Discussion:
Libretto translation for Herodiade
(too old to reply)
Evi
2003-11-14 15:30:55 UTC
Permalink
My translation of Massenet's Hérodiade is now on my website (but too late
for the broadcast on Operacast unfortunately)
It was a relief translating French for a change! But honestly that story
line! Salome has the hots for John the Baptist!!!!
Evi
A Tsar Is Born
2003-11-14 18:37:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Evi
My translation of Massenet's Hérodiade is now on my website (but too late
for the broadcast on Operacast unfortunately)
It was a relief translating French for a change! But honestly that story
line! Salome has the hots for John the Baptist!!!!
Evi
Yeah, really. And doesn't know she's related to Herodias.

Does anybody know where they got it?
It is always said that the source of the libretto is Flaubert's novella, but
the plot bears NO relation to the novella -- which is quite close to
Strauss's Salome, however. (Wilde admitted plagiarizing it.) Nothing in the
opera Herodiade resembles Flaubert except the title.

Ideas?

Hans Lick
Evi
2003-11-14 19:00:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by A Tsar Is Born
Post by Evi
My translation of Massenet's Hérodiade is now on my website (but too late
for the broadcast on Operacast unfortunately)
It was a relief translating French for a change! But honestly that story
line! Salome has the hots for John the Baptist!!!!
Evi
Yeah, really. And doesn't know she's related to Herodias.
Does anybody know where they got it?
It is always said that the source of the libretto is Flaubert's novella, but
the plot bears NO relation to the novella -- which is quite close to
Strauss's Salome, however. (Wilde admitted plagiarizing it.) Nothing in the
opera Herodiade resembles Flaubert except the title.
Ideas?
Hans Lick
Herodias said that she left her (presumably infant) daughter behind to marry
Herod. The Bible tells us that she was Herod's brother's wife before that
and I'm guessing that she wasn't his widow either!

Has anyone ever based an opera on the Bible version of the story (which had
plenty of drama in it besides a suggestion for a table centre-piece that
would surely have been an excellent talking point)?
Evi
Mike Richter
2003-11-14 19:13:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Evi
Herodias said that she left her (presumably infant) daughter behind
to marry Herod. The Bible tells us that she was Herod's brother's
wife before that and I'm guessing that she wasn't his widow either!
In Jewish law, the widow is married de facto to a surviving brother on
her husband's death. Among the orthodox, a formal divorce is required to
dissolve that bond.

Mike
--
***@cpl.net
http://www.mrichter.com/
A Tsar Is Born
2003-11-15 05:01:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Richter
Post by Evi
Herodias said that she left her (presumably infant) daughter behind
to marry Herod. The Bible tells us that she was Herod's brother's
wife before that and I'm guessing that she wasn't his widow either!
In Jewish law, the widow is married de facto to a surviving brother on
her husband's death. Among the orthodox, a formal divorce is required to
dissolve that bond.
No she was not a widow; she divorced one of her half-uncles to marry another
one.
This is the event that John the B is protesting, to her annoyance.

No one has made the Biblical account the basis of an opera because it's a
very bare-bones account with nothing remotely lurid about it. (And the girl
is not named.)

From Mark and Matthew, who both tell the same story (and probably got it
from the same source):
Herodias was angry with John for denouncing her remarriage, so Herod Antipas
imprisoned him, but did not want to kill him.
H.A. gave a party for a lot of dignitaries from foreign lands, and "the
daughter of Herodias danced" (the word used implies a young girl, probably a
small child -- adult women of good family did not dance in front of strange
men).
Herod was delighted with the dance and promised her any reward she asked.
She was too young to have any serious desires, so she asked her mother what
to ask for.
Her mother suggested John's head.
Herod didn't want to lose face in front of his guests, so he granted it.
End of story.
It is typical of Matthew and Mark in that all the motivations are perfectly
clear. Sex does not come into it.
There is no suggestion that Herodias, much less her daughter, plotted any of
this in advance, or that Herod's lusts were involved.

From other sources we know Herodias had a daughter named Salome, who married
one of her uncles and then one of her cousins, had three sons, and died of
old age. No other child of Herodias is named anywhere.

It should be STRONGLY EMPHASIZED (in case you are feeling shocked) that this
sort of semi-incestuous (or actually incestuous) marriage and remarriage was
perfectly normal behavior in every royal family of the Hellenistic Middle
East, including the Jewish Maccabees, and that John's behavior in protesting
it was way out of line.

The Jews hated the Herodian dynasty because they were not Jews -- they were
Edomites (Idumaeans), that is, descendants of Esau, brother of Jacob --
Semitic neighbors but not strict monotheists. Of course Herod the Great and
all his family converted to Judaism when he was made King of the Jews by the
Romans in 37 BCE -- but that did not appease the Jews. He was the only
non-Jew ever to assume the title, and they were outraged. He also murdered
all the surviving Maccabees, including his wife, Mariamme, and their two
sons. (One of whom was the father of Herodias.)

Herod married into half a dozen leading Jewish families -- at once --
polygamy was okay for kings (e.g., David and Solomon), but this did appease
his subjects either. Nor did they regard his sons (nearly all by Jewish
mothers) as being proper Jews -- except for the ones who were half-Maccabee.

Is there an opera in this?

Hans Lick
Alcindoro
2003-11-15 05:51:21 UTC
Permalink
Is there an opera in this?<
I hope not. But a TV mini-series starring Susan Lucci as Herodias ... perhaps
...
Mark D Lew
2003-11-15 20:21:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by A Tsar Is Born
From other sources we know Herodias had a daughter named Salome, who married
one of her uncles and then one of her cousins, had three sons, and died of
old age. No other child of Herodias is named anywhere.
"Sources" plural? Is there another besides Josephus?
Post by A Tsar Is Born
It should be STRONGLY EMPHASIZED (in case you are feeling shocked) that this
sort of semi-incestuous (or actually incestuous) marriage and remarriage was
perfectly normal behavior in every royal family of the Hellenistic Middle
East, including the Jewish Maccabees, and that John's behavior in protesting
it was way out of line.
Semi-incestuous marriage persisted well into modern times among royal
and quasi-royal families. Royal marriages of first cousins remained
common up to the 19th century; uncle-niece marriages were unusual but
not unheard of.

The most recent patrician uncle-niece marriage I'm aware of was in
1824, when James Rothschild, the youngest of the original five
Rothschild brothers, married his niece. There are several marriages of
first cousins in the Rothschild family, continuing as late as the
1870s.

mdl

Loading...