Sunday, February 17, 2008

Star delivers a 'Salome' for the ages

Tom Strini, in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reviews last night's performance by Milwaukee's Florentine Opera Company. Richard Strauss based his opera on a play by Oscar Wilde.

Corliss Phillabaum's Program Notes, "Salome: A Moral Tale?", included this.
Depicting Biblical characters involved in a tangle of sex, incest, necrophilia and general decadence was certainly a way to wave a flaming red flag in the Victorian era, as the frequent battles with censorship both works faced can attest. Even today, when explicit sex and violence in primetime TV and blockbuster films far exceed anything Wilde or Strauss could have imagined, the subject matter is strong medicine...

That is, it's noted in passing that our popular culture is decadent beyond Oscar Wilde's imagining of Imperial Rome.

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