Nazi-themed opera creates scandal in Germany

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BERLIN (AP) — A modern production of Richard Wagner's opera "Tannhauser" has caused a stir in Germany because of Nazi-themed scenes showing people dying in gas chambers and a family having their heads shaved and executed.

A spokeswoman for the Dusseldorf opera house said Tuesday that members of the audience "booed and were shocked" by Saturday's opening performance.

Monika Doll said the company of Deutsche Oper am Rhein is debating whether to tone down the provocative parts, added to the original by director Burkhard Kosminski.

The head of the city's Jewish community, Michael Szentei-Heise, criticized the show as "tasteless."

Adolf Hitler was a fan of Wagner, who died in 1883. Wagner was an ardent anti-Semite and his music is still widely considered taboo in Israel.

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