A viola was stolen from Chicago’s Lyric Opera

A viola was stolen from Chicago’s Lyric Opera


norman lebrecht

March 20, 2016

The instrument theft we reported on Friday turns out to be a viola.

It had been checked in to the cloakroom and was gone when the owned tried to recover it.

Report here.

lyric chicago-21


  • Julian Reynolds says:

    Only $9,000 ? That’s peanuts.

    I once sat behind Peter Cropper at ENO (a Tippett opera) and Mr C had his violin firmly (and probably uncomfortably) by his knees. Not checked in anywhere

  • Georges says:

    Why would a string player ever COAT CHECK a valuable string instrument?

    • Max Grimm says:

      Depending on respective rules, one may not be able to take a viola in its case into the auditorium (as to why he had his viola with him while attending the opera, there are various possible reasons).

      From the Lyric Opera’s website:
      What if I have luggage or other large parcels with me?
      Lyric Opera requires that any bag that will not fit on your lap be checked at Coat Checks on floors 1, 2, 3 and 5 during the performance. There is a $2 charge for all checked items including coats, bags and luggage. Lyric reserves the right to search bags for security reasons.”

  • Nicola Lefanu says:

    The thing is that he forgot about it ! If he’d try to pick it up at close of the show, chances are that it would still be there.

  • Nick says:

    I’m sure I will appear heartless but Mr. Hasspacher is “devastated” at losing an instrument he decided to leave at the coat check (error No. 1). He then left after the opera forgetting all about it (error No. 2). And he had not even bothered to insure it (error No. 3). What is newsworthy here, apart from a lesson virtually all other musicians have already learned?