Surprisingly good Salome with Byström at the Royal Opera House
Are all the ROH productions done by David McVicar? This is one has its problems from the theatrical point of view. All the initial scene is confusing and in general, the open space subtracts some desirable oppression. Other than that, it mostly work without being brilliant nor exciting.
The big surprise was Malin Byström in the title role. After not enjoying her at recent Vêpres siciliennes and not having the ideal voice for Salome she was quite well suited for singing it. And more important in this opera for expressing it. Her acting was very convincing, perfectly glued with her singing, expressing all the extreme feelings (and craziness) the young princess has.
Michael Volle was a good Jokanaan, singing with the authority the role demands.
John Daszak as Herod was also good. I cannot say the same for Michaela Schuster who was short of voice for Herodias.
The orchestra was conducted by Henrik Nánási in a very “company” way trying not to make an impression on the Strauss exuberant orchestration but to work with the singers.