Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The show musn't go on?

I've pretty much forgotten everything that happens in Ponnelle's Met Idomeneo (which is again revived this week), but as far as I can make out it was all fairly innocuous (if effective). Not so in Berlin, however (via Allahpundit, whom I'd never expected to tip for an opera article):
One of Germany's leading opera houses, Deutsche Oper Berlin, announced Monday that it was cancelling a controversial production because of the likelihood that it might offend Muslims. The original opera, Idomeneo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, makes no reference to Islam, but director Hans Neuenfels introduced a scene to his production that depicts the decapitated heads of the Prophet Mohammed, Jesus Christ, the Buddha and the Greek god Poseidon.
It caused outrage at the premiere in 2003. The opera company said it was cancelling plans to revive the show next month after advice from security authorities in Berlin that the performances posed an "incalculable" security risk.
Not just editing. Cancelling.

Now I think Hans Neuenfels is a worthless and idiotic director, but, well, watch the video.

UPDATE (9/27): 92% of Germans -- and, seemingly, the whole political establishment from left to right -- oppose the cancellation.

There's been a lot of commentary on this since the story broke, but South Park's distillation (linked previously above) still covers all the bases.


  1. Look on the bright side. If we could get the Muslims as upset about the staging of traditional operas, it might just mean the end of Eurotrash productions.

  2. "First they came for the Eurotrash...."

    ch. r.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.