No 'R' Rating for the Met's New Rigoletto

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A Rated R for Rigoletto? Not on the Metropolitan Opera’s watch.

On Feb. 16, the Met will broadcast its new Rigoletto production to movie theaters across the country as part of its Live in HD series. In keeping with its Las Vegas theme, audiences at the Met will see a few scenes with scantily clad dancers (and a topless pole dancer), but movie theater audiences will get something a bit more restrained.

No nudity will be broadcast to the theaters, thanks to a creative use of camera angles.

A Metropolitan Opera spokesman said the screenings are not rated, which means the racy stuff is off-limits. "It's not a Met rule, but since we do not have a rating for our Live in HDs, it would be problematic to show in movie theaters," he said.

In 2008, the Met decided not to show a nude scene involving Karita Mattila in Strauss's Salome, saying at the time that the theater broadcasts are family-friendly events.

As Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin detailed in a post during the heat of summer 2012, nudity in opera can present all kinds of challenges for singers and audiences alike.