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Perfume helps against everything: “Lear” in the Bavarian State Opera

Better than expected, and the lucky cardholders surprisingly gathered on cheering even three hours later in fact, Marthaler and his regular co-worker Anna Vibrock had some convincing and funny ideas as well. They passed on the drama of King Lear, who divided his kingdom between two bad daughters, due to a lack of knowledge of human nature, and threw the only righteous kingdom into the roof room of the museum. All involved are initially in showcases, like the exhibits in a treasury of brutalities. This idea isn’t entirely new, but it always makes sense.

Perfume against vile feelings

Lear himself, quirky but elegant in a dark blue jacket, collects insects, so he specializes in very small things and completely loses sight. What this is meant is evidenced by the impressive pictures of insects in the program’s brochure, which showed huge, multi-faceted magnifying eyes, where perception is blurred as if someone was examining pixels on a screen with a microscope. Otherwise, however, colorful beetles are unfortunately very short in staging. Marthaler intertwined in his own concept. In return, he leaves his two evil daughters, Regan and Junireal, as soon as they reach power, spraying the perfume ceaselessly, as if they want to cover up the stench that pervades their sinister behavior. It was just as captivating as the elevator, which sometimes controlled itself, and at times it began to move independently to take people to a gallery, that is, to where the powerful find space. Navigating with moving boxes just didn’t make sense, as did silly climbing exercises on the parquet floor.

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Costume designer Dorothy Curio has worked a lot using sign colors – as he is well known, dangerous bugs warn their poachers in glowing costumes, so Guneryl and Reagan walked across the stage in bright green and shocking pink shoes, malevolent rascal Edmund in screaming yellow turtleneck sweater looked ominous like a mad hornet Bitten, while the kind Cordelia was dressed in a sacrificial lamb with a Lady D hairdo and a pearl necklace. Overall, more engaging handwriting could have performed the first show well, but that’s how Marthaler drew attention to a truly impressive cast of singers.