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October 10, 2008
No opera in the buff

When Finnish soprano Karita Mattila sings the "Dances of the Seven Veils" in Richard Strauss's "Salome" she appears in the buff, as is the tradition.

But she'll only be appearing nude for New York audiences.

For the national live simulcast audience, like the six theaters the opera will be shown in Sacramento, the camera will pan away. As a result some of the power of the scene will be lost.

That decision comes way of the Met General Director Peter Gelb, who decided that the simulcasts should be more "family friendly".

Hmm... so much for giving us hicks in these here hinterlands the option to decide what is family friendly and/or appropriate, and what is not. Heave forbid we're given the option to look away for the few seconds the Mattila appears in the buff.

It's all silly, really. Think about it, if you go to Salome you go with the full expectation that you will see a story that involves a healthy amount of lechery and depravity. It's one of this opera's biggest charms.

So, censoring such a work is like trying to make "Deep Throat" or "Last Tango in Paris" family faire.

Nonetheless, the show must go on.... and on it will go in Sacramento this Saturday, October at 10 a.m. at each of these six theaters:

In Sacramento:
Sacramento Stadium 14
Sacramento Downtown Plaza 7
Sacramento Greenback Lane 16
Natomas Marketplace

Roseville 14

Elk Grove:
Laguna 16

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