Stepping Out

West Bay Opera opens 'Salome' Friday in Palo Alto

The West Bay Opera production of Richard Strauss’ “Salome” is scheduled to open this weekend and run through June 4.

Performances are slated 8 p.m. Friday and June 3 and 2 p.m. Sunday and June 4 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

West Bay is co-producing “Salome” with the Escenia Ensemble of Mexico City.

In “Salome,” Salome, King Herod’s adolescent stepdaughter, is infatuated with the prophet Joka- naan, who rejects her. Herod promises her whatever she wants if she will dance for him. She agrees and, after dancing, demands as her reward Jokanaan’s head on a silver platter.

Strauss’ sensuous score and Oscar Wilde’s provocative poetry underline the power of this oft-told biblical story. The opera is in German, with English titles.

Ragnar Conde, Escenia Ensemble’s artistic director, directs the production and Jose Luis Moscovich, West Bay’s general director, conducts.

New York City-based dramatic soprano Heather Green sings the title role. Baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala, seen as “Figaro” earlier this season at West Bay, returns as Jokanaan. Tenor David Gustafson, another West Bay veteran, sings Herod. Mezzo- soprano Michelle Rice sings Herodias, and Mexican tenor Alonso Sicairos Leon returns as Narraboth. The large cast also includes Veronica Jensen (as the Page of Herodias), Bulgarian bass-baritone Kiril Havezov (first soldier), tenor James Callon (first Jew) and bass Chung-Wai Soong (first Nazarene).

The fully staged opera features costumes by Abra Berman, set design by Peter Crompton, video projections by Frederic Boulay and makeup design by Lisa Cross.

The Town Crier is a media sponsor of the production.

Tickets are $40-$83.

For tickets and more information, call 424-9999 or visit westbayopera.org.

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