Michael Tanner

Disturbing relationships

It struck me for the first time at the latest revival of David McVicar’s production of Richard Strauss’s Salome that this opera, Strauss’s first to maintain a place in the repertory, and its successor Elektra are, for all their differences, companion pieces. Even before reading the late Patrick O’Connor’s excellent article ‘Happy Families’, the best and least pretentious in the programme book, I’d been reflecting on how the two operas deal with the classic issue of the powerful and disturbing relationship between father and daughter: in the case of Salome, it is a stepfather in love with his...

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