Do you remember the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar?
It was staged on Broadway in the seventies and caused controversy because some Christians found it blasphemeous. Now Swedish artist Lars Vilks plans to stage an opera featuring the prophet Mohammed as the main character.
”Mohammed is a superstar in the modern sense of the word,” Lars Vilks told Dagens Nyheter.
The working title of the opera is Dogs as a parallel to the legendary Broadway blockbuster Cats.
In September Vilks received death threats from Al Qaeda in Iraq after publishing a cartoon depicting Mohammed as a dog.
Vilks is cooperating with the band Neurobash on the opera.
”We haven’t decided yet if Mohammed will appear in disguise of one or more people. Other characters are the Swedish Prime minister, the president of Iran and Al Qaeda, that will perform a nice song. They do better as music. We also plan to include an elegy featuring The Offended Cows. I think it can be very entertaining and relaxing as a musical. No one will be able to resist the rhytm and the music.”
Vilks is being asked:
What do you think of the Mohammed cartoons today?
”I am still more convinced that it’s a great project and that is confirmed by the strong reactions. People will realize that this is a positive debate. But so far there has been too little humor.”
Do you understand the Muslims that feel offended?
”I understand everybody, but what’s the point? The right to criticise religion and politics is part of the game. It isn’t personal and I am not out to get anyone.”