The Hackney Empire has called off a Music Theatre Wales touring performance of The Golden Dragon, an opera by Peter Eotvos, on the grounds that it lacks racial diversity.
The opera, set in a Chinese restaurant, is performed by a non-Asian cast. MTW originally saind the opera was a fantasy, not to be taken literally. Hackney took a different view.
A statement from the Empire reads: ‘The debate aroused by the non-Asian casting in The Golden Dragon compromises the Empire’s commitment and position as a champion of diversity and accessibility across the theatre industry, and therefore the decision has been taken to withdraw the forthcoming performance.
‘Music Theatre Wales were renting the theatre for this production and Hackney Empire has not been involved in any part of the production or casting process.’
MTW has apologised and promised to review its procedures.
Much as we applaud diversity in all forms of art, this cancellation smacks of heavy-handed political correctness. Why is London being denied the right to make up its own mind about the opera?