Opera: Salome in Silver

Salome was 16 and slinky-slim. Birgit Nilsson is 46 and boatswain-burly. As for casting the Swede in the title role of Richard Strauss's Salome, the idea seemed roughly comparable to starring Judith Anderson as Lolita. But New York's Metropolitan Opera does, on occasion, have imagination, and for its long-awaited restaging of Salome, the Met put its money on Birgit.

And why not? That dance of the veils says why not, seven times. Particularly since the Met's last Salome in 1962 featured lissome Jane Rhodes, whose slow, seductive peel is still burned on many...

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