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Neuenfels, Hans

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 27/09/2006

Hans Neuenfels on his production of Idomeneo

The Deutsche Oper's withdrawal of Mozart's opera "Idomeneo" from its programme owing to fears that it could incite protests from radical Muslims has sparked a major discussion. "When even the most ambiguous situation can set off alarm bells in people's heads, it could have serious repercussions for art," Neuenfels comments in an interview with Christine Dössel. "Four heads roll in the opera and Muhammad's is just one of them – that's an important point. These are the heads of the great founders of world religions, including Poseidon, the god of the Greeks, who demands that Idomeneo sacrifice his son to him. It's about the subjective view of Idomeneo, who in the end refuses to yield to fanaticism for any religion and cuts all ties with them… The production does not target Islam or any other religion, but is a discourse about the foundation of religions."

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