terça-feira, 19 de fevereiro de 2008

A Salome (de Strauss & Wilde)

Em vésperas de estreia de uma nova produção de Salome - de R. Strauss -, na Royal Opera House, eis algumas considerações sobre a peça lírica:

«(...) his Salome is violently aroused by Jochanaan (Wilde restores the Baptist's Hebrew name), demands his head after he has rejected her, and then makes passionate love to it, kissing the dead lips of the man who, in life, treated her with contempt.
The play's first audiences would have been on more familiar ground with such a treatment than we are today. Wilde was working within a tradition of erotic writing and iconography - decadent, sadomasochistic and sometimes misogynist - that gained momentum in the second half of the 19th century. Its ingredients were an exotic setting, a domineering or predatory woman, and a man who, willingly or otherwise, is her sexual victim.


Strauss remained curiously, if typically, reticent as to exactly why he was drawn to Salome. Being straight and happily married, he didn't share Wilde's sexual preferences. His own comments that "operas hitherto based on Oriental and Jewish subjects lacked true Oriental colour and scorching sun" go some way towards explaining the score's gorgeous orchestration, but fail to account for its shocking power. Strauss's biographers have been struck by the disparity between the emotional extremism of his best work and the detached professionalism he adopted towards it. His fascination with the outer limits of human psychology is often ascribed to a difficult childhood; as an adult, Strauss was intensely secretive and often unable to verbalise his feelings. But emotion pours through his music, where, like Salome's passion, it is allowed to speak its name and run unchecked.

No one who has heard the opera could ever believe it to be the work of an opportunist. Its power derives from Strauss's ability to enter his heroine's emotional world, while at the same time capturing the inherent monstrosity of her actions. The surging lyricism of much of the music, combined with Salome's own ecstatic vocal line, identify her experience unequivocally as "love". Yet the grinding dissonances that underpin the melodic rapture at every turn are a reminder of the often repellent narrative, from which Strauss never allows us to escape. Salome remains arguably the most alarming love story ever penned, and one of the most extreme experiences classical music has to offer.»

Seguramente, não há mais exímia tradução lírica da psicopatologia da perversão sexual!

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