Counting the weeks till the fall season. ITEM ONE. Sieglinde's first ticket purchase: Salome prima at the Chicago Lyric. DAME ELISABETH SCHWARZKOPF. I find the divergence between the obit of the London Times and New York Times quite striking, specifically the treatment of her connection to the Nazi Party and her activities during the war. Whereas Tommasini brought forth the sensitive topic in the third paragraph, with the (intended) effect of coloring the lengthy discussion of her career and successes with a tinge of "ick", the Times went by it quite fleetingly, and only in a chronological account of her early biography, characterizing those activities as "moves (that) were purely pragmatic." Surely she must have known something, and if she did, such pragmatism is all the more frightening. In any case, her recording of Vier Letzte Lieder, my first VLL ever, remains, to me, the most heartrending and personal; her Mahler, Wolf, and Strauss lieder are all works that cleanse the palate, and hold a delicate place in the iPod of my mind. BREAKING NEWS. Schwarzkopf, coloratura? The Washington Post: "As a coloratura soprano, she mastered the very highest octaves with remarkable precision and breath control." (Hidden past, indeed.) BACK TO DEBBIE. The Lyric Opera is out looking for a few good belly dancers to decorate Francesca Zambello's sure to be skin-ny Salome production. (But why no similar casting call for buff boys?) LATE GAY NEWS. Speaking of lesbians, Lance Bass of 'N Sync is gay. (Boy band boy, a fag? Scandal.) He has a boyfriend.