OC almost flew up to London for David McVicar's Salome, because we're certified McV fangirls, but we eventually decided against it because of the overlapping of the ROH Salome with Milan's fashion week, and priorities are priorities (also, we were able to enjoy the unsightly sight of Giorgio Armani slapping around -- verbally, for now -- Anna Wintour; and, speaking of Salomes, we ran into Lindsay Lohan). So it's been all good so far; and reading the initial reviews from London does not really make us regret the decision to stay back in Milan.
OC really likes Pasolini -- more Pasolini the poeta than she likes Pasolini the film director, but whatevs -- and on paper the idea McVicar had, to stage Salome in a Salò-like environment, sounds cool, there may be problems inherent with this choice.
McVicar also chose -- just like in his savagely powerful, hard to watch even, Marxist Rigoletto production -- to create two levels in his sets, where the rich have fun and where the poor suffer (in this case, a slaughterhouse-like basement complete with animal carcasses hanging from hooks and a n4ked executioner with a big scimitar). The dance of the Seven Veils, without nudity, is essentially a series of creepy video flashbacks where there are strong hints of Salome being molested as a child (she quite certainly does get raped at the end of the opera anyway).
Richard Morrison in the Times is a bit perplexed, and he also liked Nadja Michael much less than we liked her in Milan last year (but then it was a Bondy pretty minimalist production, def less xtreme, and Daniel "I Shall Steal Ur Thunda" Harding conducting). And then there are those who point out that "There is also a disturbing incongruity in having an interwar setting which seems to evoke a version of Germany, with soldiers dressed in what could well be Nazi uniforms, where a deranged potentate entertains five Jews for dinner" (unless of course the Jews will eventually get eaten -- hey, here's an idea for signor McVicar if he wants to tinker with his production, courtesy of OC!).
The nature of McVicar's two-level setup made it so that people who had the misfortune to be seated high up in the Covent Garden's El Cheapo seats -- over here we call them il loggione to spray some sparkling glitter on the sadness of it all -- couldn't really see what the hayl was going on among the rich peoples having their party upstairs. Funny that somebody as revolutionary as David McV often decides to leave all the good bits of his productions to the richest members of the audience, comfortably sitting in the expensive seats with full views of the stage.
OC will probably have to drive up to Torino at this point, and check out Carsen's Salome instead, see what's going on -- Salò vs Ocean's Eleven. Herr Doktor Strauss would probably hide under his desk or something. As he should.