Carmen promotes smoking; opera cancelled

The West Australian Opera has announced it will not program the opera Carmen in the next two years, after it secured $400,000 in sponsorship from Healthway, because the story features smoking.

The 1875 work by Georges Bizet is one of the world’s most popular operas and the heroine, Carmen, works in a Spanish cigarette factory.

Who would have guessed that the people who go to the opera would be unaware of the health risks associated with smoking?

Update: The idea that Carmen promotes smoking is so ludicrous and new that I can’t find any reference to it having been made before. If it has, please provide a link in the comments thread.

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65 Responses to Carmen promotes smoking; opera cancelled

  1. MsDolittle

    Anyhow have a Winfield. WA Opera has totally stressed me with this nanny attitude so I’m off to the shops to buy smokes.

  2. Tintarella di Luna

    The stupid virus infects every aspect of life — carried by university educated nitwits who have neither the wit or the intellect to understand what is real and what is fantasy.

  3. Gutho

    Do what Otto Preminger did, put her in a parachute factory

  4. Infidel Tiger

    One of the really insidious things the nanny nazis have done, is pressure theatre companies, sporting and community groups to not accept any advertising from tobacco, alcohol or fast food companies and instead be sponsored by such pure and wonderful bodies as Healthways.

    Healthways of course is completely taxpayer funded. So the long suffering taxpayer not only gets lectured to by a cabal of fart sniffing, mung bean molesters, but pays for it too.

    These evil quangos must be eliminated.

  5. Tal

    Jesus IT what will you do on Saturday nights?

  6. Tintarella di Luna

    These evil quangos must be eliminated.

    To the barricades – imagine the French – no wonder they are so arrogant – they have good reason to be while the WA taxpayer puts up with ……

  7. Sinclair Davidson

    I think Carmen should be a refugee working in a shelter – only then will she be free of capitalist exploitation of the masses, the ignorant, rich, old people who go the opera.

  8. H B Bear

    If Professor Mike Daube was a QANGO, he would be Healthways.

    I would love to give him a wheat grass enema with a fire hose.

  9. Snoopy

    I think Carmen should be a refugee working in a shelter

    And she dies of lung cancer and Don Jose confesses to the crowd that he is the one who introduced her to smoking.

  10. Infidel Tiger

    Jesus IT what will you do on Saturday nights?

    Looks like I won’t be attending the opera.

    Perhaps I’ll find some street theatre or the local high school are putting on an eisteddfod .

  11. Snoopy

    And the character Don Jose is changed to Scott Morrison.

  12. JC.

    I think Carmen should be a refugee working in a shelter

    Yea, ditch the cig factory and have her working for Tinkler’s dishonest ref mob.

    One small point. I thought cigs were introduced through soldiers in WW1. I didn’t know they were around the 18oos

  13. H B Bear

    Even Nana Hutch ALPBC’s Perth resident hand-wringing, beta panty-buncher was beating this up this morning.

  14. Baldrick

    Who elected the Healthway SS Division?

  15. marcus

    Why is a government funded NGO spending taxpayers money sponsoring a heavily subsidised opera company?

  16. Pedro the Ignorant

    I would bet good money that Mike Daube, professional pommy whinger and wowser extraordinaire has his flabby pasty little hand in this debacle.

    WA- home of the loopiest taxpayer funded nanny staters and do-gooders in Oz. Who else would call their cricket team the “Alcohol Think Again Western Warriors”?

  17. Rabz

    The idea that Carmen promotes smoking is so ludicrous and new that I can’t find any reference to it having been made before.

    The term “beyond parody” springs to mind – or if these idiots hadn’t actually done this, satirists would have had a potentially very funny scenario to create.

  18. Notafan

    Im sure someone will come along to crowdfund a production of Carmen,
    Though it would probably be cheaper to just charter a plane for the ‘self funded retirees ‘to go see it somewhere in Europe,
    Can you imagine how many head noddyingly moronic discussions went into taking this ground breaking decision?
    Wankers all.

  19. Rabz

    Who else would call their cricket team the “Alcohol Think Again Western Warriors”?

    FFS – I just post a comment citing the term “beyond parody” and someone posts that – you’re having me on right, Pedro, surely??

  20. Rabz

    Can you imagine how many head noddyingly moronic discussions went into taking this ground breaking decision?

    Yes, lines such as this – “We wouldn’t want impressionable young women to think working in a Spanish cigarette factory is a glamorous occupation.” 😕

  21. blogstrop

    When will the left/luvvie/media reject some stage show featuring unhealthy homosexual lifestyles?

  22. Sinclair Davidson

    Rabz – Spaniards would be happy to take any job now that all those green jobs haven’t materialised.

  23. Mike of Marion

    ABC PM all over it!!!!!

  24. Notafan

    We definitely wouldn’t want impressionable young women thinking working in a 19th century Spanish cigarette factory is a glamorous occupation.
    Because anyone who isn’t us is incredibly stupid.
    Carmen must never be performed again anywhere in the whole wide world, it is the greatest threat to civilisation the world has known (after global warming)
    Who can stop it?

  25. Leigh Lowe

    Although it might be unpopular here, I tend to agree with Healthways on this one.
    I mean, I can see the real possibility that a lifetime non-smoker could attend a performance of Carmen and, upon leaving the theatre, remark to his partner, “Jeez, I could fucking murder a packet of Winnie Blues, Darl!”

  26. vlad

    Change it to a pharmaceutical factory turning out medically-prescribed reefers and it’ll all be okay again.

  27. Leigh Lowe

    This is a joke story, right?
    Really? …. Western Australia? … Opera?
    Ha, ha …. Nice one, Sinc!

  28. Geriatric Mayfly

    Now, if Carmen worked in a Cuban cigar factory, the ‘bravissimas’ would rock the rafters; even the nannies would applaud (politely.)

  29. .

    Les Miserables encourages political violence and sedition? Call ASIO?

    FFS. What a waste of money. Who paid for this? The long suffering taxpayer.

    We all pay Federal taxes that are redistributed. Some of this money was paid for by every Australia.

  30. Pedro the Ignorant

    FFS – I just post a comment citing the term “beyond parody” and someone posts that – you’re having me on right, Pedro, surely??

    from Rabz.

    Sadly Rabz, no kidding. Behold the shame in all its glory;

    http://www.southperthcc.com.au/files/477/images/Western%20Warriors%20Healthway.png

  31. H B Bear

    Anybody who has had the misfortune to have been served flat mid-strength beer in a plastic cup at the run down shit hole that is the WACA doesn’t need the government to tell them to “think again”.

  32. Rabz

    Thanks, Pedro – the horror. Cricket for me is dead.

  33. Rabz

    served flat mid-strength beer in a plastic cup at the run down shit hole that is the WACA

    The horror. Again.

  34. Blair

    Carmen worked in a cigar factory. Tailor- made cigarettes came much later.

  35. Some History

    The social engineers come along waving the [taxpayer] loot and organizations say yes we’ll take the money and accept healthist censorship, however absurd.

    The more this moralizing zealotry is appeased, the more ludicrous and hysterical become the claims and the more draconian and inhumane become the demands.

    These social engineers are also involved in removing the cigarette from history. There are now quite a few examples of antismokers re-writing history a là tyranny. For example, concerning a commemorative stamp issue, the US Post Office authorized the airbrushing out of a cigarette dangling from James Dean’s lips. The same was done with Black American blues guitarist Robert Johnson and with artist Jackson Pollock. The French Post Office did similarly with philosopher Andre Malraux (and Jean-Paul Satre). Columbia Records has removed a cigarette Paul Simon was holding to his lips for the CD cover of the retrospective of Simon and Garfunkel titled “Old Friends.” A cigarette was airbrushed out from the hand of a cast member for the cover of the 25th Anniversary CD of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A cigarette in Paul McCartney’s right hand has been removed from the cover of the album “Abbey Road.” An impromptu photo of Britney Spears on the balcony of a Sydney hotel had the “offending” cigarette she was smoking airbrushed out by US Weekly. A cigarette has been removed from the mouth of one of the characters appearing in the “Keep Mum She’s Not So Dumb” war-time advertisement. In a brochure photograph (The Maritime Heritage Centre) a cigar has been removed from the mouth of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Further, “[i]n 1953 Dr Cardew had photographed a reconstruction of the laboratory bench on which Fleming discovered penicillin. [S]ituated on the bench was a Petri dish of cigarette ends (Fleming having been a heavy smoker). The reconstruction was located in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington but as Dr Cardew relates: ‘The museum reconstruction in 1993 omitted the Petri dish on the grounds that the hospital had a no smoking policy….’”

    They’ve even airbushed out Winston Churchill’s signature cigar.
    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/case-of-missing-cigar.html

    Then there’s this recent case:
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/groping-for-truth-in-the-fog-of-war-20140301-33su1.html#ixzz2uoZ

  36. Infidel Tiger

    Introducing West Australians to culture always ends in disaster and a shot of penicillin.

  37. Johno

    This is a joke story, right?
    Really? …. Western Australia? … Opera?
    Ha, ha …. Nice one, Sinc!

    It must be true. I kept hearing the ads for it during the breaks in the broadcast of the Eagles matches in Perth. Not only does WA have opera, but they promote it heavily to footy fans.

    You wouldn’t see that in the Socialist State of Victoria. 🙂

  38. Some History

    In one American school, the very word “cigarette” is forbidden:
    http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/12/children_do_not_need_us_to_artificially_sanitize_the_world.html

    In New Zealand, the word “cigarette” had to be removed from a shop front:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/10200319/Tobacconists-stand-against-rules-ends-in-court

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  39. calli

    I love Carmen. Apart from a great Roll-a-Door commercial, it has given us this:

    “Toreador, don’t spit on the floor!
    Use the cuspidor, that’s what it’s for.
    And if you have spit upon the floor,
    Don’t spit there anymore!
    But if you do not spit then you will be
    The primo toreador!”

    These people are idiots.

  40. Old School Conservative

    Next thing you know WA will be banning or sanitising “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.

  41. MikeS

    I wonder if “The Abduction from the Seraglio” will be ruled out of bounds, dealing as it does with kidnap of a woman and servitude to an Ottoman Pasha. Tricky keeping up with where misogyny fits in the ‘rock-paper-scissor’ hierarchy of fashionable grievances.

  42. Leigh Lowe

    I wonder if “The Abduction from the Seraglio” will be ruled out of bounds, dealing as it does with kidnap of a woman and servitude to an Ottoman Pasha. Tricky keeping up with where misogyny fits in the ‘rock-paper-scissor’ hierarchy of fashionable grievances.

    Using similar criteria, Shakespeare’s fucked.
    (If the bard was still alive I am sure he would have worded that much more eloquently, but he’s fucked nonetheless).

  43. Des Deskperson

    A small but personal example.

    Back in the oughties, I held a fairly senior position in an APS agency, and it was decided that my picture should appear in the agency’s annual report. The photograph – it was, of course, staged – purported to show me at a white board using a marker pen to point out some particularly fascinating statistical aspect of our agency’s performance over the reporting period.

    However, when the picture was published in the annual report – and subsequently used in various promotional material – the marker pen had been air-brushed out.

    Why? It looked too much like a cigarette!

  44. C.L.

    It’s Blair’s Law.

    All the world’s idiocies are coalescing into one giant ball of stupid.

    Muslims/feminists/climate changers/white power supremacists/Tony Burke/Emily’s List/nazis/the ABC/Hollywood/anti-smokers/teetotalists/the AFL …

  45. Some History

    From Vaping Liz, here’s an antismoking hate campaign launched last week: “Girls with dreams don’t smoke. They don’t vape”
    http://vapingpoint.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/how-do-smokers-deserve-respect.html

  46. Some History

    Could someone indicate if there’s any difference to the anti-tobacco sections of these eugenics texts from the early-1900s (rhetorical):
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13444/13444-h/13444-h.htm
    http://www.archive.org/stream/hygieneforworker00tolmuoft/hygieneforworker00tolmuoft_djvu.txt

  47. .

    “Rabz
    #1471744, posted on October 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    served flat mid-strength beer in a plastic cup at the run down shit hole that is the WACA

    The horror. Again.”

    Don’t start me. I have left the cricket early at the SCG over this.

  48. hzhousewife

    Can’t imagine what operas the WA Opera company will EVER be able to present
    in the future ! Operas have human failings, infidelity, lies, deceit, greed, manipulation,
    baseless euphoria, madness, exaggeration, corruption, love triangles squares and circles,
    in fact infinite numbers of things that the poor people of WA probably aren’t ready to handle
    just quite yet. Wait till they find out about novels !

  49. MikeS

    Hey calli

    I love Carmen. Apart from a great Roll-a-Door commercial, it has given us this:

    Many years ago, was at an “Opera in the Domain” featuring Carmen. A nice evening for all assembled and still vividly remember how the whole crowd lit up at recognition of the Roll-a-Door aria. Ten thousand people rocking and mumbling the words to a TV commercial definitely left an impression.

  50. alexis

    The whole thing is basically a joke intended to get some free PR and very successfully as it turns out. Carmen basically turns up every five or six years and they wouldn’t have had any plans to put it on now. It’s all about the $$$ with these companies and Carmen makes lots of them. If they were really concerned about the issue (and I can guarantee they are not) then they could change it from a cigar factory to something else. From memory the actual function of the factory is entirely irrelevant to the rest of the plot.

  51. MikeS

    Hi alexis

    From memory the actual function of the factory is entirely irrelevant to the rest of the plot.

    The rolling of cigars upon the bare thigh of a beautiful seductress may be hard to relocate, but I for one am open to variations.

  52. Leigh Lowe

    Operas have human failings, infidelity, lies, deceit, greed, manipulation,
    baseless euphoria, madness, exaggeration, corruption, love triangles squares and circles,
    in fact infinite numbers of things that the poor people of WA probably aren’t ready to handle
    just quite yet.

    What?
    Can’t handle it?
    That describes a Saturday at Ascot races circa 1995 with Bondy, Big Red, Last Resort Laurie, Brian Burke and Carmen (the other Carmen) Lawrence, with a cameo by Chris Mainwaring.

  53. Oh come on

    Great. We need more of this kind of triple distilled idiocy up in lights.

  54. Splatacrobat

    However, when the picture was published in the annual report – and subsequently used in various promotional material – the marker pen had been air-brushed out.

    Why? It looked too much like a cigarette!

    I’m up shit creek then?

    we like watching the Poirot’s and Miss Marples on the ABC and boy there is a lot of smoking going on in those shows. I swear there is not a scene that does not show someone lighting up, blowing huge plumes of smoke, stubbing one out or offering someone a cigarette.

  55. squawkbox

    Seeing ‘Carmen’ and ‘West Australian Opera’ juxtaposedI had a sudden horrible fear that someone had written an opera about Carmen Lawrence.

  56. nerblnob

    I love Carmen. Apart from a great Roll-a-Door commercial, it has given us this:

    It surely reached its apogee in the Poowong FC song. “We are Poowong – the greatest team of all”

    Suck on that, Cats.

  57. Callie, it’s seared on my brain.

    1960’s Muirs? Motors (two brothers ran competing(?) Holden dealerships…

    I’ll win the fight I’ll win the trade in war,
    You give a lot, I give much more,
    I give more money on new Holdens than you do,
    And better service too!

    I give much more than you,
    I give much more,
    I give much more, than, you!

    No doubt Lord Wentworth will give their ABC another $10 million for battling opera writers to come up with replacement CFMEU approved storylines.

  58. Michael Madden

    Would Carmen get the tick of approval if they had her working in a
    Solar panel factory?

  59. Pyrmonter

    If Carmen is thought to promote smoking, have any of the nanny-crats ever read the libretto of the Ring Cycle? Family and Community Services need to be on to this.

  60. Talleyrand

    Better to ban Turandot as this involves beheading and may inspire a certain religious minority to start head lopping. Oh wait…

  61. Blair

    “The key priorities for Healthway are reducing harm from tobacco, reducing harm from alcohol, reducing obesity ………”
    I guess if Pavarotti were alive, the West Australian Opera wouldn’t be able to use him in their productions.

  62. .

    “Splatacrobat
    #1471900, posted on October 9, 2014 at 1:00 am

    However, when the picture was published in the annual report – and subsequently used in various promotional material – the marker pen had been air-brushed out.

    Why? It looked too much like a cigarette!

    I’m up shit creek then?

    we like watching the Poirot’s and Miss Marples on the ABC and boy there is a lot of smoking going on in those shows. I swear there is not a scene that does not show someone lighting up, blowing huge plumes of smoke, stubbing one out or offering someone a cigarette.”

    Bloody hell. There is also a majority of smokers, drunks, gamblers, rakes and mad rooters.

    Ban the ABC!

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