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Orthodox church unhappy with Salome opera's premier date

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File photo: twitter.com/novayaopera

The Orthodox Church was not happy with the date of Richard Strauss' opera Salome premier at the Bolshoi Theater of Belarus scheduled for 9 and 10 September. Eventually, it has been shifted to 18 and 19 October. The opera was reportedly postponed after a letter from Orthodox Church activists to the Presidential Administration, Office of Prosecutor General and the leadership of Belarusian Orthodox Church describing the opera as an "anti-Christian provocation." However, the Orthodox Church as an institution might play a hand in the decision to shift the date, reports nn.by.
 
Siarhei Lepin, head of public information office at the Belarusian Exarchate, says the Ministry of Culture did ask for the church's opinion about Salome. In its reply, the church wrote that "the interpretation of the biblical event differs from the original." Lepin attended the rehearsal of the opera and did not notice "any extremism or insult to the feelings of believers." "However, we stressed that we would be happy if the premier were postponed to avoid the clash with the eve of the Beheading of Saint John The Baptist  [11 September]," Siarhei Lepin said.

According to one of the legends, John the Baptist was killed at the request of Salome who eventually received his head on a plate.

The promo video below contains the initially scheduled dates.