Richard Strausss Salome goes on stage at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa (7-16 Feb). This fascinating and troubled work by the German composer takes a critical look at unconfessable impulses including perverted and inhibited sexuality. The director is Giancarlo Cobelli, who created this production for Genoa in 1996 and took it to La Scala last year. His Herods court is dark and deadly and features strange planets, red moons and sudden flashes of light. The part of Salome is played by the soprano Janice Baird, who is often seen in arduous dramatic roles. Herod is sung by Chris Merrit, an American tenor who made a name for himself in the 1980s as a Rossini singer, but who has now turned to the modern music of Strauss and Schnberg. The opera will be conducted by Stefan Anton Reck. Two years ago in Palermo he gave a delicate, sensitive but highly intense interpretation of another modern score, Lulu by Alban Berg, to the delight of public and critics alike.