The WA Opera has achieved fame – no, sorry, infamy – by censoring smoking from its production of Carmen. This due to pressure from their new sponsor, Healthway, an independent statutory body reporting to the WA Minister for Health, which according to its website “provides sponsorship to Sports, Arts and Community organisations to promote healthy messages, facilitate healthy environments, reduce the promotion of unhealthy messages, and increase participation in healthy activities … key priorities for Healthway are reducing harm from tobacco, reducing harm from alcohol, reducing obesity and promoting good mental health.”
In view of this, we assume WA Opera will not consider staging Falstaff (gluttony), Boris Godunov, Elektra or Lucia di Lammermoor (mental illness) or Barber of Seville, La Bohème, Macbeth and countless others (drunkenness).
It has been recently reported that the artistic director, Joseph Colaneri and associate conductor, Joseph Nolan, have left WA Opera. We can all accept that these departures have nothing whatever to do with the new paradigm. We understand that there was some confusion over their respective roles due to them sharing a Christian name.
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