On December 28, 2016 my mother and I decided to watch an opera. We were originally planning to watch Mozart’s The Magic Flute… But since it was the end of the year season there were no student tickets available for that show.
So we had a choice. Rather to watch a contemporary opera Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin, or watch Richard Strauss’s Salome. I am a person who’s a little skeptical about contemporary opera after my conversation with one of my closest friends.. Therefore Salome it was!!
Oh and I forgot to mention that my mother came to New York City just to visit me, and it had been 2 years since we’ve seen each other in last December 2016. I wanted to take my mother somewhere special in New York and since her daughter was able to get tickets at a cheap price, my mother was more than happy about going to the Metropolitan Opera House with me.
Since I am a very ignorant person with opera I had to do a little research about what the opera Salome was about. But luckily my academic adviser from my college educated me with a brief story-line.
The opera Salome’s time sets around when Jesus was born. The priest of the King Herod’s became a very influential person and King Herod feared the priest so the king decided to lock the priest in prison. Salome, the stepdaughter of King Herod was a very beautiful attractive princess. Everyone fell in love with her. But Salome fell in love with the priest who denied her completely. So she decides to seduce her stepfather King Herod to do anything for her. And since he promised Salome to do anything for her, he has no choice but to order a death sentence to the priest which he was very reluctant about. But he gave the order and priest was dead. Salome was happy that she could finally kiss the priest with his chopped head and that is the most famous part for this opera.
I was upset that I couldn’t really listen to Salome’s singing because it wasn’t as loud to reach my ears to the back of the orchestra. It was interesting for me to watch a soprano doing the seduction choreography and strip completely for 5 seconds on stage. YES. COMPLETELY. Oh and also, my mother fell asleep during the show. Salome is not a long show, it’s about an hour and a half. So when I heard someone snore I said to myself, ” Who the f*ck is snoring?!!?” and turns out it was my mom.. So I gave her a slight slap to wake her up and and she chuckled realizing that she was asleep.
The songs were not familiar to my ears. For me it was eccentric and eerie for me. It felt like the songs were developing into a climax and in the midst of it, it stopped. I was like WHAT?! What about the good part?! Both my friend and my singing teacher said that once I get used to it, I’ll probably fall in love with it. Well I guess I’ll like it eventually. Maybe I’m not just ready for it. After all it’s only been a year since I fell in love with opera.
So for now, I’ll just keep on listening to my Puccini for now!:)
Thank you once again Metropolitan Opera, for a memorable night for me and my one and only mother.