This Saturday night marks the premiere of Komische Oper Berlin's staging of Die Zauberflöte by that sassy little scamp, Hans Neuenfels, who last made international news in September, 2006, with the Berlin Deutsche Oper cancellation of his Idomeneo, when the holy wrath of Islamic activists ruthlessly served his ass.
The man cannot be stopped! He is robot + man! This Saturday, he unapologetically presents a rescripted production of Die Zauberflöte, with Peter Renz as an unmistakably blackened Monostatos. We previously saw hilarious blackface under Neuenfels' direction of Zemlinsky's Der König Kandaules at the Wiener Volksoper in September 2002, and now it makes a triumphant return.
Although Neuenfels isn't the first director to depict Monostatos in blackface (Norbert Orth also appeared in blackface in Wolfgang Sawallisch's 1983 Munich Opera version with Popp, Gruberova, and Moll), I personally don't see the necessity or the allure. Call me myopic.
Aside from his use of the oldest racist caricature in the entire book, this production actually doesn't look so bad. O_O @ teh three ladies! ^.^ I mean, this image alone is worth like a dozen jokes about magnifying glasses + man-crotch.
Nevertheless, please address all complaints and grievances directly to Hans Neuenfels.