(Note: This post has been updated (1) as of 6:15 PM Eastern on 1 Aug. See below)
I now know why the audience reception of the Schlingensief Bayreuth Parsifal at its 25 July premier was mixed rather than an overwhelming flood of boos and whistles sans any applause at all.
Take a look at these:
Every square inch of the stage is so densely populated by the architecturally inappropriate, and so densely busy and cluttered with all manner of symbolic bric-a-brac and personages cum arcane whatevers that the audience simply couldn't fully take in or even comprehend what it was looking at, even though sensing that it was all somehow very wrong. And so some played on the safe side and applauded so as not to appear totally stupid or ignorant just in case all that grotesque crap turned out to actually have something to do with Wagner's Parsifal, while others threw caution to the winds, and loudly booed the absurd visual assault just on general principles.
Gads! What a contemptible horror, not to say prodigious P.O.S., it all looks to be.
Update (6:15 PM Eastern on 1 Aug): Jens F. Laurson of Ionarts has a different take on this production.