Monday, October 8, 2012

Controversial ENO Ad Campaign?

ENO's controversial ad for Don Giovanni
After featuring the erotic and tasteful ad campaign of Opera Atelier in our last post, it seems appropriate to jump across the Pond and check out the Brits who have their panties in a twist over an ad campaign from the English National Opera for Mozart's Don Giovanni.

The London Evening Standard covered the controversy in their Friday edition with the headline, "ENO's Don Giovanni condom advert hits low note." In a nod to the growing influence of social media, the paper obtained most of their criticism from Twitter. They did provide one quote from a media professional, Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch-UK, who complained that the ad campaign added to the "hyper-sexualisation" of society.

Even the Los Angeles Times covered the controversy in their Culture Monster feature in the Arts & Culture section, as well as the Huffington Post

A unidentified spokeswoman for ENO told the Evening Standard:
“Given the subject of the piece, the marketing campaign for Rufus Norris’s production reflects the opera itself.

“We wanted an eye-catching ad to promote the opera. We came up with this idea which we think is brilliant, funny and captures the idea of Don G in a witty way.”
Sexy ad campaigns require sexy singers like Erwin Schrott and Randal Turner
What struck us as odd, is that with an ad campaign based on such a sexual theme, ENO didn't cast any barihunks in any of the three roles where we often find some beefcake - the sexually charged Don Giovanni, his sidekick Leporello or the young groom-to-be Masetto. 

As much as we love ENO and their efforts to attract younger audiences, for us, it's still a bit of false advertisement.

Performances run from October 17-November 17 and cast and ticket information is available on the ENO website.


  1. ....those stuffy Brits(who have their panties in a twist over an ad campaign from the English National Opera for Mozart's Don Giovanni) dont even matter, its the new followers that the advt achieves....opera desperately needs new blood lust followers like us Aussies

  2. Apparently, Ms Pattison is unfamiliar with the text of the Catalogue Aria. (Oh, silly me, I forgot: No sex, please - we're British!)

  3. The production was pretty dire and a revision is promised. The ad campaign smacks of desperation because ticket sales have been dire. Ian Paterson as Giovanni has a beautiful voice, is a great actor and qualifies as a hunk as far as I am concerned! By the way, the Ottavio, Ben Johnson has a beautiful voice and is a tenorhunk

  4. ENO's Masetto has all the sex-appeal in this cast, Irish basso cantante JOHN MOLLOY. Very, very sexy.