Those familiar with the oeuvre of Calixto Bieito will not be surprised to learn that the hero of his new Komische Oper production of Der Freischütz is required to bare some botty.
It's the first time Munich tenor Vincent Wolfsteiner (Max) has gone naked on stage. He applies sound artistic logic to his decision: "Max is expelled from the community, he flees into the forest and becomes a beast. Animals don't wear clothes. It would be silly if I played it in underpants."
But there's another reason he's happy to bare all for Bieito.
A few years ago Wolfsteiner was 50kg heavier. As a huge - really huge - fan of Bieito, he was keen to work with the director. But he knew he'd have to flash the flesh if he did. So he dropped the excess weight, using a picture of Bieito stuck to his fridge as inspiration. "Now", he says "at the age of 45 I'm fitter than I've ever been before in my life."
The tautly-muscled Vincent Wolfsteiner (Max) is pictured above with Carsten Sabrowski (Kaspar) and below with Ina Kringelborn (Agathe) - and some of the five litres of fake blood ordered for each show.