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Last evening my family went to see Richard Strauss's opera Salome. An English language performance by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, it featured the wholly delightful Kelly Kaduce in the title role.

Youthful sopranos who can both dance a striptease and sustain a fiendishly difficult vocal performance for the bulk of the 90 minutes of this one-act opera are not that common, but Ms. Kaduce was fabulous in the role. Easily one of the most virtuoso performances I've seen at any opera.

The music is lush, rich, late-Romantic heaven, but the story, based on Oscar Wilde's play, is as warped as they come. Rich in incestuous and necrophilic themes, it summarises a kind of perverse few of sex, death and women that was very much in vogue in artistic circles before the First World War, but today comes across as more than a little weird.

Worthwhile though. The story may be icky, but it has undeniable pyschological power, and the opera had me captivated from beginning to end.

A marvelous show.