Show me your wound

The request to “Show me your wound,” is inappropriate in many ways. It crosses the line bordering on the private and the intimate. It makes a demand without considering the consequences; without taking responsibility.

When art becomes meaningful it does just that. Art recognises neither taboo nor boundary. It cuts to the heart of a person, bringing warmth or discomfort, delight or pain. Whoever enters the artistic realm, takes personal responsibility for the effect on mind and soul.

Anyone with no vulnerabilities is neither alive, nor engaged in life. For the avoidance of pain means the prevention of happiness. An open wound demonstrates courage towards the world and towards other people, because it invites an empathetic response. And yet, our world’s reaction to wounds is often less than gracious. Those who reveal their weaknesses make themselves vulnerable and open to further injury.  Humans therefore invest a great deal of effort and energy into concealing and masking their wounds. Everyone has wounds they are all too aware of but are ashamed to show.

“Show me your wound,” also means “Trust me! I want to get to know you. I want to be close to you.” It’s an invitation to share part of a journey. Art has this effect, too.

Parsifal cannot run from Amfortas’s wound. He must recognise that the Grail King’s wound possibly represents the wounds of all humanity or is a metaphor for a wounded world. In The Marriage of Figaro, the Countess’s pain affects all parties.  In Il tabarro, Giorgetta and Michele fail to overcome the premature loss of their child, choosing instead to push aside the pain. Suor Angelica seeks deliverance from the wounds of her past in suicide. Janáček’s From the House of the Dead offers a sorry array of wounded souls, tormented by both internal and external incarceration; an experience similar to that of the oppressed Sicilians in Les Vêpres siciliennes. And Orlando’s vulnerability throughout his hapless philandering makes him an easy target for derision.

Theatre is a place in which wounds can be displayed to the world and experienced. Opera as a whole is all about wounds. Ultimately, “Show me your wound” is the fundamental essence of art itself.

Parsifal has a revelation: “Only the spear which inflicted the wound can close it.” Not until he knows the cause of the wound is he able to muster the necessary compassion for healing to occur – whether in us, or in the world around us.


The Season Preview 2017/18

Find the print versiono of our 2017/18 Season Preview here (partly English)-
The Season Preview contains informationen about all new productions as well as all casts and concert programmes for the 2017/18 Season.

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