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Berlin opera canceled over Islam worries could be revived in December

Berlin opera canceled over Islam worries could be revived in December

Performances of a Mozart opera canceled because of fears over how Muslims might react to one of its scenes could be reinstated in December at the earliest if authorities give security guarantees, Berlin's Deutsche Oper said Wednesday.
Opera director Kirsten Harms last week decided to drop four performances of "Idomeneo" in November after a vague warning from authorities _ relayed to her by Berlin's state interior minister, Ehrhart Koerting _ that a scene featuring the severed heads of Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha could cause trouble.
The decision drew widespread criticism, including from Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Koerting suggested Tuesday during a public podium discussion that the cancellation was a mistake.
Harms has said she is prepared to reconsider the decision, and said after a public discussion Tuesday that "we aim to bring about a performance this year" _ but only if a comprehensive security plan is promised.
Deutsche Oper spokesman Alexander Busche said a decision on whether to reinstate the opera could be expected "as soon as there is a security concept from Mr. Koerting or an evaluation from security authorities."
"As soon as we have that, it would be conceivable to stage the opera in December at the earliest," he said.
Hans Neuenfels' production premiered in 2003 at the Deutsche Oper and was last staged there in 2004. He has refused to remove the scene, which was meant as a statement against organized religion.


Updated : 2020-12-02 03:07 GMT+08:00