Berlin Smells Something Rotten at Staatsoper

Daniel Barenboim’s Berlin Staatsoper, the group that has supported the controversial conductor through his recent forays into Middle East politics, is facing a firestorm of its own in the wake of a bizarre and over-the-top production of Shostakovich’s opera The Nose. “In an obvious bid to be daring and provocative, the nose was represented as a phallus, a main character was a transvestite… the orchestra was togged out in gold jumpsuits and helmets like massed C-3POdrones from Star Wars… and half the chorus were depicted as Islamic terrorists led by a high-heeled, gun-toting Bin Laden.” Critics and audiences alike were unamused.