Sex and Opera

TV news in Denmark: Opera based on “11 Minutes” DISCLAIMER: even if it is TV news, there are some erotic scenes.

I don’t understand Danish, but I wrote the book, so I can guess some scenes….


  1. Floris vermeir says:

    I just wondered supposing you wanted to make one version of this yourself how and to whom do you have to ask permission for the rights and all that. I supose you need to.

    As for the story, why mingle it up with other peoples stories. Why not just stick to it ? Its good as it is. And can you not make a new different play based on other peoples stories. Would that not be better ? Less comforting ? The 11 minute story and the a darker play. As 2 sides of the same coin ? Just thinking.

    I love the story, and i agree she knows what she is choosing, to the best knowledge you can have before you have the experience.

    Yet often experience is not what we have when we decide/make a choice, it only comes after we made the choice.

  2. edmond says:

    Hello All,

    Sex and Opera….I like Sex,don’t like opera…These opinion from TV experience only…Have not been live on an opera show(they dont shows often at here)…Sex acting on opera can be interesting for opera fan people…Even for Me but not writen from our Paulo…

  3. Montega says:

    Very funny, only last week i wrote here that i wished the opera would travel, even without ever having heard the music to it.
    Now, friday evening, i open this weeks post. i leaf through the pages of the theaters newspaper and what does it say on page 3: Paulo Coelho in Theater for the first time.

    27th of march, i’ll book that, my salary should be in by then ;)

    no- all jokes aside, it is amazing to read this article just a few days later. Ola Mafaalani who turned the book into the theaterpiece describes how much trouble she had being allowed to use eleven minutes until she decided to write a letter to You personally.

    She writes: ‘According to Coelho each person has his own legend. Often the people you love most, prevent you from doing what you should be doing. But if you really choose for your dream, if you take that step, the whole universe will conspire to bring you closer to your goal.
    All kinds of coincidences help you to become who you should be. It went like that for him too, – despite all resistance he became a fabulously famous writer in the end.’

    Nice , isn’t she :)

    Ola went to talk to prostitutes in Groningen and a friend of hers did the same in Amsterdam. The stories of these woman were used in the play too.
    She says: ‘In eleven minites the Brasilian Maria islured into prostitution under false pretenses. In a Swiss brothel she does her job as demure as possible. Her previous dream, finding her a great love, seems far away. But then it all turns out fine.’

    This is where i wonder, – did she understand what she read?
    Why does she has to be judgemental?
    Because the prostitutes she herself met talked about abuse and supression?
    In the book Maria knows perfectly well she’s coming to Europe to be a dancer and when that doesn’t work out she herself chooses her own path?
    No ?
    There was a choice wasn’t there?
    Of course there was!
    Maybe i just wanted a choice. Maybe i wished for it.

    The thing is, i am a prostitute, even if i don’t do the tricks of my trade for many years at times, all it takes is , – what? i can’t put it in words, only images can tell what it takes, think of ice melting when your warm breath blows on it, or an iron garden gate swinging open, and you can leave the busy grey street and enter into another world, just a few steps away from the traffic rush.
    It is very odd to be the only person i have ever met who loves prostitution, who loves the men i have been with. Can you love a few hundred men? yes of course you can. Just like you love light, love sunshine, love smiles. It’s very odd to know that i am happy, that i feel that i belong in my life when i’m flirting and having sex for money. All i can say is thats it is the life force itself i can connect to then. Sure, meditating is good too, but quite different of course.

    There is way too many cliches about prostitution and that makes it impossible for rather normal, hardly mixed up, not victimised, not stupid, illegal or desperate woman to be prostitutes.
    And that is a shame.

    Now i have to think of Belle de Jour, by this wonderful crazy gifted Spanish movie maker Bunuel! Catherine Deneuve plays the role of a bored housewife who discovers her sexuality in a Parisian brothel during the day,- hence the name -, when her husband is at work.
    This was a cult movie in the 70th, two years ago i watched not a remake but a newly made epilogue on Belle de Jour. It was really very sad. An empty live lived in vain was portrayed, the actress, not Deneuve any longer, on the virge of entering a coven, bitter and withdrawn, undressed of all sensuality.
    A sign of our times.
    Judgemental and preconcieved.
    Prostitution is bad, and if you do it, you will suffer for the rest of your life.

    i just really hope Ola Mafaalani won’t fall for that politically correct trap. Because there is more to it, way more, the life has got a enchanting magic to it that is as old as the world, and it is a holy as anything else on this planet. We’ll see :)

  4. Monika says:

    Erotic or not depends a lot on the music and chant and the actors of course. I could imagine the chant could disturb my erotic exitement…but it is really a crazy idea and therefore I am curious.

  5. Ciao Paulo, l’ Erotismo è vita, è gioco, è luce.
    Non solo è morte,è paura,è buio.
    Ancora meglio di un sorriso puí² racchiudere in sè la follia della vita. Ciao Rosetta

  6. Monika says:

    I would like to hear how she sings an orgasm.

    1. the andrew sisters says:

      en see bee mol!

  7. Sibila Maria India says:

    Dear Paulo Coelho

    I live in Denmark – and I´m happy to see there´s an opera build on your book as I really liked your message on intimacy and how sex can be used, abused, surrendered to and be part of the flow of being deelpy together as I read “11 minutes”.

    This clip is about the fact that the opera in Fyn has asked Joan í˜rting, who is a professional sexologue, for assistance, so the production can be trully erotic. Joan loves this opportunity,she delights that people in the audience maybe can be inspired to go home and have sex afterwards. One of the opera singers has never been naked on stage before and is really challenged by this requirement in this production. The instructor says the opera is very erotic and has been very well received by mr & mrs operaviewer.

    Joan í˜rting is the older sister of a friend that I have had for many years. Joan is totally self-made and has build her own carrier so she today is Denmark´s maybe most used sexologue in the public arena. She has created her own education where she trains many people to become sexologues and guides in healthy personal inter-actions, fulfilling relations and close intimacy. She has said in one of her countless interviews that one of her dreams is to do something that brings people together in sincere relating and the joy of sex. That she wants to fight for close relationships. She does a massive amount of work for healthy relationships and healthy sexuality in this country – where it is, in my view, much needed. Half of Denmarks population lives alone,
    I´m happy you chose to show this clip here on your blog.

    Have a wonderful day,


    1. Hello Sibila,
      Thank you for your interesting post giving further details of the video “Sex and Opera” on Danish TV. In it you say that Joan Orting does “a massive amount of work for healthy relationships and healthy sexuality” in Denmark. I think this kind of work is needed in all countries, for it is surprising how much ignorance there is on these matters and how much suffering is caused as a result, so the more professionals there are available the better!
      I think it is good that Paulo Coelho in his book “Eleven Minutes” talked openly and frankly about sexuality and relationships and this book is being read in many different languages all over the world.
      Best wishes, Theresa

  8. Barbara says:

    I’m lucky to understand Danish although it is not my mother tongue so I want to give you a little summary about what they are saying in the video:

    For this play the opera in Fyn has contacted a “sexologist” (the lady with red hair) who shall teach the actors/opera singers to “act sexy” on stage.
    (Side note: The term “sexologist” (or in Danish: “sexolog”) has recently become quite popular in Denmark. It is usually women (I haven’t heard from a male sexologist yet) that advise people about sexuality, for example people who have problems with it, who are afraid of it or simply wish to learn more about it but don’t know who to talk to about it.)
    The sexologist in the video tells that she wishes the acting will seem realistic and that it will affect the audience in a way that they after the opera wish to take home and have sex themselves.
    Moreover the video tells about that some actors at first were against being naked on stage. The lady with brown hair tells that her first thought was “No, I can’t do that!” But then she changed her mind and it is now the first time in her life that she will be naked on stage and the sexologist is giving her good advice for that and how to act sexy and erotically.
    At last they say that the opera makers are convinced that the audience will like the play and that nobody will think it is repellent to watch it but that it will be “exciting eroticism” the audience is going to see.

    1. Thank you for the summary in English – Very interesting!

    2. Barbara says:

      It was a pleasure :) Glad I could help.

  9. Irina Black says:

    “Кровать-опера бедняка.”(Олдос Хаксли)-о приобщении высокому…

  10. nah nah nah nah nah nah nah ha ha says:

    Et alors Paulo? … t ‘y penses plus. C’est immoral tout cela….ca va dechainer les mamies …. woo woo woo attention aux vapeurs! :)

  11. Jens says:

    I’m a dane. The story is about the opera in danish island Fyn. The director have called a sex therapist (the lady with red hair) to give advice to the actors about how to act more sexy. She wants one actor to kiss another on the butt, she says. She also says she wants the actors to inspire the public to go home and have sex. In the end, the speaker wonders if the public will accept all the sex in the play.

    The lady – Joan í˜rting – is well known in Denmark. She writes for the biggest tabloid newspaper in my country.

  12. AllaSobirova says:

    I wish I could watch it!I read the book and was happy for the heroine that took her situation philosophically and respected that she studied there.I often hear those horrible stories when girls are sold to work as prostitutes.

  13. Eugenia says:

    I have read this book but I couldn’d watch the video.
    About the book, I have to say that I read it in two days and I liked a lot, I have understood that Maria left sex to came back to her country but on the way she find love and sex.
    So, I take that love between both sides, firs, and then sex, because sex with out passion, attraction or love can be the hell.

  14. elaine says:

    I do hope they include a rousing, romp musical number for the S/M sequence…Something catchy like “He Had It Coming” from the musical CHICAGO… LOL

    Seriously, ELEVEN MINUTES is one of my favs… I felt for Maria every step of the way. I also cheered for her as she dug herself out of prostitution by learning the language and by reading books that would help her grow intellectually and spiritually. (Keeping her thoughts in a journal to help her cope was true genius, Paulo!) Maria became independent and really didn’t need a man unless she desired one. Go Maria!!!

    Yes, the sex is part of the book and needs to be addressed; however, Maria, the girl who is not down for long, needs to be the main focus of any play, opera, or movie.

    ELEVEN MINUTES is the Bomb Diggity, Paulo ;-0

    Love and warm light to you,

    1. Hi Elaine!
      I agree that “Maria, the girl, needs to be the main focus of any play, opera, or movie. Although prostitution and sex had it’s place in the book it was only part of Maria’s quest for true love and happiness. I hope they will make a thrilling movie one day!
      Love, Theresa

    2. elaine says:

      Thanks Theresa,

      Love ya, Lainee

  15. lynne says:

    I think the opera as the book supports and/or allows us all to have permission to explore our sexuality whatever that means to each individual. We are all sexual beings.

  16. I really enjoyed reading “Eleven Minutes” by Paulo Coelho and was interested to watch “Sex and Opera” from Danish TV. Actually, I found the written word more ‘erotic’ than the video!

    I’m not against eroticism per se and in fact it is difficult to avoid it nowadays. I think we should all be FREE to indulge in it if we so wish! Here in Egypt, Foreign films shown on TV and in some Cinemas are censored and erotic scenes have been carefully removed. This is rather stupid as anyone can watch frank pornography on the Satellite channels available in the country! Also, at least one of the Internet Network Companies censors ‘searches’ on the Web for Religion, Pornography and Political Opposition. Where is our freedom?

    Having said all this, I would just like to add that I am deeply concerned about the exposure of children to ‘erotic’ material at an early age! Freedom brings with it responsibilities, so parents should make every effort to protect their young children.

  17. Enhorabuena Paulo por la repercusión de tus libros en todos los medios y en todos los paises.
    Quiero ver esa í“pera.
    Un beso

  18. carmen says:

    I think people are too much obsessed with sex,it’s not a big deal.Just live and let live..

  19. Effie says:

    i think i need to read 11 minutes asap lol

  20. Monica says:

    Sex based on lust is destructive…….sex based on love is wonderful as we let ourselves be loved and at the same time we share the feeling with our partner..


  21. marie-christine says:

    Pan pan sur les fesses..oh la la

    1. marie-christine says:

      it’s a piece of “alchemy” the making… I can guess 2:)

  22. karen says:

    There are some things which are better kept as words in a book, or as paintings.
    I don’t understand Danish, but people who belong to a kind of urban bourgeois intellectual western culture seem to look the same, whether they are in Paris, Milan, New York, or Stockholm.
    You are considered small-minded and repressive if you don’t say wonderful things about the visual depiciton of sex in art. But I have lived long enough to discriminate. Books are magical because they can tell us what is best sometimes kept to a small white piece of paper.

    1. Monica says:

      Dear Karen,

      You are right when you say that Books are magical. When we read we use the eyes of our soul to “see” what we are reading. That is the beauty of a good book such as 11 minutes, because Paulo was able to transport the reader to the pages in the book.


  23. Heart says:

    The Danish know how to enjoy life & eroticism.

  24. Olta Ana says:

    I bet you can guess them all Paulo! heheh
    I don’t remember if the description of the man in your book was detailed but it is almost the way I’ve imagined him. Only that I haven’t pictured him blond. hehehe

  25. THELMA says:

    I don’t understand Danish, but I wrote the book, so I can guess some scenes….

    And I don’t understand Danish, but I have read the book,so I can guess some scenes… ;-] Hopefully they will be accompanied with beautiful, EROTIC songs and music!
    Thelma xxx

  26. hitchiker to Venus and Mars says:

    Was this “Opera tion In tuition”?

  27. BACA ROJA says:


    1. monica says:

      Me gustaba Juan Salvador Gaviota y el principito aunque no los comprendia, pero hace poco volvi a leer Juan Salvador Gaviota y me parecio fenomenal….las cosas cambian de acuerdo a nuestra realidad actual

  28. Ruth Fisher says:

    wonder if we’ll see this on the BBC?

  29. Montega says:

    opera is supposed to be about music, isn’t it? But even without hearing even one note i find myself wishing it will travel :)

  30. E eu que li o livro também posso adivinhar algumas cenas ;)

    Muito chique o senhor! :D Parabéns por mais esta conquista!

    Gud välsigne dig!