Opera canceled over Islam controversy can resume

October 26, 2006 20:27

Police said Thursday a new security assessment showed no "concrete danger" in resuming performances of a Mozart opera canceled because of concern over a scene showing the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad. The Deutsche Oper Berlin had dropped this fall's four performances of "Idomeneo" after a vague security warning, prompting a furious debate about free speech in Germany and widespread criticism of the cancellation. "A concrete danger for the Deutsche Oper or those working with it is not seen at the present time," the Berlin police statement said - an assessment that could open the way for a rescheduling of the performances. Opera head Kirsten Harms has said she would not bring back the production by director Hans Neuenfels without a new security assessment from police. Opera officials could not immediately be reached. A scene in the production shows the severed heads of Jesus, Buddha, Neptune and Muhammed. Director Neuenfels said he had added the scene to the 225-

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