Idomeneo - Komische Oper Berlin, 14 May 2011 (first night)
Benedikt von Peter's new staging of Idomeneo avoids controversy in the usual sense - the cast are fully clothed and there are no drugs, guns, or bodily fluids on show. But, almost unnoticed, he does away with two of Mozart's lesser characters, Arbace and the Priest. Their music is reassigned to Elektra, here a vengeful voice in Idomeneo's head. He is not the victorious monarch returning to Crete in triumph, but a traumatised war veteran living between imagination and reality. His son Idamante is married to Ilia, and they now have their own small son. Instead of exploring the nature of rule and the consequences of rebelling against divine authority, Peter personalises the issues the opera raises to make it a timely examination of the price of victory in war.