Next Monday (May 14) at 3 p.m., Graz Opera — the municipal company in Austria's second-largest city — will "blow to smithereens" a Chevrolet Celebrity on the lawn of the Dr. Muck annex adjacent to the opera house.
The ill-fated automobile will be rigged with appropriate pyrotechnics; the actual explosion should last about five seconds, followed by several minutes of flaming car.
Is this part of some new project by Stockhausen? No — video of the detonation will be used in the company's new production of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, which opens June 3.
Ever mindful of our safety (and EU environmental regulations, no doubt), Graz Opera assures us that the motor, transmission and fuel system will have been removed from the Chevy ahead of time. The company also promises that, in case of rain, the explosion will be rescheduled to the following day at the same time.
La clemenza di Tito, directed by Michael Sturminger and starring tenor Aleksandr Antonenko as Emperor Titus and soprano Tamar Iveri as Vitellia, runs June 3-27 at Theater Graz. Information (in German) is available at www.theater-graz.com/oper.