Artistic Director of Opera Australia Lyndon Terracini Revokes Critics's Tickets for Giving Bad Reviews

By Jaime Prisco on Jan 05, 2015 05:08 PM EST

Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terracini has had two critics removed from the complementary ticket list after they gave performances poor reviews.

Sydney Morning Herald classical music critic Harriet Cunningham was removed from OA's list after receiving an email that Terracini was, according to an OA publicist, "very offended" by a piece titled "Why I'm Not Going to the Opera Next Year."

Soon after, well-respected critic Diana Simmonds of Stage Noise e-mailed Opera Australia to check on her tickets from the summer season opener of Magic Flute and was told she was taken off the tickets list.

"In response to some of your recent writing about the company, Lyndon asked that you be removed from the media list,” said the e-mail.

Complimentary tickets are usually given to critics, writers, producers, editors and senior media figures who will report on the show. Usually, when a free ticket it given, it is understood that the review that comes from it can be good, bad or anywhere in between.

After learning she had been removed from the list, Simmonds published an article about the debacle on stage news and all revealed that she had been offered tickets by others in the company and will be attending the performance nonetheless.

"Being banned because he doesn't like what you've written is ridiculous, it's so childish," Simmonds told The Sydney Morning Herald. She said other artistic directors around the country could be "thin-skinned and small-minded" when it came to critics if they wanted to be but chose not to.

Still, she insisted the situation would not affect her review of The Magic Flute.

"It has nothing to do with him," she said. "What appears on the stage is down to the director — Julie Taymor, who I believe is a genius — and the whole creative team."

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TagsOpera Australia, Lyndon Terracini, Magic Flute, Diana Simmonds, Harriet Cunningham

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