Friday, December 08, 2006
Mozart Beheaded (Again)
Remember that German opera that canceled a performance of Mozart's Idomeneo for fear that the image of a beheaded Mohammed would offend Islamic sensibilities? Bloggers, politicians, and most importantly, artists around the world denounced the Berlin Opera for allowing itself to be intimidated by the threat of Islamic terrorism. At the time I argued that the criticism was misplaced and that the imagery as presented was needlessly provocative here].
Well, bowing to international pressure the Berlin Opera again changed its mind and scheduled a performance of Idomeneo for December 18th. Now, mysteriously and more than a little conveniently, the heads of Muhammed (and Jesus, and Poseidon, and Buddha) have disappeared from the prop room and cannot be replaced in time for the perfomance, so it has been canceled again. Funny thing that.
Read about it here.
Apparently substitute heads will be made and the production is on again. Read about it here. What confuses me about this is that the National Opera of Paris (Bastille) presented Idomeneo in November and caused no comment. Why a problem in Berlin and not in Paris?
The opera was finally performed in Berlin without any disturbance. Read about it here.