANAAN, the prophet: Baritone
   NARRABOTH, a young Syrian: Tenor
   FIVE JEWS: 4 Tenors, 1 Bass
   TWO NAZARENES: Tenor, Bass

King Herod is feasting with his step-daughter Salome. Salome hears the voice of Jochanaan (John the Baptist), imprisoned within the palace, proclaiming the coming of the Messiah and cursing Herodias, Salome’s mother. Salome demands that Jochanaan is brought for her to see. She tries to seduce him but he refuses her advances and is returned to his cell. Herod then asks Salome to dance for him, to which she agrees, on condition that he grant her a wish afterwards. After performing The Dance of the Seven Veils, she demands the head of John the Baptist, which Herod is reluctantly forced to bring to her. She kisses the head passionately until Herod, overcome by disgust, orders his soldiers to kill Salome.