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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 10:53 GMT
Berlin audience boos Wagner opera
The opera is based on the legends surrounding the Holy Grail
A new production of Wagner's opera Parsifal was booed on its opening night in Berlin on Saturday.

Some audience members walked out while others shouted "provincial theatre" at the Staatsoper opera house's stage.

Parsifal is director Bernd Eichinger's first attempt at opera. He moved some action to New York and dressed knights of the Holy Grail as rockers and punks.

It comes eight months after another production of the same opera was booed at the start of the Bayreuth Festival.

Burkhard Fritz (left) and Christof Fischesser in Parsifal
Burkhard Fritz (left) and Christof Fischesser star in Parsifal
Parsifal was composed in 1882 about the legends surrounding the Holy Grail.

Mr Eichinger's version, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, is set in a landscape of buildings collapsing from fires and explosions and relies heavily on video.

Some reviewers commented that the production was "dull and confused", singling out its use of video clips including the Earth seen from space and pagan temples.

Mr Eichinger is an acclaimed German film-maker. He wrote and produced Downfall, about Hitler's final days, which was nominated for an Oscar this year.

Last July, director Christoph Schlingensief described his staging of Parsifal at Bayreuth as "a sort of near-death experience".

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