Video: Teatro Real stages indoor opera…. safely

Video: Teatro Real stages indoor opera…. safely


norman lebrecht

July 02, 2020

Madrid, July 1 2020: a semi-staged Traviata with 50 percent audience, all in masks and everyone tested before and after.

It can be done.



  • CA says:

    Sure it can be done….I wish the USA would be putting out stories like this. It’s just doom and gloom for what looks like a minimum of another 6 months to 1 year for our performing arts. I’d like to know, when furloughs expire and unemployment benefits run out, what are the hundreds of thousands of performers going to be doing to support themselves? Truly. Honestly. I’d like to know. Most have no experience at a desk job but have literally spent their entire lives training for success in one “thing” and that “thing” has imploded. I know this is true in most industries right now, the massive job losses etc, but the performing arts will be among the last to recover as they are among the hardest hit. I’d really like to have a better understanding of these people will be supporting themselves without landing on the street homeless. Just a glimmer of hope would be something….

  • This on-stage distancing will have the effect of making the operatic sex scenes more modernly appropriate.

    Instead of getting raped, Lucretia will be merely annoyed by a guy who keeps showing up on her front porch.

    US ensembles should have no trouble limiting ticket buyers to only 50% of capacity.

    I’m doubtful that even a 50% audience is safe, however. If you can’t keep people from using their cellphone during a performance, how are you going to keep them from sneaking their mask off when the lights are dimmed?

  • Michael says:

    All in masks? Doesn’t seem that way. Look at the chorus. I wouldn’t feel safe singing or playing in the pit. Sure it can be done, but is it prudent? Is it safe?

  • Jay says:

    28,000 have died ….and one puts on an opera ?
    Perhaps all the money spent putting on this entertainment could have been better spent helping victims of this virus. Food on the table for those that have lost their jobs
    medical expenses , not to mention a dreadful ending for most victims, and the theatre Real puts on an opera !!
    under the guise that music feeds the soul in tough times
    Hypocrisy has no bounds

    • Peter San Diego says:

      It’s not a zero-sum situation where the money is spent either for opera or for food or medical expenses. As long as medical and social expenses are covered — which they likely are, better in Spain than in the U.S. — and as long as it can be done safely, then an opera company should do what it exists to do.

    • JR says:

      Freelance soloists, chorus singers, musicians and untold numbers who make up the fragile infrastructure of opera have lost their work and any secure prospects of work. They and their dependants are also victims of the virus. Music does feed the soul, and artists also need to eat. It’s not in any way hypocritical it’s a brave glimmer of hope. Be more generous with your empathy.

    • Stephen Diviani says:

      How many die from seasonal flu? For heaven’s sake pull yourself together. 28,000 out of a population of 47 million. Please, clam down.