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Royal Opera House Issues Warning About Graphic Material in 'Lucia di Lammermoor'

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Mar 17, 2016 01:50 PM EDT

It looks like the Royal Opera House has issued a warning about an upcoming production of Lucia di Lammermoor. The company wants patrons to heed its "PG-13" rating due to the staging's use of risqué and gory elements.

The Covent Garden-based theater company is taking preemptive measures to warn members of the audience about the work's suggestive material. Director Katie Mitchell explained that the climactic scene is a gruesome murder, one detailed with multiple stabbings and attempted asphyxiation.

In Telegraph, she comments:

"It's a total mess. The reason it's staged like that is because if it was a nice conventional theatrical kill - knife in, knife out, collapse - then that's not enough to send someone Awol, but if you see them struggling and not being able to kill, it's terrifying."

This wouldn't be the first opera to contend the morals of its audience, either. Two years ago, the Metropolitan Opera's staging of The Death of Klinghoffer was protested during its premiere and subsequent performances by theatergoers and the general public alike who felt the graphic nature of the piece undermined a sensitive political discussion.

And speaking of the company putting on the performance, the Royal Opera received a long measure of criticism for its graphic portrayal of the 2015 Damiano Michieletto piece Guillaume Tell.

In light of the announcement, though, patrons have now filed for refunds with the e-mail informing them of the production's gruesome subject matter. Art may offend, but this seems to have crossed a proverbial and mental "line" with some of its viewers.

Fiona Maddocks questions the audience, sardonically positing that art should not offend, though any lover of the form can clearly understand the motive and statement behind its offensive material.

But don't take anyone else's word for it, have a gander for yourself in a preview of the performance below.

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TagsRoyal Opera House, Covent Garden, Lucia di Lammermoor

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