With a steamy combination of biblical themes, sexual tension and murder, Richard Strauss' Salome surprised opera audiences when it appeared in 1905. Virginia Opera's upcoming Salome, co-produced with Portland Opera in Oregon, is a premiere example of the lush musical sound of the early 20th century opera composition. Featuring the alluring Dance of the Seven Veils, today we are seized by the gripping final scene as Salome sinks to the murky depths of corruption. The captivating Kelly Cae Hogan will star as Salome, whom audiences will recall from her huge Virginia Opera success as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire (2012-2013). Conductor Ari Pelto, known to Virginia Opera audiences for his bravura performances of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012-2013), will return for Salome. Maestro Pelto garnered praise from The Washington Post "Conductor Ari Pelto had his forces reveling as playfully in the bluesy drama of New Orleans funk as in the psychological tension-building of movie-score sophistication." His return as part of the 40th Anniversary Season again showcases the numerous recent major conductor successes on Virginia Opera stages. Returning Director Stephen Lawless brings dramatic life to the intense addition to the 40th Anniversary Season; Salome is an epic journey into the macabre - all set to the spellbinding music of Richard Strauss.