Music: Moanin' Becomes Elektra

Inge Borkh is a tall (5 ft. 9 in.), handsome opera star with a crushing tennis backhand and a disconcerting habit of sitting about nude in her dressing room.

Both her athletic bent and her theatrical temperament combine to make Swiss-Austrian Soprano Borkh one of the world's most impressive performers in two of her favorite roles—Salome and Elektra. Last week, for the first time in nine years, Strauss's Elektra returned to the Metropolitan Opera, and Soprano Borkh all but blew the house down.

When Elektra had its premiere in Dresden in 1909, it nearly shocked...

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