Stage set for cancelled Berlin opera

A Berlin opera house said that it would stage a Mozart opera in which the severed heads of Prophet Muhammad, Jesus and Buddha are seen.

Merkel said the cancellation was a mistake

“Those in charge of the decision over whether to stage the Mozart opera Idomeneo … Have decided to aim for two performances this year,” the Berlin-based Deutsche Oper said in a statement on Friday after police reversed their earlier view that it posed a security risk.


Kirsten Harms, Deutsche Oper director, triggered a row last month by cancelling the opera, which contains a scene showing the severed heads of the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus and Buddha, because of fears of demonstrations by religious groups.


Police had originally told Harms the opera could pose an “incalculable” security risk.


After reassessing the situation, they decided there was no concrete risk for Deutsche Oper or its staff in staging the opera.


December date


Deutsche Opera said the earliest the production could be staged was in December, but it did not mention any dates.


The opera’s cancellation was condemned by politicians and artists who said Germans should not bow to fears of terrorism.


Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the cancellation was a mistake and self-censorship would not help against people who want to practise violence in the name of Islam.


The row coincided with a government-sponsored conference to promote dialogue with the country’s 3.2 million Muslims.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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