Losing their Shirts (Update)
I don’t know if it is a consequence of the crisis-like downward spiral in the financial markets, but in today’s New York Times Anthony Tommasini reports on an emerging trend in that staid old relic: opera. It seems that opera buffa is fast becoming opera in the buff.
Mr. Tommasini seeks to cast a certain light (or shadow) on the matter, and, displaying the newspaper of record’s sterling record of religious literacy, comments:
with Ms. Mattila in “Salome,” we have one of the major sopranos of our time singing an indisputably and persistently shocking early-20th-century opera. Going back to the story’s Old Testament source, you could argue the text implies that to get her way with Herod, Salome indeed removed all her of veils. This was clearly Mr. Flimm’s idea, and his glamorous star was game. As I commented at the time, Ms. Mattila’s nudity may have taken less courage to bring off than the psychological nakedness she revealed in her mesmerizing portrayal.
“Orrore!” He, like some of my freshmen, may be confusing Herod with David. Despite it all, I remain an opera buff.
Clearly, someone at the Old Gray Lady has been delegated to keep a wary eye on the doings at dotCom. Today’s edition carries the following “retractatio:”
A music column on Thursday about nudity in opera, including Karita Mattila’s nude appearance in Richard Strauss’s “Salome,” misidentified the source of the story on which the opera is based. It is the New Testament, not the Hebrew Bible.
The breathless tenor at last arrives to dispatch the villainous baritone with an ear-shattering high C; but, “ahimè!,” the soprano has already expired.