Performance Saturday, March 1, 2014 | 8 PM

Vienna State Opera
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Strauss's Salome (opera in concert)

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
With its erotic and revenge-filled plot inspired by the biblical tale of John the Baptist, Strauss’s masterpiece shocked audiences when it was first performed in 1905. Today, the work is a well-established part of the operatic repertoire with the tour-de-force title role requiring the stamina and power of a true dramatic soprano, plus the agility and gracefulness of a prima ballerina to execute the famous “Dance of the Seven Veils” when performed in opera houses. This demanding role is sung by Gun-Brit Barkmin in this marvelous concert version.

Please note that bass-baritone Falk Struckmann has withdrawn from this performance of Salome due to illness. Tomasz Konieczny has graciously agreed to perform the role of Jochanaan in his place.


  • Vienna State Opera
  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Andris Nelsons, Conductor
  • Gun-Brit Barkmin, Soprano (Salome)
  • Tomasz Konieczny, Bass-Baritone (Jochanaan)
  • Gerhard A. Siegel, Tenor (Herodes)
  • Jane Henschel, Mezzo-Soprano (Herodias)
  • Carlos Osuna, Tenor (Narraboth)
  • Ulrike Helzel, Mezzo-Soprano (Page)
  • Norbert Ernst, Tenor (First Jew)
  • Michael Roider, Tenor (Second Jew)
  • James Kryshak, Tenor (Third Jew)
  • Thomas Ebenstein, Tenor (Fourth Jew)
  • Walter Fink, Bass (Fifth Jew)
  • Adam Plachetka, Bass-Baritone (First Nazarene)
  • Marcus Pelz, Bass (Second Nazarene)
  • Dan Paul Dumitrescu, Bass (First Soldier)
  • Il Hong, Bass (Second Soldier)
  • Jens Musger, Bass (A Cappadocian)
  • Gerhard Reiterer, Tenor (A Slave)


  • R. STRAUSS Salome (concert performance)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours with no intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating.



  • Vienna State Opera

    Vienna's operatic tradition goes back to the early 18th century, when most performances took place at the imperial court. In December 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph I decreed that the old inner-city fortifications would be torn down, and a broad boulevard, the Ring, featuring new magnificent buildings dedicated to the various cultural and political institutions, would be built in their place. Both the court theaters for drama and opera would be relocated to the Ring. The opera house opened on May 25, 1869, with a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The opera's popularity grew under its first directors-Franz von Dingelstedt, Johann von Herbeck, Franz von Jauner, and Wilhelm Jahn-culminating in the directorship of Gustav Mahler (1897-1907). Between 1938 and 1945, many members of the theater were persecuted, banished, or assassinated by the National Socialists, and many operas were banned. During World War II, the house was almost totally destroyed during a bombing raid, and it was uncertain whether the institution would survive. However, the State Opera in the Volksoper reopened on May 1, 1945, with a performance of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and on October 6, 1945, the restored Theater an der Wien reopened with a performance of Fidelio. There were now two theaters where performances could take place while the opera house itself was restored. (Only the main facade, the grand staircase, the emperor's tea room, and the Schwind-Foyer had been spared from the bombs.) On November 5, 1955, the house, which now featured a new auditorium and modernized stage machinery, reopened with a performance of Fidelio.

    Throughout the opera's history, the greatest interpreters have performed at the house, and important masterpieces have received world premieres there, including Massenet's Werther and Strauss's Viennese version of Ariadne auf Naxos as well as his Die Frau ohne Schatten. In addition to Mahler, Richard Strauss, Clemens Krauss, Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Lorin Maazel have served as directors. Today, the Vienna State Opera is among the most important opera houses in the world, offering more than 300 performances of 60 different operas and ballets each season. The artistic pillars of the opera house are a regular ensemble of singers; the ballet ensemble (Vienna State Ballet); the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, from which the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra recruits its members; the Vienna State Opera Chorus; and the stage orchestra, in addition to guest singers, dancers, and conductors. Dominique Meyer is director, Franz Welser-Möst is general music director, and Manuel Legris is director of the Vienna State Ballet. Visit for more information.

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  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO). In the course of its 172-year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch that-thanks to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters-must certainly be regarded as unique. Additionally, the orchestra's extensive touring schedule, prolific recordings, and global television broadcasts allow its artistry to be experienced around the world.

    The orchestra's close association with this rich musical history is best illustrated by the statements of countless preeminent musical personalities of the past. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world; Anton Bruckner called it "the most superior musical association"; Johannes Brahms counted himself a "friend and admirer"; Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together through "the bonds of musical art"; and Richard Strauss summarized these sentiments by saying, "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement."

    The Vienna State Opera Orchestra holds a special relationship with the private association known as the Vienna Philharmonic. In accordance with Philharmonic statutes, only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. The engagement in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra provides the musicians a financial stability that would be impossible to attain without relinquishing their autonomy to private or corporate sponsors. Over the course of more than a century and a half, this chosen path of democratic self-administration has experienced slight modifications, but has never been substantially altered. The foremost ruling body of the organization is the orchestra itself.

    The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to communicate the humanitarian message of music into the daily lives and consciousness of its listeners. For more than a decade, the VPO has given benefit concerts in support of humanitarian causes around the world, and since 1999, it makes an annual donation of 100,000 Euros from its New Year's Concert to a variety of international charitable organizations. In 2005, the orchestra was named Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization, and has served as an official Goodwill Ambassador for IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) since 2012. As of November 2008, Rolex is the worldwide presenting sponsor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians endeavor to implement the motto with which Ludwig van Beethoven, whose symphonic works served as a catalyst for the creation of the orchestra, prefaced his Missa solemnis: "From the heart, to the heart."

    Andris Nelsons

    Andris Nelsons is the newly appointed music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, beginning with the 2014-2015 season. He will serve as music director designate for the 2013-2014 season. This new appointment confirms Mr. Nelsons as one of the most sought-after conductors on the international scene today-a distinguished name on both the opera and concert podiums.

    Mr. Nelsons has been music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) since 2008, and will remain at the helm of that orchestra until summer 2015. With the CBSO, he undertakes major tours worldwide, including regular appearances at such festivals as the Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, and Berliner Festspiele, as well as at major European venues that include the Musikverein in Vienna, Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Gasteig in Munich, and the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. He made his Japan debut on a tour with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Nelsons is a regular guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Vienna State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera. In summer 2014, he returns to the Bayreuth Festival for Lohengrin.

    Mr. Nelsons and the CBSO are currently recording the complete orchestral works by Tchaikovsky and Strauss for Orfeo International. Many of Mr. Nelsons's additional recordings have won awards that include the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik; in October 2011, he received the prestigious ECHO Klassik award for Conductor of the Year for his recording with the CBSO of Stravinsky's Firebird and Symphony of Psalms. In addition, he has an exclusive agreement with Unitel GmbH for audiovisual recordings; the most recent release is a disc with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra entitled From the New World, featuring works by Dvořák.

    Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Mr. Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was principal conductor of the North West German Philharmonic in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.

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  • Gun-Brit Barkmin

    German soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin became a member of the ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin in 2000 and has since remained closely linked to that house, singing Marie in Wozzeck, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Mimì in La bohème, Amelia in Aribert Reimann's Bernarda Albas Haus, the title role in Jenůfa, and the Governess in The Turn of the Screw. In 2002, she was awarded the Daphne Prize by the Berlin theater audience. Recent engagements include Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the title role in Salome at Oper Leipzig and Opernhaus Zurich, Chrysothemis in Elektra at Oper Leipzig, Emilia Marty in The Makropulos Case in Prague, and Laura in Hindemith's Neues vom Tage and Marie in Wozzeck at the Welsh National Opera. Highlights of the 2011-2012 season included Bianca in Zemlinsky's Florentinische Tragödie at the Opéra National de Lyon, the title role in Britten's Gloriana in Prague, and Anna in Die sieben Todsünden at the Bregenzer Festspiele. Her roles at the Vienna State Opera for the 2013-2014 season include the title role in Salome and Sieglinde in Die Walküre.

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  • Gerhard A. Siegel

    German tenor Gerhard A. Siegel began his music career as an instrumentalist and composer. After completing his vocal arts studies, he became a member of the ensemble of the Stadttheater Trier. In 1998, he made his debut at the Bavarian State Opera, and between 1999 and 2006, he was engaged at the Staatstheater Nürnberg, where he broadened his repertoire to include dramatic and heldentenor roles. Highlights of recent seasons include Max in Der Freischütz at the Komische Oper Berlin; Hindemith's Nusch-Nuschi and Max in Jonny spielt auf in Cologne; Florestan in Fidelio at the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance; Weill's Protagonist at the Bregenz Festival; Herod in Brussels, Barcelona, London, and Madrid; and the Captain in Wozzeck at the Teatro Real Madrid and at the Opéra de Paris-Bastille. One of his central roles is Mime in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, which he has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Bayreuth Festival, in Cologne and Tokyo, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his Vienna State Opera debut in 1998.

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  • Jane Henschel

    A native of Wisconsin, Jane Henschel has appeared with major orchestras that include the Berliner Philharmoniker, the London and BBC symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France. Operatic highlights include Baba the Turk (The Rake's Progress) at the Glyndebourne, Saito Kinen, and Salzburg festivals; Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) for the Los Angeles Opera and Opéra de Paris; Clytemnestra (Elektra) for the San Francisco Opera; the Principessa in Suor Angelica with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly; Dialogues des Carmélites in Amsterdam; Kostelnička in Jenůfa with Seiji Ozawa in Japan; and Kabanicha in Kat'a Kabanová at the Salzburg Festival. At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, she has sung Fricka and Waltraute under Bernard Haitink, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera under Daniele Gatti, Clytemnestra (Elektra) under both Christian Thielemann and Mark Elder, and Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw under Sir Colin Davis and Daniel Harding. Her roles at La Scala have included Herodias in Salome, Cassandre in Les Troyens, and Waltraute in Götterdämmerung. She has sung Herodias (Salome), Clytemnestra (Elektra), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), and Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) at opera houses that include the Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Vienna State Opera. Among her signature roles is the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten, which she has sung in Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and at the Metropolitan Opera. Recent engagements include Erda in the new Ring cycle for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Auntie in Peter Grimes in Salzburg; and Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) at the Los Angeles Opera.

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  • Carlos Osuna

    Carlos Osuna was born in Mazatlán, Mexico, and studied vocal arts in his home country as well as at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice. In 2009, he was a member of the opera studio at the Theater Basel, where he took master classes with Grace Bumbry and Francisco Araiza, as well as with Mirella Freni, Kiri Te Kanawa, Ileana Cotrubas, José Carreras, and Sherrill Milnes. Mr. Osuna has performed at the Verbier Festival, Welsh National Opera, Opéra national de Lorraine, and Festival Internacional de Santander. His operatic roles include Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Rodolfo in La bohème, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, the title role of Werther, Beppe in Pagliacci, and the Big Prisoner in Janáček's From the House of the Dead, among others. At the Vienna State Opera, he has sung Abdallo in Nabucco, Hauptmann in Simon Boccanegra, Gaston in La traviata, Aladdin in Aladdin und die Wunderlampe, the Big Prisoner (From the House of the Dead), and Beppe in Pagliacci. This season at the Vienna State Opera, his roles include Beppe (Pagliacci), Narraboth (Salome), Nathanaël (Les contes d'Hoffmann), Flavio (Norma), and Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos).

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  • Ulrike Helzel

    Mezzo-soprano Ulrike Helzel was born in Magdeburg and completed her vocal arts studies at the University of Music in Leipzig. For many years, she was member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she sang such roles as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Siébel in Gounod's Faust, Orpheus in Orpheus und Eurydice, and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. She has been a member of the ensemble at the Vienna State Opera since 2012. She has appeared at the Bayreuth Festival as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and as a Flower Maiden and a Squire in Parsifal. Other engagements include performances at the Theater Basel, Komische Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar, Halle Opera House, Opéra de Lyon, La Monnaie in Brussels, Bavarian State Opera, and Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, as well as at the Festival de Música de Canarias and the Dresdner Musikfestspiele. She made her debut at the Vienna State Opera in 2011, singing Wellgunde (Das Rheingold), the Second Norn (Götterdämmerung), and Siegrune (Die Walküre). Her roles in the 2013-2014 season include the Page (Salome), Annina (Der Rosenkavalier), Wellgunde (Das Rheingold), and Siegrune (Die Walküre).

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  • Norbert Ernst

    Norbert Ernst studied vocal arts in Wiener Neustadt with Gerd Fussi and in Vienna with Robert Holl; in addition, he attended master classes led by Kurt Equiluz and Walter Berry. In 2002, Mr. Ernst made his debut at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, performing the role of David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Other guest appearances have included performances at the Vienna Volksoper, Berlin State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Nederlandse Opera, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, as well as in Geneva and Monte Carlo. Since 2004, he has been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival. Mr. Ernst made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 2008 as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and has been a member of the ensemble since 2010. His roles include the Steersman (Der fliegende Holländer), Kudrjáš (Kát'a Kabanová), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Elemér (Arabella), Jack O'Brien (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Triquet (Eugene Onegin), Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos), Narraboth (Salome), Aegisth (Elektra), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Jaquino (Fidelio), Andres (Wozzeck), and Loge (Das Rheingold). Roles in the 2013-2014 season include Nick (La fanciulla del West), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos), Loge (Das Rheingold), Incroyable (Andrea Chénier), Triquet(Eugene Onegin), and Andres (Wozzeck).

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  • Michael Roider

    Michael Roider was born in Salzburg and studied violin and vocal arts at the Mozarteum. Initially, he worked as a violinist, but decided on a singer's career in 1978. His first engagements were in Basel, Lucerne, and Graz, where he sang roles that included Kudrjaš in Kát'a Kabanová, Max in Der Freischütz, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and the title role in Der Graf von Luxemburg. Further performances led him to Berlin, Tokyo, Budapest, Salzburg, Karlsruhe, Bern, Zurich, and Leipzig, as well as the Vienna Volksoper. In 1995, he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera as the Officer in Ariadne auf Naxos; other roles include Idomeneo, Triquet (Eugene Onegin), Hirt (Oedipe), Valzacchi (Der Rosenkavalier), Herod (Salome), the Captain (Wozzeck), Maler (Lulu), Loge (Das Rheingold), Basilio (Le nozze di Figaro), Vere (Billy Budd), Spalanzani (Les contes d'Hoffmann), Bob Boles (Peter Grimes), Caius (Falstaff), Aegisth (Elektra), Laca (Jenůfa), Guillot (Manon), Altoum (Turandot), Kreon (Medea), Incroyable (Andrea Chénier), Trabuco (La forza del destino), Albert (Die tote Stadt), and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. In 2008 and 2009, he sang Mime (Siegfried) in Budapest. His roles at the Vienna State Opera in 2013-2014 include the Second Jew in Salome and Spalanzani in Les contes d'Hoffmann.

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  • James Kryshak

    A native of Baldwinsville, New York, James Kryshak made his professional opera debut in 2008 as Don Ottavio in Raylynmor Opera's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Other opera roles include Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande, Camille in The Merry Widow, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Kryshak recently became an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, making his debut in Vienna as the Shepherd in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Other roles in the 2013-2014 season include the First Priest in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Missail in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Borsa in Verdi's Rigoletto, the Third Jew in Strauss's Salome, Scaramuccio in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, and the Schoolmaster in Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen. Mr. Kryshak made his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra in 2012, singing the Fourth Jew in Salome under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. He spent two seasons with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and was a winner in both district and regional levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

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  • Thomas Ebenstein

    Thomas Ebenstein was born in Carinthia in 1979, and studied vocal arts at Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts with Helena Lazarska. Between 2003 and 2012, he was a member of the ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin, and he has been an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera since the 2012-2013 season. Career highlights include appearances at the Berlin State Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Theater an der Wien, Theater Dortmund, Berlin's Philharmonie, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Musikverein, Ruhrtriennale Bochum, Wiener Festwochen, Osterfestspiele Salzburg, Bergen International Festival, and Hong Kong Arts Festival, among other venues and festivals. Upcoming engagements include performances at the Salzburg Easter Festival as the First Grail Knight in Parsifal, and at the Semperoper Dresden as Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte and Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier. Other repertoire includes such roles as Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Truffaldino (Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Narraboth (Salome), and Alfred (Die Fledermaus). Roles at the Vienna State Opera in the 2013-2014 season include Andrès/Cochenille/Frantz/Pitichinacco (Les contes d'Hoffmann), the Fourth Jew (Salome), Guillot de Morfontaine (Manon), Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte).

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  • Walter Fink

    Walter Fink was born in Bregenz, and studied vocal arts and ancient philology in Vienna. In 1977, he was accepted to the Opernstudio of the Vienna State Opera, and one year later became a member of the ensemble. From 1982 to 1991, he was engaged in Bremen, after which he returned to the State Opera. Other engagements have led him to Berlin, Lyon, Toulouse, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Bregenzer Festspiele. He has sung approximately 70 roles at the Vienna State Opera, including Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Rocco (Fidelio), Colline (La bohème), Kaspar (Der Freischütz), the Doctor (Wozzeck), Warlaam (Boris Godunov), Heinrich (Lohengrin), Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Titurel (Parsifal), Daland (Der fliegende Holländer), the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos), Fafner (Siegfried), Melcthal (Guillaume Tell) , and Kardinal Brogni (La Juive). In 2001, he was appointed Österreichischer Kammersänger. His roles at the Vienna State Opera in the 2013-2014 season include the Jailer (Tosca) and the Fifth Jew (Salome).

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  • Adam Plachetka

    Born in 1985, bass-baritone Adam Plachetka completed his studies at the conservatory in his hometown of Prague. In addition to a number of national competitions, he won the International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition. In 2005, he made his debut at the Prague National Theatre, where he performed such roles as Don Giovanni, Publio (La clemenza di Tito), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Nardo (La finta giardiniera), Argante (Rinaldo), and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte). At the Prague State Opera, he has sung Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and  Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other engagements include performances at the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals, Bavarian State Opera, La Scala, Berlin State Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Since the 2010-2011 season, he has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where his roles have included Schaunard (La bohème), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Melisso (Alcina), Masetto and the title role in Don Giovanni, Haly (L'italiana in Algeri), Graf Dominik (Arabella), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Publio (La clemenza di Tito), Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore), Hercule (Alceste), and Alidoro (La cenerentola). In the 2013-2014 season, he sings Paolo (Simon Boccanegra), Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore), the First Nazarene (Salome), Don Giovanni, Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Alidoro (La cenerentola), and Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos).

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  • Marcus Pelz

    Marcus Pelz was born in Stuttgart, and studied at the Vienna Conservatory and the University of Music and Performing Arts. Following engagements in St. Pölten and at the Vienna Kammeroper, Mr. Pelz was engaged at the Vienna State Opera, first as a scholarship holder at the Herbert von Karajan Centre and, since 1999, as a member of the ensemble. His repertoire at the house includes such roles as Grégorio (Roméo et Juliette), Benoit and Alcindoro (La bohème), the Notary and the Police Inspector (Der Rosenkavalier), Kothner and Konrad Nachtigall (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), the Speaker and the Second Priest (Die Zauberflöte), Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro), Kuligin (Kát'a Kabanová), Lamoral (Arabella), Donald (Billy Budd), the Steersman (Tristan und Isolde), Gualtiero Raleigh (Roberto Devereux), Alessio (La sonnambula), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Lowitzki (Boris Godunov), Haly (L'italiana in Algeri), Narumow (Pique Dame), Albert (La Juive), Altgesell (Jenůfa), and Saretzki (Eugene Onegin). His roles in 2013-2014 include Mitjuch (Boris Godunov), Masetto (Don Giovanni), the Second Nazarene (Salome), Lakei (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Angelotti (Tosca).

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  • Dan Paul Dumitrescu

    Dan Paul Dumitrescu was born in 1966 in Bucharest, Romania, where he studied clarinet and later voice at the Music Academy. In 1996, he attended the International Academy for Opera in Verona. Upon completing his vocal studies at the Music Academy, he was engaged at the Bucharest Opera, and he has won numerous national and international singing competitions. Mr. Dumitrescu has appeared at important venues that include the Royal Albert Hall, Arena di Verona, La Scala, New Israeli Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and Vienna's Musikverein, as well as at the Salzburg Festival and in Munich, Budapest, Berlin, Paris, and Tokyo. In 2000, he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera, and has been a member of the company since 2001. His repertoire includes more than 50 bass roles, including Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Pimen (Boris Godunov), Gremin (Eugene Onegin), Procida (I vespri siciliani), Henry VIII (Anna Bolena), Ramfis (Aida), Pistola (Falstaff), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Banquo (Macbeth), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Oroveso (Norma), Graf des Grieux (Manon), Balthazar (La favorite), Colline (La bohème), Timur (Turandot), Pietro (Simon Boccanegra), Grenvil (La traviata), Graf Rodolfo (La sonnambula), and the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo). Roles at the Vienna State Opera in 2013-2014 include Pimen (Boris Godunov), the First Soldier (Salome), Graf des Grieux (Manon), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Oroveso (Norma), and the Commendatore (Don Giovanni).

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  • Il Hong

    Born in Seoul in 1980, Korean bass Il Hong studied at the College of Music of Yonsei University with Gwan-Dong Kim, and received his master's degree from the Freiburg University of Music. In 2011, he won second prize at the 49th Concorso Lirico Internazionale Voci Verdiane, and was a finalist at several additional competitions. Il Hong was a member of the Opernstudio of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich before joining the ensemble of the Landestheater Detmold in the 2010-2011 season; his roles there included Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Banquo (Macbeth), Wassermann (Rusalka), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), and Fasolt (Das Rheingold). Since the 2011-2012 season, he has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where he has sung roles that include Marquis d'Orbigny (La traviata), Reinmar von Zweter (Tannhäuser), Oberpriester des Baal (Nabucco), Joe (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Don Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), and Graf Warting (Un ballo in maschera). His roles at the company in 2013-2014 include Larkens (La fanciulla del West), Mesner (Tosca), Oberpriester des Baal (Nabucco), the Second Soldier (Salome), Bonze (Madama Butterfly), Dumas (Andrea Chénier), and Marquis d'Orbigny (La traviata).

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R. Strauss's Salome ("Dance of the Seven Veils")
Vienna State Opera | Karl Böhm, Conductor
Opera d'Oro

At a Glance

Tonight's concert features one of the most controversial works ever conceived for the operatic stage. Although our attitudes to religion and sex have changed markedly since 1905, the year in which Richard Strauss's Salome was premiered in Dresden, the piece still has the power to shock. The story alone was bound to cause a stir, as John the Baptist is beheaded to sate the lusts of Princess Salome, the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas, the man who effectively rubber-stamped the crucifixion of Jesus. Add the empurpled prose of Oscar Wilde to this gory biblical episode, and you have the perfect fin de siècle cocktail.

Strauss approached Wilde's contentious play with relish, first shaping Hedwig Lachmann's German translation into a punchy operatic libretto, then creating a musical language that was both colorful and violent enough to tell its tale. Strauss truly pushed beyond the example of his predecessors with the score's welts of virtuoso orchestration, glittering melodies, and one of the most challenging roles in the soprano repertoire. The result is the operatic equivalent of an erotic horror film: gruesome and often deeply unsettling, but so compelling that you just cannot help but watch and listen as the nightmare unfolds.
Program Notes


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen introduces Richard Strauss's Salome.

This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.
Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Part of