“My Racist Father is Holding me Hostage”….Wait, WHAT?

November 18, 2010 § 1 Comment

Yup. You read that right. Now, read it again. Make you curious? Good. Now, go to the Royal Opera House to see what it’s all about! That line is the tag for one of the new videos that The Royal Opera House has created in a viral video campaign that is looking to attract a different type of audience member. Most of the videos are slightly controversial and feature tag lines such as "I’m a slave in my own home…I want to divorce my family" (Cinderella), and "My racist father is holding me hostage" (Romeo and Juliet). The campaign, called "Danny Knows Best" is in the form of a reality television show, complete with family shouting/punching matches, "Who’s the Daddy?" paternity tests, incest, murder, and perhaps even midget wrestling. Ok, maybe not that last one, but the possibilities are endless! The video that launched the idea for the campaign was for a production of Don Giovanni that became wildly successful online. (http://www.roh.org.uk/video/index.html?bcpid=1733261711&bclid=1740033475&bctid=1581481217)

Blogger Charlotte Higgins seems disgusted with the idea. In a recent blog, she wrote "Part of me likes the strikingly unsnobbish approach. However, going to Covent Garden to watch an opera or ballet has almost nothing in common with tuning into reality TV, and it’s slightly dotty to suggest it does."
Sure, there won’t be actual paternity tests or throwing of chairs in the ‘traditional’ Jerry Springer style happening on stage, but most people who are smart enough to figure out how to watch the video online are going to realize that, Charlotte. The point of the campaign is to spark interest in the productions. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Opera isn’t hugely popular among the masses. Perhaps some new marketing can get a few more people into the audience. Some will love what they see. Some will hate it. Most won’t expect Jerry Springer, his body guards, or his notoriously entertaining guests ACTUALLY on the stage. Unless of course, they are going to see "Jerry Spring, the Opera." (Yes it exists. And it is fantastic.) Bravo to The Royal Opera House for helping the masses to see what it is at heart-controversial, dramatic, and fun!




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