The intertwining of visual and musical arts at the beginning of the 20th century brought on modernism, abstraction and in music, atonality. This meeting of the arts was never so intensive as on the operatic stage. In her book Painting the Stage. Opera and Art, curator and art and music critic Denise Wendel-Poray first examines historic productions beginning with Schinkel's iconic stage design for Mozart's Magic Flute, before exploring those of the 20th century with Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes and the implication of avant-garde artists in opera up until World War II. Directly after the armistice of 1945, famous artists such as Andre Derain, Balthus, Dali, Andre Masson and Kokoschka reopened the theaters amidst ruins, thus ushering in a new era of optimism. The event of pop art, happenings and experimental theatre with the collaboration of artists Robert Indiana, David Hockney, Robert Wilson brought on further developments in the realm of opera. Finally, interviews with world famous artists such as Anselm Kiefer, William Kentridge, Bill Viola, Robert Longo, Jonathan Meese and Daniel Richter show how their contribution to the genre is making opera today more than ever, a form of "total art" or "Gesamtkunstwerk" and a laboratory of contemporary creation.