BBC deletes opera and concerts from its virus casualties list

BBC deletes opera and concerts from its virus casualties list


norman lebrecht

March 13, 2020

A BBC News website report detailing all the cancellations in film, pop music, museums, book festivals and other arts conspicuously makes no mention of the devastation in the opera and orchestral fields.

As far as BBC News is concerned classical music does not exist.

And Tony Hall wonders why the credibility of his news service is at an all-time low.

It has selective vision, among other faults.




  • V.Lind says:

    Are any of them ON the casualty list? ROH and ENO seem to be operating on business as usual, just wash your hands. I have not started checking the orchestras yet.

    • asteven says:

      For starters. R3 will not be able to relay Flying Dutchman for The Met on Saturday

      • Bostin'Symph says:

        BBC Sounds is still listing it (at 6pm Friday). Radio Times describes it as “today’s performance” but doesn’t label it as LIVE. Have they been feeding us recordings?

        Curious. Let’s wait and see.

      • CapeCod says:

        Met Opera will be broadcasting the Dutchman performance this Saturday, recorded just this past Tuesday—so the production is current. Check for the Met Opera Radio Broadcast
        station in your area, or the website,

      • Barbara Urban says:

        Per email from Met this morning, Live in HD cancelled through March 31.

      • V.Lind says:

        Hardly their fault.

      • David Sanders says:

        The Met performance has been canceled.

    • MIke Schachter says:

      It is shall we say patchy. I was due to go to a concert at the Wigmore Hall on Monday, bit it has been cancelled apparently by the performers (the Skampa Quartet). But there is no closure of the venue, so far.

  • V.Lind says:

    Not a peep on RPO or LSO websites.

    NOT the BBC’s fault this time.

    • Allen says:

      The RPO and LSO are not news organisations, The BBC is -sorry, was.

      • V.Lind says:

        Organisations are declaring their own intentions and posting them online. Don’t be ridiculous. You cannot report news that has not happened. It is up to the organisations to decide what they will do, announce it and inform the public, press and media.

        Every orchestra website have checked in Canada that has closed has it prominently online, with dates, refund/exchange procedures, etc. (And usually a lot of platitudes and virtue-signalling besides).

        Websites routinely announce cancellations and changes in programme. They will announce this. There has at this writing been no policy or decree from government requiring closures of events with large participation, so the arts are looking like they will not go till they are pushed. Which, given that the English Catholic Church has said it will be cancelling the obligation to attend Mass, is looking very…self-absorbed (i.e. thinking about the money).

        In any case, NOT the BBC’s fault.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    As of now, there don’t seem to be London classical music cancellations. A bit of melodrama in this post, methinks

    • V.Lind says:

      Whiff of anti-BBC bias, perhaps — though probably occasioned by what IS true, the diminishing attention and respect afforded lately by the Beeb to classical interests.

  • Derek says:

    Obviously, the CBSO’s imminent European concert tour has been cancelled.

  • Ines says:

    No cancellations? Fidelio was sold out month in advance at ROH, look how many tickets you can find now for the next performance…