Performing Salome, Revealing Stories: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Performing Salome, Revealing Stories

1st Edition

Edited by Clair Rowden


248 pages

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Paperback: 9781138252851
pub: 2016-08-26
Hardback: 9781409445678
pub: 2013-08-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315600024
pub: 2016-05-13
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With its first public live performance in Paris on 11 February 1896, Oscar Wilde's Salomé took on female embodied form that signalled the start of 'her' phenomenal journey through the history of the arts in the twentieth century. This volume explores Salome's appropriation and reincarnation across the arts - not just Wilde's heroine, nor Richard Strauss's - but Salome as a cultural icon in fin-de-siècle society, whose appeal for ever new interpretations of the biblical story still endures today. Using Salome as a common starting point, each chapter suggests new ways in which performing bodies reveal alternative stories, narratives and perspectives and offer a range and breadth of source material and theoretical approaches. The first chapter draws on the field of comparative literature to investigate the inter-artistic interpretations of Salome in a period that straddles the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the Modernist era. This chapter sets the tone for the rest of the volume, which develops specific case studies dealing with censorship, reception, authorial reputation, appropriation, embodiment and performance. As well as the Viennese premiere of Wilde's play, embodied performances of Salome from the period before the First World War are considered, offering insight into the role and agency of performers in the production and complex negotiation of meaning inherent in the role of Salome. By examining important productions of Strauss's Salome since 1945, and more recent film interpretations of Wilde's play, the last chapters explore performance as a cultural practice that reinscribes and continuously reinvents the ideas, icons, symbols and gestures that shape both the performance itself, its reception and its cultural meaning.


'This book has the potential for a wide readership including academics and students as well as those interested in opera and ballet settings of plays. It offers a sociocultural and historic rereading of a seminal literary, musical, operatic, balletic, cinematic work that has changed the direction of the theater and theatrical works for film. It is successful in revealing how "corporeal performing bodies reveal alternative stories, narratives, perspectives".'


Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: performing Salome, revealing stories, Clair Rowden; Decadent senses: the dissemination of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé across the arts, Polina Dimova; Visions of Salome, visions of Wilde: critical readings of Oscar Wilde’s Salome in early 20th-century Vienna, Sandra Mayer; Whose/who’s Salome? Natalia Trouhanowa, a dancing diva, Clair Rowden; Salome’s slow dance with the Lord Chamberlain, London 1909-10, Anne Sivuoja-Kauppala; Seven veils, seven rooms, four walls and countless contexts, Hedda Høgåsen-Hallesby; The dirt on Salome, Caryl Clark; Outrageous Salome: grace and fury in Carmelo Bene’s Salomè and Ken Russell’s Salome’s Last Dance, Tristan Grünberg; Bibliography; Index.

About the Editor

Clair Rowden is lecturer in the School of Music, Cardiff University, UK. Her research deals with opera, dance and nineteenth-century France; her book Republican Morality and Catholic Tradition at the Opera: Massenet’s Hérodiade and Thaïs was published in 2004. She is a member of the ‘Francophone Music Criticism 1789-1914’ network and is responsible for the preparation of online editions of various corpora of nineteenth-century French music criticism. Current research comprises a book on opera, parody and caricature in the French fin-de-siècle press, and an edited volume (with Alexandra Wilson) Transforming Opera. Clair Rowden has published articles in La Revue de musicologie, Music in Art, Franco-British Studies, Avant-Scène Opéra and regularly contributes chapters concerning opera and dance to the Cahiers de l’Esplanade (Saint-Etienne, France), and programme notes for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

About the Series

Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera

Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera
The Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series provides a centralized and prominent forum for the presentation of cutting-edge scholarship that draws on numerous disciplinary approaches to a wide range of subjects associated with the creation, performance, and reception of opera (and related genres) in various historical and social contexts. There is great need for a broader approach to scholarship about opera. In recent years, the course of study has developed significantly, going beyond traditional musicological approaches to reflect new perspectives from literary criticism and comparative literature, cultural history, philosophy, art history, theatre history, gender studies, film studies, political science, philology, psycho-analysis, and medicine. The new brands of scholarship have allowed a more comprehensive interrogation of the complex nexus of means of artistic expression operative in opera, one that has meaningfully challenged prevalent historicist and formalist musical approaches. The Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series continues to move this important trend forward by including essay collections and monographs that reflect the ever-increasing interest in opera in non-musical contexts. Books in the series are linked by their emphasis on the study of a single genre - opera - yet are distinguished by their individualized and novel approaches by scholars from various disciplines/fields of inquiry. The remit of the series welcomes studies of seventeenth century to contemporary opera from all geographical locations, including non-Western topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Opera