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Opera company says it’s not anti-gay

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  1. Paula Thomas 5 Jul 2011, 11:41am

    Opera North obviously doesn’t know the definition of ‘homophobia’.

    1. @RA_Whipple 5 Jul 2011, 1:11pm

      @Paula, Opera North and the administration of “the main primary school involved” both understand the definition, especially after 6-months rehearsal. They understand it so well that they are trying to redirect the focus onto a freedom of speech argument, which is disingenuous.

      This is the same thing happening to a writer at http://www.Litopia.com, run by a literary agent, Peter Cox. The wishy-washy argument is that everyone is just worried about other people’s sensitivities is so broad as to be laughable but until it is stood up against it will continue to be used there, as here, to ban, bully and abuse writers.

      I have more respect for a homophobe that admits he’s a queer basher than for one that cannot even admit his position.

    2. This is not homophobia. This is another attempt by gay sex activists to sexualize children. I applaud the school’s decision which by all means is reflective of the majority of normal gay people.

      1. Pepas made up phrase gay sex activists raises its ugly head again

        1. What’s so hard to understand?
          “Marriage equality” is/was a made up phrase as well that is pretty easy to understand. What you want to do is to focus on me instead of your actions and approval of the sexualization of children.
          As far as the phrase is concerned, it is appropriate. You are “gay” and you want children to know about “sex” and for that you become an “activist” — gay sex activitst. Pretty simple to understand.

      2. Staircase2 6 Jul 2011, 1:39am

        You’re not well Pepa

        1. I refuse to be a perv, yet I am the one who is not well?
          When a small minority of gays want to go to schools and force children to hear about gay sex, then no, something is not well here indeed.

          1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 3:47pm

            If thats what they do in the US then deal with it (pervs) but It certainly ain’t the way things are done here in the UK.

      3. “This is another attempt by gay sex activists to sexualize children”

        Delightful classic from Pepa, a real winner in intellect and rationale – “Stupidity, the new fragrance from Pepa”

        1. Will,
          I’m not the one who wants to sexualize children. YOU do.
          Now that is really stupid. But of course I’m talking to an arrogant fascist who wants to destroy the social norms of his own country.
          Next Ireland will be passing out condoms to five year old kids, just like here in the states, because gay sex activists have an ulterior agenda, and is not about “equality” it is about changing social norms and sexualizing everything and everybody. Will is a typical liberal sex activist, he doesn’t want gay marriage,what they want is polygamy and other “relationships” that are not normal to gay people, like him liberal sex activists wanted sexualize children for decades and even wanting to have sex with them, now that he is caught his reaction is typical.

          1. “I’m not the one who wants to sexualize children. YOU do.”

            Well, ANOTHER erudite statement form you. How marvellous.

            You are pathetic. And somewhat insane.

          2. “Will is a typical liberal sex activist, he doesn’t want gay marriage”

            Oh, and by the way, I’m getting married next month to my partner… more then a deranged animal like you could ever hope for, you fool.

          3. @ Pepa – What the f…. accusing someone on this forum of being a paedophile without proof is disgusting. Get the help you need and fcukoff out of here until you can behave yourself.

          4. Pepa – “But of course I’m talking to an arrogant fascist who wants to destroy the social norms of his own country.”

            I see nothing in anyones comments here to even remotely validate this statement. I agree with the previous poster, no one here could take you seriously. To be honest, you sound deranged.

        2. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 3:49pm

          I think ‘Stupidity’ would be too mature a fragrance Will, it’s clear pepa is a bit sick and prefers something younger…

          oh did I say younger, sorry I mean with less fragrance.

      4. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 3:45pm

        OMG – pepa and his children obsession again.

        The mans a danger!

  2. Andrew Hamm 5 Jul 2011, 11:50am

    Has Section 28 been repealed yet? Because I was pretty sure it had.

    1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 12:02pm

      It had but Labour later replaced it with the much worse Amendment 70.

      1. Paula Thomas 5 Jul 2011, 12:04pm

        Amendment 70?

        1. theotherone 5 Jul 2011, 12:15pm

          paula: Amendement 70 allows schools to say that Queer Sexualities are wrong and evil with the full backing of the law.

          It is indeed worse that Clause 28.

          1. Paula Thomas 5 Jul 2011, 12:19pm

            Mmmm… I agree amendment 70 (which I have now read) is awful and I now have another reason not to re-join the Labour Party. However worse than s28? I don’t think so, under s28 schools were permitted to do all the things they are permitted to do under amendment 70 except one and that is to say that homosexuality is a natural state that deserves respect.

          2. theotherone 5 Jul 2011, 12:34pm

            I’m not so sure about that Paula.

            Section 28 was awful but nowhere did it allow the teaching of ‘religious’ attitudes to homosexuality.

            That reminds me – I was going to do a petition to ask for Amendment 70 to be removed…

          3. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 12:50pm

            theotherone

            Excellent petition, I’d sign it!!

          4. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 12:51pm

            Paula

            the otherone is right, whereas section 28 just didn’t allow the subject to be discussed Amendment 70 does esp to religious belief.

            So in effect much worse.

          5. theotherone 5 Jul 2011, 1:26pm

            http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/clause70/

            I would like some of you folks to sign up :-)

      2. Petition re Amendment 70 signed

        1. theotherone 5 Jul 2011, 2:10pm

          thanks stu.

          Share it with friends :-)

        2. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 2:25pm

          Also signed.

          1. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 5:32pm

            Our fiend Mr Tony Blair and his wonderful changes to legislation that actually put the clock back rather than forward. Note that Mr Blair C of E has been known to slip off to church for the occassional Roman Catholic Mass.

        3. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 5:23pm

          It is notable here that Labour are as quiet as the Conservatives, votes are thier only interest. It is the more right wing part of the Conservative party. What is not generally known though is that there is a religious element here as well as political. Very few people appreciate that while drama and theatre might be liberal and leftish, opera and musical theatre have a very heavy right wing, you might even say rabidly right wing contingent. Think Lloyd Webber here and all those blue rinse elderly ladies and a few gents

          1. Re Amendment 70 – this would have confirmed that faith schools could follow their own ethos in SRE education. It became irrelevant when the whole bill was lost because of the lack of time at the end of Labour’s time in power.

  3. I shall be making a further comment on this shortly to Opera North, but in the meantime check this response from Opera North and the other comments (including mine) below:

    http://operanorth.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/a-statement-from-richard-mantle/

  4. It’s grim up north. Opera? The people of bridlington probs think Wagner was a novelty act on x factor.

    1. Hmmmmm

      Some of us northerners are cultured lol

  5. Opera North’s decision to support the school was homophobic. Mantle’s ridculous attemps to say it wasn’t are foolish.

  6. Opera North can’t do a thing about it if the school decide to pull out though. They could come out more strongly in support for the libretto and the writer, but it’s the school at the root of all this, and them who need to account for their position.

    1. Yes,I’d be interested to hear more from the school too.

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2011, 12:53pm

        Indeed.

        They need to question how they intend to fight racism and homophobia if they deny the pupils the right to exist.

      2. It really has been a PR disaster for ON – if the school was going to pull out anyway, they’d have been much cleverer to have stuck to their guns and said it was because they wouldn’t cave in to the school’s short-sighted, bigoted requests. That way they could have given their claim to be so ‘inclusive’ some credibility – credibility that’s now gone with the wind.

    2. I agree its the school/LEA who need to be held most to account but Opera North are derisory in their lack of credible criticism of the schools position and actually attacked the librettist in their most recent statement. Opera North are not shrouded in glory in this episode.

  7. Yes, Matt W, whatever you say. Nonetheless, it is Opera North now out there in cyberspace boasting that ‘they’re not prejudiced but…’ and extolling the spurious virtues of their supposed now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t commitment to equality and diversity. Ergo, they are also to blame, for sheer spinelessness as well as duplicity.

  8. Someone needs to remove the shovel from Opera North’s hands. They can’t dig their way out of this particular hole.

  9. Peter & Michael 5 Jul 2011, 1:46pm

    Once again Homophobia reigns, our 4yr old grand-daughter understands that two people of the same sex live together and has no problem about that, the problem we feel is when she enters mainstream school in September, may be stereotyped into thinking that there is only a hetrosexual world.

  10. I put up a petition asking Opera North to stand against homophobia and bring the production back to the town.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/asking-opera-north-to-stand-against-homophobia-and-bring-beached-back-to-bridlington

    1. I’m afraid the school’s website is out of date. Emma Hobbs is no longer the headmistress. John Murray took over as headteacher in 2007.

      1. Staircase2 6 Jul 2011, 1:44am

        Well that doesn’t bode well if they havent been able to update their own website in the past 4 years then!
        …Failing school perhaps?

      2. I’m afraid I have it wrong, Mrs Hobbs is the new headteacher. Although they have had 4 headteachers in 4 years!

  11. “Mr Hall added that the school had demanded that other references be cut, including the words “pee-pee””

    Pee-pee? WTF? Are they serious? Anyone offended, adult or child, by “pee-pee” needs intense counselling and to live in a sensory deprivation tank.

  12. The school in question, contact details from their website:

    Bay Primary School
    St Alban Road
    Bridlington
    East Yorkshire
    YO16 7SZ
    Tel: 01262 603312
    Fax: 01262 403499
    E-mail: bay.primary@eastriding.gov.uk
    Headteacher: Mrs E Hobbs
    School Business Manager: Mrs A Potter

    Their ethos is:
    ‘Promotes positive attitudes, progress and commitment to education’

    Ha.

  13. To the opera you do not ever buckle to racism and a few hate groups , your duty is to be a diversity chamber of entertainment for races and genders, there should be gay performances, with tack and elegance and proper references to the lgbt community not yelling demeaning names to who they are and as gay , families, which simple is a nice word, being gay should make you feel gay,, in spirit , its a wonderful thing, to know you are not a hetersexual monster or biggot their community rightfully get the award for the most human society and people in the nation, and thats something to be proud about. instead of a gender which is hetersexual who is know as rappest murderers and bigots rightfull so, its a big difference, and honor, you put wording age approrieate for the children to understand what gay is because many are alsready gay and no it , and they needs to see positive characters that represent them in film, and you get that done, and the school should be reprimanded for any racism a

  14. Seahorse1 5 Jul 2011, 4:11pm

    The response from a spokesperson at ON is unintentionally hilarious: “Opera North respects Lee’s rights as an author and Beached is a wonderful piece about bringing all different sections of the community together. On the other hand, we can appreciate the viewpoint of the school. Lee has raised a hugely valid debate and Opera North wants to be part of this. We have a fantastic reputation for building relationships between artists and communities and are really disappointed that on this occasion it has failed.” This kind of Civil Servant speak is all-pervasive in the arts. To jump through the hoops necessary for public funding, every organisation ends up with their own Sir Humphrey (and over time some establishments turn into a whole nest of Sir Humphreys). When they say Lee ‘raised a hugely valid debate’ they mean they see value in the overall debate, NOT his position. But how can there be a ‘valid debate’ about whether or not a character in an opera can mention he’s gay?

  15. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 5:25pm

    It is notable here that Labour are as quiet as the Conservatives, votes are thier only interest. It is the more right wing part of the Conservative party. What is not generally known though is that there is a religious element here as well as political. Very few people appreciate that while drama and theatre might be liberal and leftish, opera and musical theatre have a very heavy right wing, you might even say rabidly right wing contingent. Think Lloyd Webber here and all those blue rinse elderly ladies and a few gents. Sorry pasted here because it went in the wrong place last time.

    1. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 5:30pm

      Our old friend Roman Catholicism has a strong presence in Musical theatre and it should be noted that figures like Lloyd Webber are Roman Catholics. I think the problems with the vatican and pope interfering in British affairs are well known, and because of this there is only just now talk of allowing Prince Charles to marry the Catholic Ms Parker Bowles. It should be noted that all Roamn Catholics are supposed to do what the pope says and thier primary responsibility is to him. Note that another great homophobe Miss Ann Widicombe is also Roman Catholic, and consider how behind the scenes via thier priest this may be affecting what they do.

      1. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 5:42pm

        There are many more Roman Catholics in the North than in the south. I’m not sure it is a factor in this but I think it’s worth mentioning. Opera North’s behaviour is clearly despicable. There seems to be a pattern here because the tequniques being used are exactly the same ones used on me when i has discriminated against by my local opera groups, those are 1) Lie and try to say the whole thing is about something other than it is, eg say that it’s down to the language used and not homophobia. For my problem they said that it wasn’t down to trans/homophobia but down to a need to separate male voices in the chorus – strange though because they had earlier said to me it was down to being trans. 2) Try to blacken the name of the person concerned. Label them extremist, not giving them notice of the problem. All the same done to me, and i was so extreme that as a post operative transsexual of a few years I was willing to dress and present entirely as a male for the male parts i did.

        1. Another Hannah 5 Jul 2011, 5:47pm

          They will also try to tell you that anybody who says anyhting is low and thick if they can. They didn’t seem to realise I love high brow culture as well as more populist stuff and that I am well qualified and have many extremely high scores in intelligence tests. Just shows thought the extremely low nasty, extreme lengths they will goto. I am Christian (Quaker beliefs) myself, and there is nothing anywhere in christianity that condeones what they do and are doing and an awful lot that says they are off to a very hot burning place for what they have done and are doing!! Is or can anybody do anything in law about what has happened. They will now be hoping it all quietly goes away.

      2. Staircase2 6 Jul 2011, 1:47am

        I think you’re seeing conspiracy where there isnt one…
        True the Vatican is one of the most evil empire hubs ever created – but that doesn’t for a second mean that all modern day Catholics are mindless, spiritually devoid robots in the complete control of the Pope…

  16. Well opera north has basically hung themselves. Not homophobic … We just don’t want anything queer >.>

    It’s enough to make your was hurt.

  17. TrollFromOz 6 Jul 2011, 1:23am

    I don’t think that will include you, Stu.

    1. Hmmm? Something to say?

      1. Don’t worry Stu, this monkey is going trough the globe as names…. he’ll run out of countries.

  18. Does Bridlington have any meaning? I doubt it! Only a place to escape like Billy Elliot!

    1. Jock S. Trap 6 Jul 2011, 8:54am

      “No good comes from Bridlington”
      ———Nora Batty—————-

  19. Received today.

    Thank you for your email dated 4 July 2011 concerning the threatened cancellation of the community opera Beached.

    Arts Council England welcomes the news that the performances will go ahead and that the community of Bridlington will have the opportunity to complete its work with a prestigious opera company in Opera North and an internationally acclaimed artist in Lee Hall.

    Equality and freedom of artistic expression are at the heart of Arts Council values as without them we are simply unable to deliver our mission of Great art for everyone.

    Since becoming aware of the difficulties with the project, the Arts Council has spoken to Opera North, Lee Hall and East Riding of Yorkshire Council in an effort to understand what led up to the initial decision to cancel the performances.

    As a publicly funded body we also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to fos

  20. As a publicly funded body we also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations. We expect our funded organisations to also adopt and follow appropriate equality policy.

    The news that the opera will go ahead is of course very welcome but we also want to help ensure that similar problems do not happen again. To this end, and in order to help foster good relations, we will be inviting those involved to come together after the project has finished to review exactly what happened and to learn lessons for the future.

    I hope the above addresses your concerns and thank you for taking the time to share your views with us.

    Kind regards

    Keith Jukes
    Customer Service Advisor, Enquiries
    National Support Centre – The Hive
    Arts Council England

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