British opera companies are in a state of alarm and confusion.
Most casts rely on singers from the other 27 members of the European Union. It would not be terribly challenging to get by without them.
But when someone falls sick at Covent Garden or Glyndebourne the only recourse is to fly someone in at short notice from Europe. If barriers went up again – of the process was even delayed by a few hours for visa stamping and extra-long alien queues at Heathrow – opera will be in serious trouble. Stuffed, is the word I’m hearing.
On the other side of the coin, hundreds of British singers who got their start in small German houses would no longer be able to do so.
The word ‘disaster’ was being bandied in my hearing last night. And not in jest.