24 Oct, 2023 @ 18:06
1 min read

‘Intimacy coach’ is hired by major opera house in Spain to make actors more comfortable with passionate scenes

Intimacy director oversees passionate live performance scenes for first time in Spain
Intimacy director oversees passionate live performance scenes for first time in Spain

AN OPERA production in Barcelona has hired an experienced ‘intimacy director’ to ensure performers are comfortable taking part in passionate scenes- a first for Spain in any live or recorded entertainment.

The role’s creation came after the #MeToo movement rocked Hollywood but also the opera world with sexual harassment accusations involving the likes of Spain’s Placido Domingo.

In January. the veteran tenor faced new accusations of inappropriate behaviour from a fellow Spanish singer, three years after similar claims prompted an apology and effectively curtailed his career.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Intimacy director Ita O’Brien- regarded as one of the world’s best- has been providing advice during rehearsals for an operatic version of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, which opens this Saturday at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu.

She was brought in for a production at the Royal Opera House in London last year.

O’Brien, who has advised HBO and Netflix television productions on intimate scenes, said that operas have always revolved around dramatic stories and that historically a performer would arrive into a city just a few days before an opening, and was not expected to discuss intimate scenes.

“Without that process of agreement and consent sought, people were left feeling awkward, harassed, absolutely abused,” she said.

In a recent rehearsal, O’Brien checked that mezzo-soprano Adriana Bignagni Lesca, who plays Cleopatra’s servant Charmian, was comfortable kissing another woman on the lips, and supervised scenes in which the performer playing Antony embraces Cleopatra.

Lesca said there should be an intimacy director in every opera.

“It allows us to coordinate the way we do things, we interact, we kiss… we need to be comfortable with all of this,” she said.


Life-saving phone app for food allergy suffers created in Spain's Andalucia
Previous Story

Life-saving phone app for food allergy sufferers created in Spain’s Andalucia

Next Story

Realise your Marbella dream with property experts Roc Estates

Latest from Barcelona

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press