Following the unexpected cancellation by Andrea Rost, the Budapest Summer Festival and the crew of the opera managed to find a new lead singer for Salome, the beautiful and talented young Turkish soprano singer, Sara Goesch, who claims this role a dream coming true for her.
Opera, as a genre, played a significant role already in your childhood. That’s quite rare!
As a child, I used to listen to operas with my grandparents, and I loved singing along the beautiful soprano solos. Our home was filled with opera, it was a part of our lives.
What were your favorites back then and what are your preferences today? As a teenager, I lost interest in listening to operas, I wanted to become an actress. However, the school I went to, gave me lessons on the history of opera which again grabbed my attention. Nowadays I listen to all kinds of music such as jazz and pop, in addition to those opera pieces I have to rehearse.
What do you think about Salome, her complex character and contradicting motivation, personality and role?
Salome is a young woman, or more like a spoiled teenager, who knows exactly how she could manipulate others. She got used to getting whatever she wants, until she meets Jochanaan who does not reciprocate her feelings. It was a magical journey for me as I tried to understand Salome’s state of mind. This is the greatest role for me that I have ever played, and a very demanding role, both from a physical and emotional perspective. It demands a lot of energy. There is also a historical dimension to it. Herod, Salome’s father has committed adultery twice, according to the Bible. That is unacceptable even today! We know the original Salome story from the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, but Oscar Wilde changed the original story. In Wilde’s work, Salome is not only her mother’s victim, as the author gave her a different, stronger character. She is rather a monster! It is a dream to come true that I can take this role.
How does the powerful spiritual dimension of Salome affect you?
When I portray someone, I really try to make her come alive. Salome, at first seems to be a crazy girl, but there are certain depths to her character, especially if one thinks of her dysfunctional family background.
You live in Vienna, often referred to as the capitol of Art Deco. How do you like Budapest?
I love this city, it really is magnificent being here! People are very nice and food is just great. It’s always a pleasure to perform here and I hope I will be able to do it more often.
How do you relax after a demanding performance?
I hope that a few days after the premiere of Salome, I could try one of the world-famous spas in Budapest, perhaps the one on Margaret Island!
A coproduction of the Open-air Theater and the Hungarian State Opera House, Salome will premiere on June 22 and 24, at the Margaret Island Open-Air Stage. More details and tickets