Breaking: Zurich Opera gets around Swiss virus ban

Breaking: Zurich Opera gets around Swiss virus ban


norman lebrecht

February 28, 2020

The opera house in Zurich has decided to stay open, avoiding the government closure order on places of public performance by admitting fewer than 900 audience members to each show.

The government ban is on gatherings of more than 1,000.

Zurich Opera says: ‘In consultation with the cantonal doctor, the canton of Zurich then explicitly permitted events with fewer than 1,000 people in the canton of Zurich. Against this background, the performances planned at the Zurich Opera House will take place with a maximum of 900 spectators until further notice.’

Aktueller Beschluss des Kantons Zürich
Der Kantonsarzt hat Veranstaltungen mit weniger als 1000 Personen im Kanton Zürich explizit erlaubt. Die im Opernhaus Zürich geplanten Vorstellungen werden bis auf Weiteres mit maximal 900 Zuschauerinnen und Zuschauern stattfinden. Wir beobachten laufend die Situation und werden Sie in enger Absprache mit den kantonalen Behörden umgehend über Neuigkeiten informieren.



  • Paul says:

    ehem, in the previous post on this subject, I was the first to suggest doing exactly that. You’re welcome 🙂
    Now what do I win?

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    They’d clearly been reading SD, as somebody jokingly suggested on these pages about letting inless that 1,000

  • Cassandra says:

    With all due respect to everyone who lives close to this wretched coronavirus:

    I have a ticket for Hamburg Opera on the 26th of March and for purely egotistical reasons; what’s the current situation in Northern Germany?

    If the Swiss ban ends on March 15th, does that mean the worst will be over by then?

    Grateful for any inside info out there.

  • CHNina says:

    Include the members of the orchestra, the chorus, the good people working behind the scene, the front-of-house staff…. the count will be well above 1000.

    But the entire premise is absurd. 1000 people: danger! 999 people: perfectly safe. The Swiss are usually a bit more sensible than this.

  • An Opinionated Person says:

    I’m so curious about how this works logistically. Does this mean that for the performances between now and March 15th they’ll have to turn people away at the door once they reach the 900 person capacity? And will those people who are turned away be refunded their ticket?

  • Dennis says:

    First arrived, first served?

  • Brettermeier says:

    People always get creative when it comes to circumventing measures designed to protect them from harm. Kind of funny.


  • Karl says:

    Will they add extra performances if they can’t get everyone a seat who wants to attend?

  • pedro says:

    There is no ban for performances with less than a 1000 attendees.

  • E says:

    this is ridiculous. i will admit corona is serious. but where was the media when a real virus, HIV, killed off multitudes of friends and artists. silent. it was like, let them just die.

    • V.Lind says:

      Nobody’s early response to HIV took it seriously enough, but corona IS a “real virus.” Without in any way trying to blame victims, who for years were underinformed as to how HIV was spread, this one seems to be spreadable by simply breathing the same air as someone afflicted. In time, at least westerners with access to media and medical care learned that there were ways to avoid, or significantly lessen the chances of, contracting HIV. There is as yet insufficient information as to how to completely protect yourself against Covid-19.

      Comparing diseases is a fruitless pursuit anyway. This one is looking more and more like a pandemic, though the mortality rate seems dependent (so far) upon pre-existing conditions — including age.

      As in all diseases, one is too many when that one is you or yours. There is nothing “ridiculous” about the number of people who have died.

  • Chris says:

    I may well be missing something obvious here but won’t the orchestra, chorus, technical and support team numbers tip the scales well above 1000 at every performance?

  • Jio qwin says:

    900 plus performers, crew, staff.. I’d bet that’s more than 1000

  • HJ Lee says:

    I wish that the preference were given to the people who must suffer trans-Atlantic flight.