Wednesday, June 03, 2020
He Feared the Multitude
The 73rd opera I’d consumed in the last 71 days, the Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 production of “Salome” is among the most disturbing works of art I’ve encountered. I was an unsuspecting rube when I dipped into the Met’s free stream. Two hours later, my worldview had been permanently altered by the abrasive sound, lurid libretto, unconstrained acting and contemporary staging.
I thought “Salome”’s blasphemous rendering of incest, bigotry, bondage, drunkeness, malfeasance and necrophilia was the ultimate depiction of depravity. The next day, however, another horrifically craven exhibition transpired at an institution coincidentally named for John the Baptist. Even Herod and Salome might have been horrified by the shameless desecration.
(Original image of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Akko, Israel, by There Stands the Glass.)