Karita Mattila and Juha Uusitalo starring in Salome at New York's Metropolitan Opera (25.09.2008)

Soprano Karita Mattila, who in 2004 already electrified Met audiences in the title role of Richard Strauss's Salome, has returned to the role for seven performances of this production by Jürgen Flimm, starting on September 23rd and running through October 16th. The Finnish star soprano is partnered by her compatriot Juha Uusitalo who makes his company début as Jochanaan (John the Baptist). Conductor Mikko Franck was also scheduled for his Met début, but withdrew because of illness and was replaced by Patrick Summers.

The New York Times praised the September 23rd performance, calling the production "a triumph. I cannot think of a performance on any stage in New York right now that tops Ms. Mattila's Salome for courage, intensity and emotional nakedness. (...) Vocally Ms. Mattila is born to this daunting role, singing with an eerie combination of cool Nordic colorings and raw power. She can spin a Straussian melodic line with sumptuous lyricism. But when Salome erupts in a spasm of twisted desire or childish petulance, Ms. Mattila unleashes chilling, hard-edged top notes that slice through Strauss's king-size orchestra." Critic Anthony Tommasini also acknowlegded the "strong" Met debut of the "imposing" bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo.

The matinee on Saturday, October 11th, was transmitted live worldwide as part of the The Met: Live in HD series. For further information about this Salome production, visit the official website of the Metropolitan Opera.

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