Opera canceled, security cited

From Bloomberg News
Berlin’s Deutsche Oper canceled four planned November performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo out of concern that the production’s reference to world religions, including Islam, raises an ‘incalculable security risk.’ “To avoid endangering its audience and employees, the management has decided against repeating Idomeneo in November 2006,” the opera house said in a press release. The Idomeneo production, directed by Hans Neuenfels, shows King Idomeneo staggering on stage carrying the decapitated heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad. German press agency DPA said Berlin police have so far recorded no direct threat to the opera house.

Well, whatever we may say about the relative merits of operatic producers, and however we may disagree about ‘traditional’ as opposed to ‘experimental’ approaches, this must be the first time that a producer’s crazy ideas have led to calcellation for fear of retribution or civil disturbance. What a mad, mad world we live in!

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