Francis Kurkdjian x Cyril Teste
When revisiting Richard Strauss’s electrifying Salome for a new production, Stage Director Cyril Teste attributed a role to scent. Several years after staging Festen and Opening Night, two plays for which Cyril Teste worked with Francis Kurkdjian on an olfactory element, the story continues. Francis Kurkdjian seized the occasion to create a perfume that embodies the main character and her famous Dance of the Seven Veils.
“Cyril Teste and I share the same vision: we tell stories in our own ways, each in our own language. I like his way of bringing artists together and how he manages this creative ecosystem.”
Salomé is a princess who has grown up fatherless and harassed by her stepfather Herodes. She feels a strong, passionate attraction for Jochanaan, a captive prophet. He however rejects the young princess, as he sees her as a traumatized child rather than a desirable young woman so she persuades Herodes to have him beheaded. In his Salome, Cyril Teste brings to life the energy and emotional torment of the character, while telling the story of a powerful dynasty whose inner machinations inevitably lead to self-destruction.
To complete Teste’s staging, Francis Kurkdjian created a scent that is diffused inside the Opera, to emotionally strengthen the Dance of the Seven Veils. Through this fragrance that embodies Salomé’s duality between childhood and womanhood, innocence and provocation, the veils materialize and the heroin fully reveals herself to the public.
© Wiener-Staatsoper / Michael Poehn