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By Richard Strauss


“Triumphant... The second the curtain came down, the crowd was on its collective feet cheering.” - Los Angeles Times

"Patricia Racette's Salome is a force to be reckoned with." - Los Angeles Daily News

The iconic production that created a sensation when it was first staged in LA Opera's inaugural season, Salome returns to make its mark on the 21st century, starring Patricia Racette in the role of a lifetime.

Adapted from the scandalous play by Oscar Wilde, Salome is a seductively beautiful tapestry of the subconscious. The princess Salome becomes infatuated by her stepfather's prisoner, John the Baptist, and she determines to have him...whatever the cost. One of the great singing actresses of our time, Patricia Racette (The Ghosts of Versailles) returns in the title role, with Tómas Tómasson (star of The Flying Dutchman in 2013) as the doomed prophet. James Conlon conducts the epic, opulent score by Richard Strauss, a true orchestral showpiece.

March 16 -  Meet Patricia Racette and Maestro James Conlon after the performance during a special CD signing.

March 19 - Post-performance conversation with Stephen Fry and Maestro James Conlon. Strauss’ Salome is based on Oscar Wilde’s scandalous play. Stephen Fry starred as Oscar Wilde in the 1997 film Wilde.


There are currently no upcoming performances.

Contains nudity and violence. Parental discretion advised.

Approximate running time: one hour and 40 minutes; there is no intermission


Creative Team


Herod, king of Judaea, is feasting with his court in his palace on the Sea of Galilee. Narraboth, captain of the guard, gazes from the terrace with longing at Herod’s beautiful stepdaughter Salome. The princess comes outside to admire the moonlight. She hears the voice of John the Baptist, who has been imprisoned by Herod in a nearby cistern. John announces the coming of the Messiah.

Salome asks to see John the Baptist, but Narraboth, fearful of disobeying Herod’s orders, is hesitant. She persuades him to bring the prisoner out. John denounces Herod and his wife Herodias, Salome’s mother, who has married her dead husband’s brother.

Salome finds herself filled with desire for John. She sings of his beauty and her desire to kiss his mouth. Narraboth, unable to bear such behavior, kills himself, but she barely notices. Recognizing Salome as the daughter of Herodias, John curses her, and descends again to his dungeon.

Herod and Herodias emerge from the palace. The queen senses the lust he feels for Salome, and they quarrel. Herodias demands the death of John as retribution for his insults. Herod is reluctant to do so, since he considers John a holy man. Looking for a diversion, he asks Salome to dance. Initially unwilling, she agrees when Herod promises to do anything she desires in return.

When the dance is over, she demands the head of the Baptist. Herod is appalled by this, but he eventually agrees. From the cistern, the executioner presents her the head on a silver dish. She takes it joyfully, kissing his mouth. Horrified, Herod orders Salome killed. The guards crush her to death with their shields.

News & Reviews


patricia racette gets into salome's head



Soprano Patricia Racette’s 2016/17 season features a triple run of Salome, with recent performances for the Metropolitan Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, and now in Los Angeles, where it’s her fifth leading role. (She’ll also reprise the femme fatale for a semi-staged version of Salome with the Minnesota Orchestra in August.) We asked for her thoughts on this notoriously challenging role. 



Prior to every performance, LA Opera's acclaimed Music Director Maestro James Conlon and other scholars of note hold an engaging and informative talk about the opera our audience is about to see. Generously sponsored by The Flora L. Thornton Foundation and The Opera League of Los Angeles, these talks are free of charge to those attending the performance and take place in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Check back here a few minutes before the show to see a live stream of the pre-show lecture for Salome.