A big hit for the Royal Opera Covent Garden and a benchmark performance for rising (as opposed to risen) star Bryn Terfel. The video is of live performances: live is the manner in which all concerned approached this screeching, preening thunderbolt of musico-dramatic firepower.
Catherine Malfitano almost overdoes it, playing Salome as if possessed form the outset (social services would be presented with a no-brainer regarding the fitness of her parents). Where Malfitano plays Salome right on the edge, so Terfel gives us a John the Baptist not of defiance and resolve but of bellowing, pentecostal fire. From the first time they appear onstage together, tragedy is inevitable.
Luckily some gripping cameos (the other parts are basically cameos, even the substantial character of Ken Riegel's Herod) and meticulous pacing amongst the roaring power from the pit keep a sense of direction and growth throughout the piece. Hulscher's video manages to match the hiatus both on and below stage in its recording. Do not eat directly before viewing. 6/10
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