Friday, October 10, 2014

Newsflash from the Onion: MET cancels Macbeth broadcast for promoting regicide!

If you haven't heard of the Onion, it's a satirical broadside which lampoons just about everything. To my knowledge, no one has cancelled Shakespeare opera productions recently for politically correct reasons, but...

You may have heard about the latest operatic drama to occur off-stage, this time from Australia:

Musical America posted the following among its weekly headlines:

CANBERRA, Australia -- The West Australian Opera has dropped Carmen from its scheduled 2015 run because the 140-year-old French opera depicts smoking.

It was actually General Manager Carolyn Chard's idea, a courtesy to Healthway, a health promo agency and an opera company sponsor. On consulting Healthway if they liked the idea, the agency responded, "fine."

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday condemned the deal as "political correctness gone crazy."

Opera is "an exaggeration and if we are running around looking to take offence or looking to spread some politically correct message, just about every opera would be forbidden," Abbott told Melbourne Radio 3AW.

"We don't stop the theater from running Macbeth because it promotes killing kings."

Though the MET has had its share of off-stage drama leading up to its 2014-2015 season, canceling its "Live in HD" broadcast of Verdi's Macbeth is not one of them. In fact, the new HD season kicks off tomorrow with the acclaimed production starring the MET's prima donna, Anna Netrebko (above) in her role debut as Lady Macbeth. You can watch a clip here.

Better yet, join me tomorrow at Va Western Community College 1/2 hour before the 12:55 curtain for a preview of the new production, the new season, Opera Roanoke's season and our imminent world premiere of a new children's opera, The Three Feathers, written for the Va Tech Moss Center for the Arts, by composer Lori Laitman, poet Dana Gioia. It's directed by Beth Greenberg and conducted by yours truly.

Hope to see you at the opera!

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