Video as Jugendstil

Lawrence Kramer

in Opera and Modern Culture

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241732
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940840 | DOI:
Video as Jugendstil

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Despite being allotted ample ambiguity, the on-stage adaptation of Salome predominantly inspired an imagination of fetishism and the perceived feminine fear psychosis. The performance too kept reverting to portraying just these paradigms. Irrespective of the later critical ingenuity invested in imagining a Salome empowered by her singing and dancing, in an age of feminist ideological upheaval, the ‘feminist’, emancipated Salome never materialized. Occasional elevation of Salome to the full realization of the ambiguity offered to her in the opera only went on to portray her confinement within the frame of the opera. The obvious premise of Salome, the scene set pertaining to the beheading of John the Baptist, the severed head put immediately after on a platter held by Salome while she renders a long serenade to the severed head makes the opera a matter of visions and hence suggests hearing by looking.

Keywords: ambiguity; serenade; John the Baptist; critical ingenuity; feminist

Chapter.  10358 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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