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Sunday, 12 March, 2000, 02:48 GMT
Germany stages Diana opera
Wrecked car
"We've made her what she is" sing the paparazzi
By Berlin correspondent Rob Broomby

An opera inspired by the death of Princess Diana is being staged in the German city of Nuremburg.

The Nuremburg Opera production - crudely entitled "A Lady Dies" - does not feature Princess Diana on stage at all.

The opera - viewed through the eyes of three committed royalists - an elderly lady, a hairdresser, and her niece - is a savage critique of the modern broadcast media.
Princess of Wales
Princess Diana: Not portrayed as a character in the opera
The characters watch in horror, tinged with fascination, as fictional TV news teams decide to stage a live tele-hunt, resulting in the death of the princess.

The paparazzi, represented by a three-man ensemble, are portrayed as beer-swilling predators, equipped with mobile phones and telephoto lenses. Their chorus goes: "What would she be without us? We made her what she is."

Stefan Hippe's music and Gerhard Falkner's libretto are inspired by the tragic events in Paris of 31 August 1997, but its target is the current trend in real life television, blurring fact and fiction, in which ordinary people become prey to the media.

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