From the Feuilletons


Monday 16 July, 2007

Die Welt 16.07.2007

In a detailed interview with Manuel Brug, Katharina Wagner - great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner - talks about her upcoming Bayreuth debut with the "Meistersingers" ("It will surely be a battleground for conservatism versus the will and ability to engage with others"). And she gets into position for the fight: "I have not yet decided whether I want this. But because of my experiences within the festival and because of my studies and the development of my career, I would be prepared for it. But let me add: The conditions have to be right. It will not be possible in the future for one person to be both artistic director and business director. I know the internal workings too well for that. The foundation council should talk about that before the revolving door begins to swing again."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 16.07.2007

Gustav Seibt sees "surrogate moralism" and "useless political symbolism" in Günter Wallraff's plan to read aloud from Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" in a mosque. "The difference today is that this kind of political symbolism toward the Muslim community is oriented toward a group that for the most part does not take part in the local media game. Which resident of Wedding watches 'Maybrit Illner' on TV or reads interviews with writers on Spiegel Online? The echo of the German debate comes across to this population in a distorted version, mostly through German editions of the nationalistic Turkish newspapers. Local Muslim representatives and their largely feminist critics who often only speak for themselves."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Opera director (born 1973) Tatjana Gürbaca talks in an interview about her career, her work and the two directions she sees for the future. "Verdi first of all. He truly was a man of the theatre, he really thought through all the theatre aspects, his stage directions are so precise and exact. It's so rewarding to direct his work as there's so much potential between text and music. That would be an area which would really interest me, something which is at the opposite pole to contemporary opera.Then at the Leipzig premiere of Philippe Hersant's 'Le moine noir' I felt very strongly that I wanted to do more contemporary pieces. It gives one enormous freedom, and in the German opera business it is largely untouched territory. There has been virtually no repertoire since the sixties. This is a terrible shame. There are wonderful pieces to discover and I think it's very necessary, if opera is not to become a thing of the museum. It's important not only to look to the directors for new directions, but also to the pieces themselves."

Berliner Zeitung, 16.07.2007

Markus Schneider processes the latest bad news from the Berlin Rap scene. "The police have found three HipHoppers linked to the Berlin label Hirntot (braindead) in possession of military weapons. They also found rhymed death threats to SPD politician Monika Greifahn [who had spoken out for tighter controls of violent Rap songs]. In the Internet you can listen to an anti-gay diatribe by former Aggroberlin Rapper, G-Hot, and the Aggroberlin Rapper B-Tight has called his new album "Neger, Neger' (nigger, nigger), and attracted protest from the Afro-German music and anti-racism project Brothers Keepers. And a few weeks back the underground porn producer and rapper, King Orgasmus One, appeared on a talk show with Alice Schwarzer and did nothing to diffuse the already widespread image of the Rapper as sexist idiot." Schneider's conclusion: "There is a new tone blaring out of the HipHop logic of outbidding, which oversteps the borders of tasteless but basically harmless grossness. If you listen closer you hear that unlike Sido and Bushido, this is identifiable as one thing only: bad music."

Saturday 14 July, 2007

Die Welt 14.07.2007

Sven Felix Kellerhoff and Sabine Zimmer chat with Johannes Tuchel, director of the German Resistance Memorial Center, about whether Tom Cruise should be allowed to shoot part of his Stauffenberg film in the memorial's commemorative courtyard, and it must be said that Tuchel brings up weighty arguments against it. Even the fact that another film was shot here doesn't make a difference to him: "Jo Baier's film (2004) was the first to be made about Stauffenberg since 1955. We were asked what we would think about it – and we were sceptical but shelved our doubts at the time. But when we saw the filming and then the result, we were sure: This was no longer the commemorative courtyard of the memorial, but just a backdrop. In particular, we could not allow an enactment of the execution scene here. This is a site where members of the resistance are remembered. There should be no swastika flags hanging from the windows, there should be no execution scene played out. I am very pleased that the production firm finally has accepted this."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 14.07.2007

This summer's major art exhibitions – Venice, Kassel, Münster – have at least one thing in common for Hans-Joachim Müller. "Between all the contemporary collector art, and the curator art, the fair art and the museum art, the 'migration of form' (touted by documenta curator Roger Buergel) is clearly not happening quite as smoothly as one might assume, when one looks at the international art audience's blissful embrace of the event. It is conspicuous how consciously the three major exhibitions in Venice, Kassel and Münster have been designed to dodge people's art expectations. One might hold the individual attempts for mistaken, ill-advised, uptight, kitsch, trying too hard or affected, but one would have to be blind to ignore the signal hidden in the concerted effort to distance themselves from art market trends." - let's talk european