Royal Opera: 'Rusalka' Met With Boos

Posted: Updated:
The Little Mermaid as you've never seen her before
The Little Mermaid as you've never seen her before

The curtain call at the Royal Opera’s Rusalka was met with booing this week.

Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s adaptation has transformed the famous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, in which a mermaid searches for love, into the story of a prostitute who wants more than just sex.

The scantily clad cast members are far cry from traditional, child-friendly adaptations of the tale including the most famous, Disney's film starring the red head Ariel and a singing Jamaican lobster called Sebastian.

Rupert Christian, a Telegraph critic, called the adaptation a work of “vandalism” and hopes the booing means that “the production will be returned to sender at the earliest opportunity”.

Negative reviews also came from Opera-Britannia who were disappointed by the set and costume: "Close your eyes and live the concert experience and you’ll enjoy a musically superb evening. Eyes wide open, it’s a shocker."

Rusalka, which is on at the Royal Opera until 8 March, is not the first controversial opera piece to grace the stage.

Recently eyebrow raising operas include Jerry Springer: The Opera, which ran for 609 shows in London and was sharply criticised by the religious community for its treatment of various issues; Gaddafi: A Living Myth, that included some of the most controversial moments from the dictator's life and hit London in 2006; and Anna Nicole: The Opera, which documented the Playboy pin-up’s troubled life at the Royal Opera last year.