The Art of the Australian Insult


Australian culture is “massively behind”
July 10, 2008, 3:02 am
Filed under: Culture | Tags: , ,

“Still behind in many aspects; I mean quite massively behind.”

Elke Neidhardt, director of the production of Don Giovanni currently on at the Sydney Opera House, on Australian culture. Neidhardt was born in Stuttgart but has spent half her life in Australia.  She finds the prudishness of Australians frustrating – a shower scene in Don Giovanni required a nudity warning, something she says would never happen in Europe:

“If someone should complain about seeing two pubic hairs when he stepsout of the shower, they can say, “But we warned you”. No one in Europe would complain. This is a bit infantile. But what can you do? It’s puritanical.”

She is also highly critical of the Opera House, which for all its beauty, is awful to work in. Her friends envy her for working there: “Their eyes gleam. They all think it’s a fabulous building – little do they know – ha.” As she explains:

“Fabulous building but awful to work in. It’s all too small, the pit is laughable: a big botch-up.”

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