18th Feb - 19th Mar 2017

LA Opera: Strauss’s Salome

“James Conlon, now in his 10th year at LA Opera as Music Director, had yet to conduct any Strauss here until Saturday night. I will say now that it was well worth the wait. The eighty-four players teeming in the pit sent the air shimmering and shaking with all the leitmotifs and bombast. Conlon’s guidance was sovereign from that first upward glissando right through to the last bash of the horns and the kettle drum. He constantly nurtured full, rich, playing and kept a diaphanous sheen over the early part of the evening. Slow building on the ravings and eventual appearance of Jochanaan, by the time of the prophet’s condemnation of Salome the orchestra was roaring.” —  Parterre Box

“…the crowd was on its collective feet cheering. [Patricia Racette’s] cohort in this kind of triumph was a sympathetic conductor, James Conlon, who assertively balanced Strauss’ domineering orchestra against a lone soprano.” — Los Angeles Times

“James Conlon and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra are, once again, worth the price of admission.” —  Inside So Cal

“One of the main reasons for attending Salome at Los Angeles Opera is James Conlon’s conducting. He brought out the composer’s leitmotifs and his symbolic use of musical color while engulfing listeners in the score’s unusual modulations, chromaticism, extended tonality, and tonal ambiguity. Best of all, Conlon did it without ever covering any of the principal singers.” —  Opera Today

“Under the direction of James Conlon, the LAO Orchestra delivered the quavering restlessness, threatening dissonances and soaring lines of the score while allowing the voices on stage to be heard.” —  Seen and Heard International

“I left for last mentioning how much this performance owed to the instrumentalists in the pit. Arguably, the orchestra is the main character in Strauss’ opera and that is exactly what the ensemble, lead by James Conlon, proved to be. Never covering the voices, the LA Opera Orchestra made palpable the score’s chromatic colors, tonal ambiguities, and the threatening dissonances first heard in 1905, years before Stravinsky’s Firebird. James Conlon proved again a wonderfully versatile artist.” —  Bachtrack

“…Conlon as his colleagues truly shined, all of Strauss’ glorious music filling the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and shimmering over everything, even in its dense chordal clashes. This time, not only was the popular Conlon applauded, but the entire orchestra was accorded applause in the curtain call again and again.” —  US Theater

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