The viola player Christopher Goldscheider is suing the Royal Opera House, his former employer, for damage to his hearing caused by rehearsing in front of a large brass section during Wagner’s Ring.
The ROH maintains it took all necessary precautions and provided ear plugs.
Christopher Goldscheider is claiming £750,000 in lost earnings and further damages for a diminished lifestyle.
The defence statement by David Platt, QC, contains these words:
The operas of Richard Wagner often provoke strong emotions.
Whilst probably the greatest musical theatre ever written, they have been appropriated by German nationalism and engender controversy to this day.
Nevertheless it is unprecedented for it to be alleged that they cause actual injury to its participants….
The music of Richard Wagner is not to blame.
David Platt QC also said the Royal Opera House is ‘one of the great national and international cultural institutions of this country, and the case could have ‘significant implications’ for all UK orchestras.
Since the case continues, we refrain from comment.