There were boos on two successive nights at the Vienna State Opera.
The first was a lone protestor who had something against the (excellent) conductor.
The second was a spattering of hoots at Daniele Abbado’s fine design team for Trovatore. The Vienna rag Kurier this morning made the – brief and unrepresentative – booing their main headline.
Booing has been common in European opera houses ever since audiences were first affronted by modern and post-modern productions. In both of these case, the productions were elegant and unexceptionable.
But booing has become a habit for some operagoers – a bit of fun, a dare.
Actually, it’s a bore.
The people who do it would never stand up in a crowded restaurant and boo a dish they did not like.
If they did, they would be banned for life. Or get beaten up by the chef.
Everyone has a right to an opinion, of course. But opera houses need to take measures against persistent, disruptive, nuisance booers. A warning on first offence. A ban on second.
The opera house has their credit card numbers at the box-office and it knows where they sit.