The opening night of a production of Lucia di Lammermoor has been booed by the audience at the Royal Opera House.
The production of Donizetti’s tragic opera directed by Katie Mitchell had been preceded by warnings of explicit sex scenes and violence.
It featured extra scenes that included a miscarriage on stage.
The warnings came after the London venue was forced to apologise following a 2015 production of William Tell which contained a rape scene that upset many.
Charlotte Higgins, chief culture writer for the Guardian who was in the audience, called the reception “pretty extraordinary”.
“It was booed as much as it was cheered, so there was a real feeling of division in the audience,” she told the Today programme.
She said the warnings were unnecessary as “the opera is inescapably violent and unpleasant”, even without the extra scenes which do not originally feature in the opera.
“These are dark and scary extraordinary pieces of work – they are are not there to comfort us, they are there to make us think about our own lives and take us to dark and unpleasant places,” she said.
The extra scenes include a passionate sex sequence and, after the audience are led to understand Lucia was pregnant, a miscarriage on stage.
Another big change in the production is a scene where Lucia stabs the husband she has been forced to marry, which normally happens off stage.
Director Mitchell said she added the scenes to deepen the audience’s understanding of Lucia.
“The male characters in Lucia di Lammermoor are on stage a lot, their psychologies are well drawn, they’re complex and thrilling and interesting.
“My beef with the piece is that there just isn’t that same degree of attention and thoughtfulness in the drawing of the female characters. There are scenes that …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment