Audiences Boo Bernd Eichinger's Parsifal at Berlin Staatsoper

Classic Arts News   Audiences Boo Bernd Eichinger's Parsifal at Berlin Staatsoper
A new production of Wagner's Parsifal was booed on its opening night at Berlin's Staatsoper unter den Linden, the BBC reports.

Parsifal opened March 19.

The production, created by German film director Bernd Eichinger and conducted by Daniel Barenboim, was set in New York instead of medieval Spain, and featured the knights of the Holy Grail dressed as punks. The set, with fires and buildings collapsing, evidently refers to the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Some audience members booed, while others shouted "provincial theater" at the stage.

According to the Associated Press, a critic for the S‹ddeutsche Zeitung also disliked the liberal use of video in the opera's set, writing, "Eichinger showed a video for every state of the soul, degrading Wagner's music to the status of soundtrack."

Eichinger's Parsifal was staged last summer at Bayreuth, and was described by director Christoph Schlingensief as "a sort of near-death experience." The Staatsoper's next scheduled performance is March 28.

This is the director's first foray into opera. His previous works include the much-praised film Downfall, about Hitler's final days in a Berlin bunker. That film was nominated for an Academy Award last year.

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