14
   

"Carmen" cancelled over fears it promotes smoking

 
 
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 03:13 pm
I'm pretty sure this story isn't from a satire site:

Quote:
The West Australia Opera's planned production of Bizet's Carmen has been cancelled over fears it would jeopardise a $400,000 partnership with a government health agency.

Carmen is famously set around a cigarette factory, and features smoking. Healthway, the state government's health promotion agency, which is a WAO partner, does not allow even electronic cigarettes to be smoked at any event which it sponsors....

Public reaction has been mixed: one listener of 720 ABC Perth radio said: "It is a deeply concerning day for our arts community when sponsors can dictate performance policy in such a way. This decision sets a very unfortunate and dangerous precedent." Another listener said: "Would the state government cut funding to a performance of Hamlet because it shows a mentally ill person in an unfavourable light? Or cut funding to Macbeth because of the homicides?"
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 03:25 pm
@joefromchicago,
Cheezits!
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 01:58 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
I'm pretty sure this story isn't from a satire site:


I was hoping. . .
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 03:54 pm
@joefromchicago,
It's being reported seriously here. We were in hysterics about it last night.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 04:07 pm
@dlowan,
Maybe they could do something like Rent and re-set it to a meth lab.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 04:36 pm
@joefromchicago,
Not quite clear from your o.p., joe, whether the health agency actually threatened to cut off funding or whether the opera company simply overreacted in fear of losing some funds. Either way, it makes all of them look like a bunch of paranoid fools. Will they cancel 'La Traviata' next because the anti alcohol people object to the bibiamo chorus and aria in the big party scene where Rudolfo and meets his true love?
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:13 pm
To me it seems odd that an opera company would be funded by a government health agency. In the United States such funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:21 pm
The forces of political correctitude are as relentless as those of the ill famed inquisition. The only change is that the new religion is tediously prosaic and dull.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:33 pm
Quote:
WHEN the Blue Room Theatre in Perth staged an acclaimed play about addiction several years ago, lurking in the opening night audience was a bureau­crat who demanded one scene be axed from future performances.

The man watching the first local production of British playwright Martin Crimp’s The Country was employed by the West Australian government’s health body Healthway, one of the theatre’s main sponsors.

“He came to us afterwards to tell us we had to remove one scene that featured smoking,” recalled Blue Room former executive director Jansis O’Hanlon.

“We weren’t allowed to have smoking or language about smoking, and we weren’t allowed to show any smoking paraphernalia ... The play was about addiction and there was also a scene with (heroin) needles, but they had no problem with us showing that.”


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/stage/healthway-also-tried-to-ban-smoking-in-blue-room-play/story-fn9d344c-1227086910356

I have wondered for years WTF is going on down there on that island. Is the government rouge or are the people wanting to return the place to being a penal colony?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 09:21 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

To me it seems odd that an opera company would be funded by a government health agency. In the United States such funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.

That was my first reaction - why the hell is a government health agency funding an opera company? Must be one of those Australian things.

I've never heard of a play cancelled because it depicted cigarette smoking. Smoking on stage is banned in a number of jurisdictions in the US - I know that's the case in Chicago and New York. Of course, there are plays that still call for characters to smoke, which leads to some rather absurd pantomiming by the actors holding unlit cigarettes.

Carmen, in fact, doesn't have any smoking, as far as I'm aware. The first act takes place in the plaza in front of a Seville cigarette factory, but that's about it. Furthermore, the story doesn't glorify smoking - the title character, who works at the factory, is hardly an admirable person. And it's unlikely that someone who is attending an opera is at the impressionable age where depictions of smoking might lead one to try it for the first time. Frankly, I doubt many of the 60-somethings attending the performance will leave saying "you know, Myrtle, smoking sure looks cool, I think I'll take it up right after my hip-replacement surgery."
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 09:27 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
That was my first reaction - why the hell is a government health agency funding an opera company

In order to get the government the power to control the artists without needing to resort to using the "Justice" system to do it, which would cause a lot more political problems as there are likely at least a few people on that island who still believe that they are free people.

It worked like a charm here, the government got what it wanted censored censored with the artists taking the blame.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 11:09 pm
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory promotes children obesity!!!
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 11:31 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
And don't get me started on "Sadie Thompson".
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 02:16 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

Maybe they could do something like Rent and re-set it to a meth lab.


Oh my!
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 08:12 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

wandeljw wrote:

To me it seems odd that an opera company would be funded by a government health agency. In the United States such funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.

That was my first reaction - why the hell is a government health agency funding an opera company? Must be one of those Australian things.


As a retired bureaucrat, I should volunteer my skills to Australia so that they can clarify the missions of individual government agencies.

My son Nathan is in Sydney right now on assignment to the Sydney office of the Chicago company that he works for.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 08:30 am
@wandeljw,
I think that asinine actions like this are usually done be folks with good intentions, but who lack a balanced understanding of life and the freedoms of others to do as they choose. It's common enough in this country, and I suspect it is no more true today than it was centuries ago.

We commonly sneer at the established social and religious conventions of earlier generations, but just as avidly enforce contemporarily fashionable substitutes. Michelle Obama's dictates regarding food service in state public schools are an example.. Human nature is the core problem here, Those who believe they alone know - better than we - what is good for the rest of us will always be with us.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 11:27 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
. . . who lack a balanced understanding of life and the freedoms of others to do as they choose. It's common enough in this country, and I suspect it is no more true today than it was centuries ago.


Yes, indded . . . like conservatives who oppose the dissemination of contraception information, sex education and abotion--not solely for themselves and their families, but for everyone.
Germlat
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 11:44 am
@joefromchicago,
Darn...I hope the arias from Carmen aren't targeted next...good thing I have them saved. I'm running with scissors!
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 11:52 am
@Germlat,
Couldn't they have changed the libretto a tiny bit? So it wouldn't be a cigarette but e.g. a paella factory? Thus, cigarette smoke would become fishy smell, and Carmen would be killed by Don José's cutter knife ... knife ... okay, wouldn't work either.
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 12:05 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Oh boy...since Paella usually contains crustaceans and they are high in cholesterol, you've probably earned yourself an NSFW.
 

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