Music: Strip Tease

The Dance of the Seven Veils in Richard Strauss's Salome has always been the despair of opera impresarios. Problem: to find a soprano hefty enough to sing the music, loose-limbed enough to do the dance, shapely enough to weather the moderate public disrobing.

A generation ago, when supple, stage-wise Mary Garden performed this apotheosis of the strip tease, she brought down the house. But when the teetering Swedish soprano, Goeta Ljungberg. undertook the role at Manhattan's Metropolitan in 1934, her chiffon-hung shuffling drew titters. Not only was Soprano Ljungberg a dithering dancer, she annoyed the cash customers by starting her dance costumed...

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