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Germany

Opening of 'Parsifal' Draws Boos in Berlin

A new production of Wagner's "Parsifal" set partly in New York by German director-producer Bernd Eichinger met with boos at Berlin's Staatsoper opera house late Saturday. Some spectators left in disgust while people shouted "provincial theatre" at the stage during Eichinger's first attempt at opera. For one of the most imposing works in the German repertoire, composed in 1882 around the legend of the search for the Holy Grail, Eichinger set his peregrinations in a landscape of buildings collapsing from fires and explosions, depending heavily on the use of videos. The seductive Kundry (Michaela Schuster) winds up as a homeless woman in New York's Central Park, while the knights of the Holy Grail are decked out as rockers and punks. Eichinger wrote the screenplay for Oliver Hirschbiegel's 2004 Film, "The Downfall." He also co-wrote the screenplay with director Tom Tykwer of the

film version of Patrick Süsskind's thriller "Perfume," to be released soon. Eichinger remained stoic in the face of the booing, encouraged by musical director Daniel Barenboim.

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