Fidelio gets booed in Berlin

Fidelio gets booed in Berlin


norman lebrecht

November 28, 2022

A new production of Beethoven’s opera by a rising local director David Hermann was loudly booed on Friday night.

Hermann apparerently had Leonore shoot one of the prisoners, and then forgets to open the dungeons in the finale. The jailer Rocco is dressed wierdly in the orange garb of a Guantanamo detainee.

Donald Runnicles conducted at the Deutsche Oper.

One member of the public said: ‘It was the first time in my life that I booed after an opera.’

photo: Bernd Uhlig/Deutsche Oper


  • IP says:

    Training a new generation of booers. . .

    As we all know, the Aix-en-Provence became famous with Cosi fan tutte. It will become infamous with the same opera when “Dima” Tschernyackoff has a go at it next year. Never happy with the work he has been allowed to deface, “Dima” has promised to turn a story of youthful errances into one of midlife crisis.

    Why couldn’t Mr. Putin just mobilize him?

  • Peter Bassano says:

    I can see no reason why opera directors should move so far away from the composer’s original intentions. If this silliness continues it won’t need ACE or other funders to pull the plug, the audience will stop going.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      Agreed, except that the librettist should share in the credit for original intentions.

    • Warrick Snowball says:

      That is so true. I don’t imagine that any conductor would seriously rearrange the score, or portray Tosca hurling Scarpia from the battlements, so what justification is claimed to change so much else?

  • JJC says:

    Precisely why I no longer go to the opera.

  • Rosario says:

    Was there, there were actually more bravi than boos, but probably doesn’t make as good a headline.

  • CGDA says:

    Good!!! Who wants to see this narcissistic cr-p!!!

  • robin says:

    Peter Bassano and others, above, are quite right and one has to ask why can’t directors just play an opera straight? Why can’t we just have fine singing, a good orchestra and some reasonable acting. Is that too much to ask for?

  • Karden says:

    Pretentious, au-courant hipsters will be the death knell of social-cultural-artistic traditions. The hipster won’t necessarily attract the nouveau class (at least enough of it), while they’ll merely bore or discourage the tried-and-true class.

    Score: a big, fat zero.

    Reinventing the wheel is fine if the inventor knows what a wheel is in the first place.

  • Sarah Nordin says:

    Why do directors insist on ruining our art form?

  • John G. Deacon says:

    Or rather … training a new generation of theatrical hooligans which is why opera performances should be undertaken with great care. Experienced operagoers, I suggest, find this sort of rubbish neither stimulating, nor informative, nor entertaining…. simply insulting.

  • Peter Geall says:

    Most if ENOs output is magnificent, but their Siegfried last year was positively comic for much if the time. So stupid!

  • Robin Blick says:

    Sounds like the usual trendy lefty crapp. Putin will love it.

  • Joel Kemelhor says:

    From productions such as this FIDELIO, it’s clear that current opera directors cannot accept there is kindness in the world.

  • Save the MET says:

    The audiences come to hear the singing and the music first, but regie oper can destroy even the best of performances.

  • William-Michael Costello says:

    Philippe Jordan was correct when he stated that such productions are chasing audiences out of our opera houses. As a Berliner, this we production doesn‘t surprise me. We do a lot of shit.

  • Ray Winfield says:

    I remember in one otherwise brilliant production of Don Giovanni at ENO, (in happier times!), the entire chorus including some quite elderly singers were thrust to the front of stage completely naked. Quite what the “artistic director” thought it would add to a great opera and a fine production I haven’t a clue. It does prove how just one silly decision leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
    Compare that with another wonderful Handel opera, Semele, at ENO, the soprano Rosemary Joshua, drops her towel just as she departs the stage, appropriate to the scene and tastefully done.

  • Fritz Grantler says:

    Who takes this opera house and what it produces seriously ? Human metronome Runnicles….Amplification…idiotic productions…..architecture that looks like a provincial bus station….What a waste of tax payer money….