Based on Oscar Wilde's lurid play, it is an intense exploration of the Salome story. Its sumptuous vocal and orchestral writing seethes and pulsates as Strauss conjures up the brutality of Herod's corrupt court. Richard Strausss opera at the Salzburg Festival, staged by Romeo Castellucci at the Felsenreitschule, was nothing short of a sensation. Debuting in the title role, Asmik Grigorian propelled herself to international stardom with her mesmerizing singing and acting abilities. The exceptional soprano recently won the International Opera Award as best singer..