Italian opera trembles ahead of month-long shutdown

Italian opera trembles ahead of month-long shutdown


norman lebrecht

March 04, 2020

The Italian Government has ordered the closure of all opera houses until April 3.

Schools and universities face a two-week closure.

The consequence for opera is that new productions cannot go into rehearsal and the rest of the season will be severely disrupted. There could be bankruptcies among smaller companies.

All other social and economic factors aside, this is the worst opera crisis in Italy in living memory.



  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    At this stage these precautions may be justified in order to contain the spread of the virus. However, these shut downs should not last indefinitely. If all the efforts fail to contain the virus in the next month or so, then it is better to calm down & return life to normal (with extra precautions obviously). It is also important to avoid mass hysteria, like panic buying (which is selfish & counterproductive). After all this is not Black Death, most people will survive with comparatively mild symptoms.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Stay home and read the Decameron.

  • Tone row says:

    Maybe the multi-millionaire “philanthropists” who threw more money than sense in supporting the ROH Fidelio – (2x lavish sets, horse, dramaturg who Kratzner brings on payroll as package deal as publicist required to defend his konzepten, video designer, countless actors – all for 6 performances not shared with another house, and surely unrevivable in its current form) – could use a fraction of the money to keep some of these companies afloat? And British arts companies may be in the same situation soon…

  • CHNina says:

    Could you give us a source for this? Looking at various theater websites, I find that they announce the closure only until March 8.

    I’d love to see a link, in any language.