Should 'Carmen' be banned for promoting smoking?

Oct 13, 2014, 09:47 AM

The much-loved opera Carmen has been dropped from the schedule of the West Australian Opera company next season, because it features the artists smoking on stage. Indeed, the very opening scene of George Bizet's work is set outside a cigarette factory in a square in #Seville. It sends entirely the wrong message, according to the opera company's general manager, Carolyn Chard, who says "we care about the health and well-being of our staff, stage performers and opera lovers". It may also be relevant to note that the company has just signed a sponsorship deal with an agency promoting healthy living.

Is dropping Carmen a smart move to prevent the promotion of smoking as somehow glamorous? We spoke to opera lover and deputy arts editor of The Times, Neil Fischer...