Concepts are not expected before September, but design elements, as well as some singers, could end up out in the hall.
Devan said that the great value of projects like this - "Let's call it a theatrical mashup," he said - is the ability to bring in singers who, unable to commit to the five weeks necessary for regular productions, would otherwise not be heard here.
What this isn't, he said, is the first step in any kind of consolidation of the two organizations:
"That's not where this is going. I can say emphatically there is nointent for the Philadelphia Orchestra to be the pit band for Opera Philadelphia. We have worked with our orchestra over the last number of years and I think they are playing at their all-time best. We are now able to consider repertoire expansion that 10 years ago we would not have been able to think about on a quality basis."
Any further projects with the orchestra would be in addition to the opera's regular offerings, Devan said.
The two performances of Strauss' one-act opera - May 8 and 10 - will cost an extra $250,000 above and beyond the regular expenses of the orchestra, singers, rent and stage crew, said orchestra president Allison B. Vulgamore. All costs considered, the project total is between $900,000 and $1 million. Each company will raise $125,000 to cover the costs not already accounted for in the budget.
A third performance is not currently planned.
"We're looking, and if a third possibility opens up, I'd be delighted," said Vulgamore. "But to be direct, we didn't sell out [a 2012 concert version of Strauss'] Elektra . . .. I'd love nothing better than to be forced to think about a third performance, or to put screens in the lobby or other areas, if we have demand."
Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct a cast that includes soprano Camilla Nylund in the title role, mezzo Birgit Remmert as Herodias, tenor John Mac Master as Herod, and bass-baritone Alan Held as Jochanaan.
The director for Salome was chosen by Opera Philadelphia, the principal singers by the orchestra, and rest of the cast in partnership, Devan said.
Though the Philadelphia Orchestra has a strong historical relationship with Strauss and his works - he guest conducted the orchestra in 1904, when he was composing Salome, and Wolfgang Sawallisch made Strauss a regular part of the repertoire - this production marks the first time the ensemble has performed his first important opera.
Information: 215-893-1955, www.philorch.org.
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