Inqlings: Startling oath on operacast

Amber-Joi Watkins dances with a PDDC client at a Valentine's party.
Amber-Joi Watkins dances with a PDDC client at a Valentine's party.
Posted: February 15, 2011

You could have expected to hear an obscenity or two during the Grammy Awards.

But for a bomb to drop during a recorded opera on public radio on a Saturday afternoon?

In the Metropolitan Opera's staging of John C. Adams' Nixon in China, soprano Kathleen Kim, in full voice playing Madame Mao, sang: "We'll teach these motherf- ers how to dance."

Dave Conant of WRTI-FM (90.1), one of 60 affiliates that aired Saturday's performance, said he fielded two complaints Monday: one from someone who objected to the salty language, the other from someone suggesting that the Met stick to standard repertory. The e-mailer opined that Nixon in China "sounded like bad Philip Glass with shouting," Conant said.

Calls to stations don't usually carry weight; complaints to the FCC do. As one commenter on the website of New York affiliate WQXR wrote: "I guess the next pledge drive will be to pay off the FCC fines!" It's not yet known if the FCC will get involved.

The Nixon broadcast included a warning that it has some adult content that "may not be appropriate for young children." A Met rep on Monday said the opera felt "a responsibility to respect the artistic integrity of the work's creators."


Miss America Teresa Scanlan will be at the IHOP at 1320 Walnut St. at 8 a.m. Friday to make pancakes and spread the word about National Pancake Day, a benefit for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (which is March 1).

Amber-Joi Watkins, a Penn alumna and Miss Pennsylvania USA, visited the Arc of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corp. on Friday for the agency's Valentine's Day party. Watkins works for American Advertising Services.

No clowning around

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, campaigning against circuses, heard that clowns Mike and Watson from Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had visited the Please Touch Museum last week and had left behind a display containing costumes, to be used for dress-up. PETA asked the museum to remove the display. On Friday it came down, the museum acknowledged. Expect more PETA outreach, since the circus starts Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Briefly noted

Elaine Soncini's last day on the WHAT-AM (1340) afternoon show will be Feb. 25. The Florida-based Soncini, who phones up her work with Mike Bowe (in the studio), told me that she's decided to "slow down a bit." She has her "hands in a lot of projects," she said, adding that she'll miss her "little family" in Philly.

The Phillie Phanatic is in the running for the Cartoon Network's "most awesome mascot" as part of its Hall of Game Awards. The furry dude is bound for L.A. to tape the show. Voting ends Sunday; link is

Eagles QB Michael Vick will sit with Oprah Winfrey for an interview to air Feb. 24. It will be taped Feb. 22, according to Jennaphr Frederick's report on Fox29.

Contact columnist Michael Klein at Follow his blog at and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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