Idomeneo Without Violence. Almost.

Posted on December 22, 2006


by Michael Scott Moore

The only violence at the Berlin Opera on Monday was done onstage, when King Idomeneo came out with a bag full of heads and placed each of them, carefully, on chairs: Buddha, Jesus, Poseidon, Mohammed. One man yelled “Aufhören!” Someone else yelled “Weiter so!” and then people booed and cheered. For a translation of the German, and a full account of the evening, go read my piece in the LA Times.

The place was a fecking journo circus — among all the klieg lights and pushy TV crews I was so embarrassed to belong to the trade that I kept my notebook hidden and wound up, for my sins, interviewed no less than three times on camera and microphone. I made sure to spout nonsense so the interviews wouldn’t get used. It reminded me of when Ratzinger became Pope. Stringers and reporters descended on St. Hedwig’s Cathedral only to find out how few practicing Catholics live in Berlin. A young woman with a radio microphone looked at all of us waiting on the steps and said, “Hm. More journalists than people.”