Opera singer gets arrested for busking

Opera singer gets arrested for busking


norman lebrecht

September 03, 2016

News from Alexandria, Va:

Around 9:45 pm Krista Monique Clouse was getting ready to sing Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria, a classical music favorite that she normally sang to a recorded orchestral accompaniment playing out of a small Bluetooth speaker. A small group of police officers approached, informed her that her singing was in violation of City Ordinance Sec. 11-5-4b.

Clouse responded that her singing with the recorded accompaniment was a protected constitutional right, referencing Davenport vs. City of Alexandria Virginia. One of the officers responded that he would arrest Clouse if she did not cease her singing.

And then it just got ugly.

Read on here. 

There’s some video here. 

krista monique clouse


  • Respect says:

    Not everyone who tries to sing opera is an opera singer…..small but critical difference.

  • Elaine says:


    RESPECT do you know anything about the singer in question? Apparently not. SHE IS an opera singer. And you are not very respectful.

    • Ross says:

      Yea, sure, but I don’t often hear of successful musicians husking or busking or whatever it’s called on the street for spare change.

      • Elaine says:

        Avril Lavigne, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Joshua Bell, Paganini, Micheal Buble, Andrew Bocceli were all buskers. Actually the list is much longer!… She was paying for her husbands cancer medical bills. Most not classical but famous nonetheless.

  • Stop Worrying says:

    I’m surprised a SWAT team with automatic weapons, grenades and full body armour didn’t show up. The USA is a police state. If you still doubt it, check out “police militarization” with your favorite search engine.

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” – Rep. Barney Frank (D – MA).

    • JOHN NEMARIC says:

      No wonder police are some of the most hated people in this country. This type of action (a very common one these days in my experience) does indeed foster the prevailing belief that the US if slowly becoming a police state.

      People are adjusting and adapting to the police state but that does not lessen the cultural and social impact, and this is my humble opinion as an Anthropologist that is always looking beyond his nose.

    • Elaine says:

      Opera is DANGEROUS in Alexandria. The went up her skirt during the very public arrest looking for a weapon. Gotta watch out for those opera singers trying to pay medical bills. Next they will be calling violinists terrorists because the instruments with a real BOW.

    • Mary Zoeter says:

      I live in Alexandria, in the section we call “No Town” as opposed to “Old Town.” I believe the streets in Old Town are too narrow for the police/military force to get their huge militarized weapons through. Otherwise, they probably would have resorted to that. You know how dangerous music can be.

  • Olassus says:

    Quiz: what Schubert Lied should she sing from her jail cell?

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    We music lovers can well have sympathy for a singer who is hindered to sing the Ave Maria in public, but let us admit that it is quite stupid to defy a police officer in that manner.

    • Elaine says:

      She is not a snob like some who think too highly of themselves. She sings requests for the public frequently and connects with them to help bring more to opera. I am an Old Town Alexandria resident. She is fantastic and humble. The poor and middle class cannot afford the Kennedy Center so she brings it to them. I’m sure she will soon be criticized for singing lullaby’s to her daughter because it is not Tosca! She is a true pleasure to hear. No defiance. Just aggressive police action and abuse of police authority. She has been apologized to in a public statement by the city and they have admitted wrong doing of the unlawful arrest and for an unconstitutional ordinance that was deemed so by the state supreme court and dropped all charges. They are letting all performers give to the public until the City of Alexandria can adapt the ordinances to reflect the LAW! They are still liable on both counts. Civil and Constitutional violations. She fought the law for all singers and won! You’re welcome! Alexandria’s ROSA PARKS OF OPERA! THANK YOU!!!! MY CHILDREN ARE INSPIRED BY YOU AS AM I!!!

  • Don't Make Me Sing says:

    Should have taken the cue from here…