A German staging of Verdi’s “A Masked Ball” leaves Uncle Sam wearing little but a mask, Der Spiegel reports. In a rebuke of US capitalism, the production parades naked retirees on a set of the World Trade Center's ruins, and offers a female singer with a Hitler mustache saluting the audience, the Daily Telegraph reports. "One has to introduce new elements" into Verdi's all-too-well-known opera, director Johann Kresnik says.
"The naked stand for people without means, the victims of capitalism, the underclass, who don't have anything any more," he explains. A politician in the eastern city of Erfurt, where the show will be premiered tonight, has called for a boycott, but tickets for the month-long run are nearly sold out.