Australia’s public broadcasting watchdog has been warned not to give opera a go when it comes to online viewing.
The ABC and SBS are the only Australian public broadcasters offering online viewing of operas, although a number of smaller broadcasters are also streaming their output.
The regulator, the Australian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, has said it will take the lead in advising viewers of opera’s risks to their health and wellbeing.
“Opera is not a safe experience for anyone who has never experienced operatic performances,” the regulator said in a statement.
“This includes the audience.
Operas may be unsuitable for younger audiences and the risk of heart attacks and strokes can be very real.”
The ABC, SBS and Telstra have all reported that they had encountered online piracy.SBS, which has recently been rebranding, has reported that more than 100,000 people have downloaded its online opera services.
The AUSTRAC has also raised concerns about the safety of opera-watching.
“Actors’ health and safety are important issues for the industry and we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that opera is safe for audiences,” it said in the statement.
Opera Australia general manager David Wetherill said the regulator’s comments reflected concerns about opera’s health and the need for more research into the risks.
“It’s absolutely clear that the opera industry needs to do more,” he said.
“We need to be more proactive in getting more information to people.”
But it’s not enough just to say, ‘Oh, you can watch it online’.”‘
I’m a big fan’Opera’s chief executive, Tony Williams, said the company had a long history of encouraging audiences to explore opera.”
Our business is about people,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.”
I’m not a big opera fan.
I’ve been a big theatre fan my whole life.
I like theatre.””
But the great thing about opera is that you get a sense of what the great composers are thinking.
“Mr Williams said Opera Australia was keen to learn more about the risks posed by opera.
But he acknowledged the regulator had not made any recommendations about opera.
Operas can be streamed for free online.
But some viewers have complained about the quality of the streams.”
The quality of a live performance is always going to be lower than a recording,” Mr Williams said.