Opera Organizers Lose Their Heads

Models of the severed heads of the Prophet Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus and Neptune that were to be used in a hotly disputed staging of a Mozart opera have disappeared.

“We can’t find the heads at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they have been stolen. Either they will show up in the next few days, or we will have new ones made,” Deutsche Opera spokesman Alexander Busche said, confirming a report in the daily Berliner Morgenpost.

In September, Deutsche Opera head Kirsten Harms canceled Hans Neuenfels’ interpretation of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” that had been scheduled for November, following a vague security warning from police that the prop of Muhammad could incite Muslims.

After a storm of criticism over artistic freedom and an all-clear from police, the opera house rescheduled two performances for December 18th and December 29th.

“What we can say is that, on the 18th, the work will be performed on stage with all the necessary props,” Busche explained.

— John Gammon