When thinking about classical music, sex and sensuality are not typically front of mind. But in Mythology of Naked Flesh, a new digital show premiering as part of Brisbane Music Festival, Artistic Director Alex Raineri has developed an adults-only program that explores the eroticism of works by Britten, Scriabin, Ligeti and Richard Strauss alongside a “raunchy” new work by Melbourne-based composer Alex Turley, Piano Flesh XXX, inspired by webcam culture.

Ahead of the show’s digital premiere on 3 October, Raineri answered questions via email on opera’s awkward relationship with sex and eroticism, the rituals of classical music, and the possibilities offered by digital performance.

How was this show conceived? What was the inspiration?

This is a very weird and wonderful show for BMF to be presenting. It aims to be cheeky, light-hearted, sexy, intriguing and ultimately entertaining.

It is no secret that classical music tends to drag itself along woefully behind current societal trends. In the realms of theatre, film and television, dance and visual arts, no one would bat an eyelid engaging with content of an adult and sensual nature. Even...