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Except for society's upper-crust, there often isn't much influence.
Some efforts are being made in North America, such as education for kids (Not sure how successful that's been) and Saturday Met opera feeds to movie theaters.
For the latter on the west coast, a 10 a.m. curtain-rise can be challenging for opera lovers and the curious.
I've come to this debate rather late, during which it has deviated into some interesting avenues. But to return to the start - yes, there are several operas which raise things not really suitable for children - or for that matter, the tender-hearted. Of course opera is not unique here. Theatre, from the ancient Greek playwrights to Shakespeare and modern times has often presented disturbing themes. And many theatres today advise that particular plays are not suitable for young people. The depiction of violence onstage is one area that suggests especial caution. So, yes, I would support a similar system for opera, perhaps excluding Mozart in toto (the kids would probabkly enjoy Don Giovanni's descent into hell, no worse than panto when you think about it). But Otello strangling Desdemona, no.
Wagner's Ring: Lust for power, cruelty, incest, treachery,murder, mayhem of all kinds.
Also for Tristan&Isolde: Adultery.
Salome: Necrophilia, a stepfather attracted to his stepdaughter,lust.
Elektra: Ax murders .
Jenufa: Infanticide,jealousy, young woman pregnant with illegitimate child.
The Fiery Angel by Prokofiev: Demonic possession,demonology, black magic, an exorcism gone horribly out of control.
Manon: A wayward girl arrested and deported n morals charges.
Der Rosenkavalier: Adultery between the wife of an Austrian field marshall and a 17 year boy. Cross dressing.
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