From June 15, Italy will reopen opera – under misery conditions

From June 15, Italy will reopen opera – under misery conditions


norman lebrecht

May 18, 2020

The Italian Government published its Phase 2 reopening plan last night.

The basic requirements are:

– one metre distance between spectators, also between artists;
– 200 people maximum for indoor shows, 1,000 for outdoors;
– masks are complusoty for all;
– body temperature to be taken on entry.

It doesn’t sound much like fun.

More here.



  • Brian viner says:

    I will never go to an opera or concert wearing a mask. I will stay at home with my
    Audio system.

    • Jeff says:

      I am sure everyone here cares what Brian Viner decides to do with his life.

    • Zubil says:

      And of course that if you don’t go, then anyone should go.

      Yet another SD annoying comment.

      Oh, I think you ment record collection.

      • Brian viner says:

        Correct. As i once wrote i prefer my records than going than going on a luxury
        Cruise. I save my good lady a lot of money

    • Brian viner says:

      Wearing a mask is like sitting in the concert hall with a heavy coat on your lap
      Most uncomfortable. Iam not mean i pay the cloakroom to take my coat
      I then listen in comfort. I know people that do not want to pay the £1 for the cloakroom. What happens the money is left to their children they will buy
      Sports cars and have good holidays with the inheritance

  • Gustavo says:

    How will body temperatures be measured?

    Rectal thermometry is generally regarded as the most accurate means of temperature-taking.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      That, too, could help increase attendances.

      • nomen nescio says:

        Oh, and what is the body temperature of a person who carries the virus without personal symptoms? Who an earth is going to attend? Let`s keep the opera houses alive, or die trying?

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Really, we are pretty much over the worst of the virus pandemic in Italy. The risk for most people is not particularly high. I am sure that while some people want to stay at home, that there are plenty of people happy to go to a concert. Even under these conditions.

          This is the first step and over the next few months the conditions will be gradually relaxed.

  • The usual comment says:

    Record collecion… bla bla… vaccine… bla bla… I won’t be going nowhere so everyone should do exactly the same as me… bla bl…

    Oh, I forgot – Record collection!!

    • Brian viner says:

      People do as they wish iam not taking a chance going to a concert until the virus
      Ends. I do not wish to die young iam 78.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        The virus will be with us for the foreseeable future. And the level of risk for those in good health is very low.

        If your health is not good, then it is sensible to stay away. But waiting for the virus to disappear will likely mean you never get to go to a concert again.

  • Couples and Families Together says:

    Households and families living together should be able to sit together. A couple should not have to sit a meter apart. It is completely nonsensical.

    • SVM says:

      I principle, I agree, as long as lone concert-goers are not forced to buy two (or more) tickets to compensate for the larger per-capita quantity of empty seats they would require (on a simplistic, and possibly too optimistic, model of one empty seat either side of each attendee group, a lone concert-goer would require 3 seats per capita, whilst two people from the same household would require only 2 seats per capita). I would hate to see concerts imposing “single supplements” or such like.

      • Bruce says:

        If they’ve been trapped at home together for weeks and weeks, they might want more than one meter between them…

    • Macca says:

      Good lord – what on earth is wrong with sitting a metre apart from your spouse while watching an opera? Conversation would be no problem – what else would you want to do?! Arts companies are desperately trying to find ways of saving our culture and all some people can contribute is instinctive criticism and cynicism.

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    And only productions of The Masked Ball will be permitted.

  • Philip says:

    What’s first up, Un Ballo in Maschera?

  • The View from America says:

    Pretend it’s a dress rehearsal. Most of those have no more than 50 or 100 people scattered around the hall.

  • MezzoLover says:

    And Scarpia will have to be shot by Tosca with a hidden pistol instead of being stabbed by her with a table knife.

  • engineers_unite says:

    Opera, conductors, productions, public, it’s all a huge anachronism, very often for the self important & the grey haired snobs.

    Jon Vickers was already warning about this decades ago.

    Making opera available to a wider audience has manifestly failed APART FROM the ROH doing live relays in HD direct into Swiss cinemas, or the very rare simultaneous R3+BBC TV live hookups.
    In my opinion the future will be to get rid of the whole darn pantomime.

    Being constantly involved in some of the processes of production in a major opera house over optic fibre, has given me a very jaundiced view of the entire showboat, especially the hardest working who invariably seem to get the rawest deals.

    My daughter works in another major one.
    Idem, the atmosphere stinks…. & that, since well before this nonsense that occurred with Bojo’s insane mass panic,+Faker-Ferguson at work to torpedo “the arts” for good.

    Better get it into your heads, Opera as an art form is basically over and out.

    It’s just not going to recover, whether in the open air in ORANGE, or in all the other overpriced venues.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      I don’t know why you are complaining about “Johnson’s mass panic” when pretty much every western country has entered a lockdown. And it is undeniable that the health system broke down in Lombardy, Madrid and New York. It would have happened in Britain if we had not entered the lockdown.

      Having said that, it is clear things are now under control in Europe, and that a cautious, step-by-step reopening now needs to happen.

  • Stephen Diviani says:

    Okay, so you wear a face mask, you don’t touch anybody else, you don’t touch your face and you can wash your hands whenever you have the urge with the bottle of sanitizer gel you’ve brought with you. How likely is it that you will contract Covid-19 by being in the audience at an opera house? Is there a virologist or an epidemiologist in the house?

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Huh? It should be obvious. If you are breathing the same air when stuck next to someone for an extended period of time, then you will end up breathing in all the viruses that they breath out.

      Luckily your immune system is pretty good at destroying most of what you breath in before it does you any harm.

  • Marg says:

    How on earth is any opera company or any orchestra/ensemble playing in a city hall going to break even let alone turn a profit with these restrictions on numbers (assuming the Govt doesnt subsidize the companies, which they dont in my country)

    • Bruce says:

      They never turned a profit during normal times. But you make a good point: a sudden 800% increase in fundraising would be necessary 🙁

    • Saxon Broken says:

      This is the first step. It won’t last long. But relaxing the lockdown has to start somewhere.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    I’ll just have to wear a blue cocktail dress to go with the face mask I suppose.

    Seriously I have no idea what Antwerp or Brussels opera will require next season. they have been very quiet about it.