Salome cast in Greenery-Yallery

We recently had the good fortune of catching the final performance of the San Diego Opera’s production of Salome. As I really am only familiar with our dear minx by way of Oscar and Aubrey I wasn’t sure what to expect.


I was delighted, most particularly with the lead soprano Lise Lindstrom, she gave a marvelous performance. As is so often the case I was drawn to the sets and costumes, in particular her gown in the final scene. It was, I declared with great bombast the perfect yallerish, Oscar would have adored the color. Unfortunately yallerish is incorrect, a quick Google search for the word provided only my own blog as the source, I have made MANY references to the word, all of them incorrect. I feel a bit of a fool.

The correct word to describe this Aesthetic Movement staple is Greenery-Yallery. First termed it appears by the witty duo Gilbert and Sullivan for their production of Patience in which they mercilessly lampoon lily- wristed blue-and-white china lovin’ aesthetes with utter abandon. 

“A pallid and thin young man

A haggard and lank young man

A Greenery-yallery Grosvener Gallery

Foot-in-the -grave young man!”

This 1882 greeting card illustrates the sort of fellow perfectly.

Source V&A

Wilde did of course make ample use of the color yellow, there is his poem Symphony in Yellow.

The drawing room at Tite Street was described as having dazzled in “greenery-yallery” effect 1909 source 

And of course there was that notorious yellow book found on Wilde’s person at the time of his arrest; alas it was not THE Yellow Book so loved by the “foot-in-the-grave” set.

Yellow Book, volume 3, October 1894

My only real disappointment in the San Diego production was the executioner of Blessed Jachanaan. In my fantasy he would appear as that bit of stellar beef ( Duncan Meadows) from the Royal Opera House production .

Unfortunately he was a rather chunky fellow with bad posture, quite a let-down.

Duncan Meadows, Royal Opera House production of "Salome"

 source : Feuillton

For a snippet of the final scene with the minor deity( and his mighty sword) check out this clip

The Duncan Meadows “lead” so to speak was from my friend the artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins.Clive not only is a most impressive artist,but a blogging wiz, he kindly walked me through the compexities of WordPress.

Although I have been blogging for quite some time, I must have become rusty ( or WordPress has become more persnickety).

I thank you friend, a fresh day and a constant  visit to “save draft” seems to be the trick.

Knowing that once again I may post freely is a tremendous relief. I am now posting far less frequently than I have in the past. I hope my readers understand that my life is now often spent in my Hermitage ( my pretentious little studio); posting is becoming less and less a priority, but when the spirit and time allows I will indeed be back.

I am touched at the swelling number of followers, perhaps I ought to give it all up for good if the number of “hits” is any indication of activity when I am so very fallow.

Wishing all a “utterly charming” day!

Take care,

Babylon Baroque

14 Responses to “Salome cast in Greenery-Yallery”

  1. Dear Leonard, I’m no blogging wiz, just a blogger who recalls having the same problem once.

    I’m glad that there are those who come to check you out, even when your blogging is intermittent. Yu should blog only when you feel like it, and when you have something to say. It should never feel like a chore. We will all keep coming, because when you DO blog, it is always worth the wait.

  2. Blogging can be tiring work and having to write regularly on cue can be, at least in my case, uninspiring. I suggest that you write only when firmly wrapped in the arms of the muse and the rest of the time go enjoy that Southern Californian sunshine, I know I would :-)))

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      Hello my friend,
      The muse has been elusive I’m afraid, or perhaps I have been unavailable. As per SoCal sun it’s an embarrassment of riches, I’m afraid ,I just take it for granted, I will try to remember to be appreciative. Thanks and take care,

  3. My very favorite movie (well, tied with Cabaret) is Ken Russell’s wonderful little gem Salome’s Last Dance, a take on Oscar’s play. I can’t say enough about this film—will eventually do a post on it—and HIGHLY recommend it. Great fun, very beautiful, decadent…FABULOUS!

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      That is simply one of my favorite movies ( I love saying “movies”), it is incredible, my first real taste of the play. I haven’t seen it in many a green moon but I need to. Your avatar is Herod isn’t it?
      I look forward to your post, it too will be fabulous and decadent.
      Take care my friend,

  4. babylonbaroque Says:

    Well I believe the affection is mutual 🙂

  5. Love your posts and love you even more! 1) Designer friend came over and oooh and aaahed and plotzed over your work. 2) My students gave a presentation on Italian Renaissance art and included an image of Salome and proceeded to both label and call it “The Dance of the Salmone.” xxoo

  6. just quickly to say lovely to hear of ‘greenery-yallery’ here; it was one of my mum’s favoured expressions, which I think I’ve probably mis-attributed to the Just-so Stories, and tended to misremember as ‘yallery-greenery’. It’s a good word for a certain range of colours, that a friend years ago used to call ‘nurdy’!

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      Oh I’m pleased, I’m also pleased that you too iced it up a bit. I confess I am not familiar with the Just-so-Stories, will need to poke about for more info. “Nurdy” is far nicer than what I have used, “baby-poop” colors, but of course getting folks to wince is half the fun.
      Take care,

  7. Dirk, Hamburg Germany Says:

    Dear Leonard,
    I was on the search for pictures of Salome and came across your blog. It is a unique blog and unique subjects you share. I ordered right away a DVD of the Royal Opera House´s Salome, because it seemed me to be a stunning stage performance.
    I wish you and your really nice family (I saw your latets cute family picture 😉 a wonderful Christmas time.
    Warmest greetings from Germany
    Dirk, Hamburg

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      Thank you Dirk,
      I’m jealous, I need to order a copy as well, now you have given me an impetus.
      Yes, merry Christmas to you and to yours, greeting to Hamburg from San Diego!

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