Hérodiade has left her daughter Salomé behind in Rome to marry her brother-in-law Hérode. She wants to gain influence at the side of the tetrarch of Judea. By publicly criticising her, Jean, John the Baptist, creates a dangerous enemy. When Salomé comes to Jerusalem in search of her mother, Hérode immediately becomes infatuated with the unknown woman. Jean, the charismatic prophet. While Hérodiade recognises in Salomé only her rival and not her daughter, and Jean, in his affection for Salomé, incurs the wrath of the humiliated Hérodiade and the lecherous husband, the tetrarch couple lose Jerusalem. In the turmoil of the political power vacuum, Salomé and Jean still manage to confess their love to each other before Hérode, vengeful and rejected, stretches out his bloody
Hérodiade finally reveals herself as a mother - too late.
Jules Massenet set the material to music based on Gustave Flaubert's novella "Hérodias" with grandiose choral passages and a collage-like colouring of the spheres between Rome and Judea, man and woman, eroticism and power.
Director Lorenzo Fioroni tells the story of Hérodiade, who loses everything in the end - her power, for the sake of which she became a cold mother, and her daughter, whose love could have redeemed her.