Puccini gets the Stefan Herheim treatment in Oper Graz's new production of Manon Lescaut, which has just opened to largely positive reviews.
If you think you can see the composer himself in the production shot above, you'd be right. And the other characters' costumes reference those designed by Adolf Hohenstein for the opera's 1893 premiere.
That doesn't mean it's a literal staging. As the director explains in a Kleine Zeitung interview, the libretto is so flawed that if he was completely faithful to the text, nobody would say it made much sense. So instead of giving the audience a logical linear narrative, he wants to unmask the underlying emotions. The production is set in a Paris workshop where the Statue of Liberty is being built. Its cold steel and scaffolding symbolise Herheim's main focus, a male notion of female freedom.
There's a liberty of a musical nature too - the Intermezzo from the middle of the opera has been tacked on to the beginning to accompany the scene-setting.
Incidentally, if you're busting for some Herheim action at Covent Garden, Kasper Holten recently publicly confirmed the rumour that he's due here in 2014. So it's now official.