This one in the unlikely realm of opera. Heather Mac Donald writes:
Mozartâ€™s lighthearted opera The Abduction from the Seraglio does not call for a prostituteâ€™s nipples to be sliced off and presented to the lead soprano. Nor does it include masturbation, urination as foreplay, or forced oral sex. Europeâ€™s new breed of opera directors, however, know better than Mozart what an opera should contain. So not only does the Abduction at Berlinâ€™s Komische Oper feature the aforementioned activities; it also replaces Mozartâ€™s graceful ending with a Quentin Tarantinoâ€“esque bloodbath and the promise of future perversion.
Welcome to Regietheater (German for â€œdirectorâ€™s theaterâ€), the style of opera direction now prevalent in Europe. Regietheater embodies the belief that a directorâ€™s interpretation of an opera is as important as what the composer intended, if not more so. By an odd coincidence, many cutting-edge directors working in Europe today just happen to discover the identical lode of sex, violence, and opportunity for hackneyed political â€œcritiqueâ€ in operas ranging from the early Baroque era to that of late Romanticism.
I’m tempted to quote more, because Mac Donald is essentially writing about what I call the postmodern liquidation of the West. Opera isn’t one of my interests, so I don’t have any deeply felt attachment to the works that are being, well, sodomized by opera directors in Europe. But I do recommend reading the whole article. It’s something of a cultural compass, when great classical works are treated like this.