The world premiere of Richard Strauss’s »Salome« at the Semperoper on 9 December 1905 was a true milestone in 20th century opera. Unlike any composer before him, Strauss brought the fin-de-siècle at-mosphere of decadence, psychological hyper-sensitivity as well as uninhibited and destructive sexuality to the operatic stage, overwhelming the listener with his intoxicating and at times brutal sonic world, perfectly matching the brilliant sound of the Staatskapelle Dresden. This one-act opera is not based on some Teutonic myth, as in the German-language operas of the followers of Wagner, but rather on an oriental tale from the Bible: The Judean princess Salome is bored with her life at the court of King Herod. The fervid voice of the captive prophet Jochanaan, on the other hand, exerts an almost erotic fascination over her. But when the stern prophet brusquely rejects the princess’s advances, Salome requests of her stepfather Herod a perverse reward for her lascivious dance: Jochanaan’s head in a silver bowl.