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article imageNazi-themed opera canceled in Germany

By Layne Weiss     May 9, 2013 in Entertainment
Berlin - A modern version of Richard Wagner's "Tanhauser" has been canceled at a Dusseldorf's opera house after some audience members had were forced to seek medical help from the disturbing scenes. The show is set during the Holocaust in a concentration camp.
Early performances of the production "clearly affected" members of the audience "both psychologically and physically" in such a powerful way that they had to seek medical help, The Independent reports. According to BBC News, however, the producer "refused" to tone down staging to make things a little easier to take, so now opera house has chosen to cancel the show altogether.
"After considering all arguments, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot justify such an extreme impact of our artistic work." The statement went onto say that the theater had acknowledged that some scenes had affected audience members to the point of needing medical help. They noted that German theatre director Burkhard C. Kosminski refused to make any changes to the show's production for "artistic reasons." The theatre acknowledged they had to respect his wishes, but they could not let the show go on with audience members being so severely affected.
The production premiered in Dusseldorf on May 4 and provoked violent protests by the Jewish community, calling it "tasteless," The Independent reports. The audience booed loudly opening night.
The opera's original creator, Richard Wagner remains a controversial figure in German arts because of his anti-Semitic views, The Associated Press reports. Adolf Hitler was an admirer of Wagner's work.
The original Tanhauser is set in Germany in the middle ages, BBC News reports. It was first performed in Dresden in 1845.
More about nazithemed opera, Canceled, tanhauser, audience seeks medical help after watching, too shocking
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