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 The Israeli Opera 2019


Salome is a psycho-erotic drama written by Oscar Wilde, based on a narrative appearing briefly in the New Testament about Herod Antipater’s stepdaughter. The heroes of the story are driven by obsessive desires for which they pay the highest price. Richard Strauss’ rich melodies express their various psychological struggles. 


In the opera, the moon appears as a mystical force whose appearance changes onstage. Wonderment of the moon is a recurring motif in the libretto, so we chose to place it at center-stage, as if lying in a digital “ambush”. From its central place onstage, the moon controls the characters’ dark dystopian world, serving them as a ritual object which they both worship and fear. 


We divided the dozens of different video segments so that each represents one of the opera’s main characters. Herod’s rule is projected as a thick, black layer on the moon; Jochanan as a cold, light energy that splits Herod’s shell; and Salome as the sun’s heat incinerating the world. Throughout the opera, the moon responds to the characters’ song and touch and occasionally begins its own staged movements. 


It was important to us that the ball not be identifiable as a LED ball, but rather as living, organic material. Creating the spherical format of the ball was complicated, but we succeeded in doing so with the help of Studio Yashinski – using Maya, Blender, After Effects and mapping for stage with the help of 3D.


The first challenge was physically creating the ball. After researching various options, we decided on a circumference of 2.75 meters and a weight of half a ton. We contacted a company in China, who created the ball using more than one million LED lights. Following three months of production it was sent to Israel and assembled by PROLED.


Conductor: Dan Ettinger

Director: Itay Tiran

Chorographer: Renana Raz

Set designer: Eran Atzmon

Costume designer: Orna Smorgonsky

Lighting designer: Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi) 

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