Salome is the scandalous opera that made a comeback. When it premiered in 1905, it broke with the conservative ideals and morals of the time – today, it is one of the great classics. The leading role is played by the Swedish superstar Cornelia Beskow, with acclaimed Eirik Stubø directing.

Staging Salome is somewhat of an event for an opera house. It's a grand project and an exciting challenge for both singers and orchestra. Directing our production is Eirik Stubø, who recently had great success with Norma at Folkoperan.

The lead role is a real tour de force that demands its singer (preferably one who can also dance!), and we are very pleased to welcome Cornelia Beskow back to the house. Since her portrayal of Senta in The Flying Dutchman with us in 2019, she has celebrated triumphs with the truly major roles on the international opera scene.

From scandal to success

Strauss' masterpiece Salome has had an enormous impact on 20th-century music. Both the music and the plot sharply contrasted with the traditional ideals and morals of the time. The audience had never heard or seen anything like it before.

The opera is based on Oscar Wilde's scandalous play of the same name. Strauss didn't use a librettist but rather selected certain parts of the play and then set Wilde's text to music.

Just like the play, the opera faced censorship and harsh criticism from the church and conservative circles. It wasn't allowed to be performed at the Vienna Court Opera at all, and at the Metropolitan in New York, it was shut down after just one performance.

But something happened. Other contemporary composers were strongly influenced by Strauss' music, and more and more began to move towards modernism. Over time, Salome was re-evaluated and is now considered one of the great masterpieces of operatic literature.


The prophet Jochanaan (John the Baptist) has criticized the immoral behavior of the court and is imprisoned in the palace's cellar. During a feast, King Herod casts lustful glances at his stepdaughter Salome. She is disgusted by him but is obsessed with Jochanaan. She persuades a servant to bring the prisoner to her and tries to kiss him. He rejects her, and she becomes completely enraged.

Queen Herodias wants the prisoner to be executed, but Herod is afraid to kill a great prophet. To get away from the whole situation, he promises to fulfill all of Salome's desires if she dances for him.

Salome performs the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' and, as a reward, asks for Jochanaan's head on a silver platter. Herod cannot refuse, and when she kisses the severed head, she seals her fate.


MUSIC Richard Strauss
LIBRETTO Hedwig Lachmann

Artistic team

CONDUCTOR Patrik Ringborg
DIRECTOR Eirik Stubø
SET DESIGN Magdalena Åberg


SALOME Cornelia Beskow
HERODES Lars Cleveman
HERODIAS Karin Lovelius
JOCHANAAN Kostas Smoriginas
NARRABOTH Conny Thimander
HERODIAS PAGE Mathilda Bryngelsson
JEW 1 Carl Rahmqvist
JEW 2 Tor Lind
JEW 3 Rickard Söderberg
JEW 4 Fredrik Hagerberg
JEW 5 Joel Kyhle
NASARÉ 1 Magnus Lindegård
NASARÉ 2 Darko Neshovski
SOLDIER 1 Caspar Engdahl
SOLDIER 2 Gustav Johansson
A CAPPADOCIAN Philip Christensson Gerrard
A SLAVE Laine Quist

Others on stage

Malmö Operakör