Why do Germans boo?main
At Die Meistersinger in Bayreuth last night there was an outbreak of lusty booing for the soprano Anne Schwanewilms.
Much in the production was controversial. Barrie Kosky had reconceived the plot around the thorny relationship between the Wagner family and their Parsifal conductor, Hermann Levi, son of a chief rabbi.
The final scenes are set in what looks like a Nuremberg tribunal.
photos: Bayreuth Festspiele
All of these ideas could have been legitimately booed and Kosky’s production team were duly received with opprobrium.
But the loudest, most concentrated catcalls were saved for a German soprano who was simply giving her best as Eva.
Why do Germans do that?
American, British, Russian and French audiences are generally respectful of singers. Germans feel free to boo artists. Why is that?