Music: The Girl with Veins of Fire

"That girl had very strong thoughts of sex, but I'm just sexless, I guess."

So, last week, in self-deprecation, spoke the sexiest Salome since red-haired Ljuba Welitch. The occasion was a new production of the Strauss opera at Spoleto, Italy, the musical festival that draws some 120,-ooo tourists each summer. Singing the role of "that girl"—described in Oscar Wilde's play as having "veins filled with fire"—was a fine new Negro soprano: Virginia-born Margaret Tynes.

When Strauss's shocker, with its violent, passionate score and its scenes of perverted eroticism, first burst on the public consciousness in 1905, it scared the censors out of their...

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