The Royal Opera House has broken out on blushes after its apology for sex in Lucia has been met with derision.
The latest howl comes from the normally restrained Fiona Maddocks:
Never apologise for art. Art entertains and delights. It also shocks us into awareness. It shows us aspects of life we may prefer to turn away from. If you are seriously sensitive, enquire ahead. Admittedly, that is not so easy: usually when you ring a theatre, you get an automated phone system or a “Sorry mate, haven’t the faintest”. But maybe live theatre is not for you. Test yourself with Sarah Kane’s Cleansed at the National.
The world of “If you have been affected by any of these issues … ” has gone mad. We’ve all been affected by some, most or all of them. A friend took an opera novice to Puccini’s Il Trittico. Halfway through, it struck her that two of the operas involve the loss of a child. Her companion had suffered that fate. My friend felt upset and appalled. Her friend took it in her stride. Life is made all the more bearable and comprehensible by art. It unites us. That’s why opera, or any art form, speaks to us so directly.
Read on here.
What next – a public petition for the ROH to withdraw its apology?