What's Opera, Doc?

By GotDesign
I couldn't help myself in using the classic Looney Tunes episode title, but my usage is not as hilarious as the original. A great deal of talk lately has been about Muslim response to Danish cartoons or the Pope's speech, and now an opera -- Idomeneo by Mozart -- is being scrapped because of expected Muslim backlash about certain scenes in the opera. Namely, the decapitation of the Prophet Mohammed.

But after reading a recent column at OpinionJournal.com, I am of a mixed mind about this particular incident in the Muslim attack on Western culture. Normally, I would say "damn the torpedoes" let the opera continue. By no means would I advocate placating the cry-baby segment of the Islamic faith by pulling the opera. But, this is where I am of a mixed mind. The producer, Hans Neuenfels, has made his own revision of Mozart's 1871 opera.

As Roger Kimball states in his OJ piece, the original opera, Idomeneo, is a story of sacrifice and reconciliation. Kimball sums up the original thusly:
The opera ends with King Idomeneo issuing a "last command. I announce peace,"
before ceding power to his son.

Whereas, Neuenfels' ending now concludes with King Idomeneo parading around the island of Crete with grisly trophies -- the severed heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddha, and the Prophet Mohammed.

If the original Mozart production were scrapped for fear of Muslim reprisal, I would be much more outraged and probably make a bigger stink about it. But, knowing more about the specifics of the revised Idomeneo, I will merely express my relief that such a travesty of art will put out of our misery.

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