Just in: Opera is issued with X certificate

Just in: Opera is issued with X certificate


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2014

La Monnaie in Brussels has issued the following advisory:

From 2/12 at Brussels’ La Monnaie, Krzystof Warlikowski’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni is not suitable for children under 16 because of sexual explicit content.



brussels don giovanni

That’s where we’ve arrived at the end of 2014.

Streaming information:

La Monnaie lets you discover all of its opera productions for free on the internet. For up to three weeks following the last performance of a show, you can watch or watch again our operas for free on this website.

These broadcasts are made possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors of MMChannel.

Don Giovanni is available from Wednesday 7 (8pm) to Tuesday 27 January 2015 included.


Don Giovanni ¦ Jean-Sébastien Bou
Il Commendatore ¦ Sir Willard White
Donna Anna ¦ Barbara Hannigan
Don Ottavio ¦ Topi Lehtipuu
Donna Elvira ¦ Rinat Shaham
Leporello ¦ Andreas Wolf
Masetto ¦ Jean-Luc Ballestra
Zerlina ¦ Julie Mathevet



  • Fred says:

    hmmm, while don giovanni is indeed sex-obsessed. How far can you go? For some the self-indulgent politically-correct nitwit who rules the Munt is a goeroe, for me he is one of the many who destroys the world of opera I knew and loved. Many of them were Mortier apostles. Most operalovers in my day came to opera at an early age..now u can’t bring a child to opera anymore. Sad.
    BTW Norman ignore the mail about ‘gossip’, i fore one appreciate it and makes this website alive, interesting and revealing though often i disagree with some of your conclusions nevertheless in the smaller and smaller becoming classical music field you are player number ONE

  • Sixtus says:

    It’s ironic that the production will be available as a web stream, considering how adept kids are at getting such things. Perhaps there will be “artful” camera work, or blur circles over the naughty bits. Whatever images the Monnaie will come up with, they will pale by comparison to what is freely available on the web.

    It’s also puzzling that the Monnaie promoted a “Happy Sunday” event at the 24 Oct performance of Don Giovanni: “A unique chance to discover opera as a family! Bringing parents and children together for a truly wonderful experience.” That give a whole other twist to the interpretation of the warning.


  • Geoff Radnor: says:

    And, Norman, look who is conducting at Monnaie, all the way from the west coast of the US to Belgium, none other than Ludovic Morlot. Of the Seattle Symphony.

  • John Borstlap says:

    You feel the underlying despair of La Monnaie.

  • Gonout Backson says:

    We can also learn that “Don Giovanni will be presented as a dark, desperate character.”. I wonder to what music, since – the very last moments notwithstanding – Don Giovanni doesn’t have one “dark and desperate” bar in the whole opera. On the contrary, he’s punished for being just the opposite.

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    All Mozart’s Da Ponte operas were about sexual implicitness and explicitness. So it serves the works to convey that, and not present them as a sort of Mediterranean nostalgia, which they were not in their time. The Mediterranean setting in each of them was rather chosen because the censors might have interfered if the subjects would come too nearby. So until we see the performance, let us withhold our opinion.
    Moreover I have to think of rap and R&B music of nowadays, where there is hardly an album which does not carry a ‘Parental Warning’ about sexual explicit lyrics. Mozart’s Da Ponte opera’s are about the youthful bling bling people of his times, so if the Brussels opera house wants to suggest such an association, that could be helpful to understand the opera as well.

  • michael says:

    I caught the dress rehearsal. It’s a big brash production, dressed up like a Madonna video and with what can only be described as lewd directing.

    Here’s the rub, though. The singing is great, the acting is great, the music is great and the rest is stylish if irritating. Mozart and Da Ponte win again (helped by singers such as Jean-Sebastien Bou and Barbara Hannigan).

    Even though I had big reserves, I find myself defending it now. Funny how that works.