Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Hamas denies capturing Israeli soldier as Gaza truce lies in tatters

    Read more

  • Scores killed in China factory explosion

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police chokehold caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • France tops requests to erase online footprint, says Google

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

Europe

Nazi-themed Wagner opera cancelled after uproar

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-05-10

A German opera house has decided to stop showing a Nazi-themed production of a Wagner opera, because its scenes of murder and gas chambers profoundly shocked the audience when it premiered last Saturday, the company said on its website.

A Nazi-themed staging of a Wagner opera in Germany that caused some members of the audience to become sick with its scenes of murder and a gas chamber has been withdrawn, the opera company said on its website.

After failing to get the director to agree to changes, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duesseldorf said that the production of “Tannhaeuser” would be given for the rest of its run in a concert version only.

German director Burkhard C. Kosminski’s interpretation of “Tannhaeuser” is set during the Holocaust and caused a scandal when it opened on Saturday, prompting some audience members to seek medical treatment, the opera house said in a posting this week on its website.

Management was aware before the premiere that the director’s modern take on the opera rooted in German legends would cause controversy, it said.

“We are, however, shocked that some scenes, especially the very realistic shooting scene, caused numerous guests such psychological and physical stress that they had to get medical treatment afterwards,” the Deutsche Oper am Rhein said.

“After considering all of the arguments, we have concluded that we cannot take responsibility for our artistic work having such an extreme effect so we cannot allow this production to continue being performed without any changes.”

The opera house said while it had discussed the possibility of changing some scenes with Kosminski, he had refused to allow this for artistic reasons. Deutsche Oper am Rhein said it accepted his artistic freedom for legal reasons.

Kosminski was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters but he was quoted by German newspaper Westdeutsche Zeitung as saying he was “shocked” by the decision, adding that he had merely been informed of it by the opera house’s manager.

“Ten months ago I presented my concept and explained what I wanted to do. I ensured there was a lot of transparency during the rehearsals too. I am not a scandalous director,” he said.

In the bicentenary year of his birth, Wagner is still a controversial figure in Germany given his virulent anti-Semitism and the fact that he was Adolf Hitler’s favourite composer.

Last year, a Russian opera singer pulled out of the opera festival at Bayreuth, which was founded by Wagner, over tattoos on his chest, one of which resembled the Nazi swastika.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-05-10

  • OPERA

    A blond and modern Carmen returns to Paris opera

    Read more

  • RUSSIA - CULTURE

    Russia's Bolshoi Theatre re-opens after six-year overhaul

    Read more

  • MUSIC

    La Scala names Barenboim as musical director

    Read more

COMMENT(S)