French minister under fire for attending opera

French minister under fire for attending opera


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2021

Culture minister Roselyne Bachelot announced on Twitter that she tested positive for Covid.

Days later, the media are demnding to know why she went to the Opéra Bastille on Friday evening to witness the filming of a new no-audience production of Gounod’s Faust by the German director Tobias Kratzer. “An embarrassing night at the Opera’ said one paper.



  • John Borstlap says:

    She only found-out after that opera visit. Also the article says that she always kept the obliged measurement requirements. You cannot project responsibility backwards into history. Also, she may have caught the virus at that very opera performance.

    Typical tabloid story – vote for the politicians but bang them on their head when they are in function.

    • Glerb says:

      “She always kept the obligatory measurement requirements”.

      Oh did she? You might want to have a quick dekko at Ermonela Jaho’s Facebook posts.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    There’s no fool like an old entitled fool. The same preventions apply to all people, regardless of position or self-importance. Not to mention, at 74, she is in an at-risk group.

    Wreckless endangerment?

    • henry williams says:

      how is it all these government ministers are 74 plus.
      what is wrong with a younger fitter person doing
      the job.

  • Tamino says:

    “The media are demanding to know”, why a culture minister attends the opera. In times, the opera needs more political support than ever. What has the world come to?

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Safety for others.

    • The View from America says:

      Well, you know — opera is so … non-essential.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Yes…Oper über alles. You do realize that France has the 8th largest number of Covid deaths in the world and the number of hospitalizations is increasing?

      If this woman is a true leader, she should lead responsibly.

      • Tamino says:

        All you hysteric people. Check real mortality numbers. Yes, it‘s a nasty virus. But there have been worse. Get a grip on reality. (I know, most of the world has lost it anyway)

  • Tom Barclay says:

    Anyone who has lived in or is currently in France will know that a more shambolic society of disorder and disrespect for rules and for others would be hard to find anywhere in the developed world.
    Yesterday, with the pandemic raging at its worst all over Paris, I was in my local supermarket watching supposed adults, of whom at least half entered the store with no mask on, their mask on their chin, their mask only covering their mouth and one person with a mask attached only to one ear! Then because of the evening curfew, the supermarkets are all packed in the hour prior to closing, with customers crowding the aisles, standing one on top of the other at the check-out (no social distancing) and then, when I got to the check-out I was faced with a cashier wearing no mask, coughing into her hand and then handling my groceries. When I asked her to please wear a mask, she angrily told me that I should mind my own business! French manners, consideration for others and “elegance” at its best and most typical.
    So, nobody should be surprised when you see that France is now, in sheer numbers of daily Covid infections, among the worst performing countries in Europe together with Poland and Italy.
    So I don’t think that it is fair to attack the Minister of Culture who is actually a charming woman and a Minister of Culture who, for once in a long time in France, actually loves the arts and supports them strongly. The problem in France is the inability of the culture to work together with their fellow citizens to protect each other from Covid. Egocentrism and selfishness are the worst cultural traits that a nation can have in the middle of a raging pandemic.

    • The View from America says:

      I thought this stuff happened only in ruby-red Trump states.

    • John Borstlap says:

      True, since 1789 it’s terrible in Paris. But it depends where you go, ons should avoid the [redacted] places. In Neuilly where I regularly visit my family, it is always conspicuously calm & even the porters and garbage collectors wear masks. ‘Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté; luxe, calme et volupté’ (Baudelaire).

    • SVM says:

      If the rules are stupid to the point of being actively harmful and dangerous, they do not deserve respect. Most of the rules ostensibly intended to reduce COVID-19 fatalities not only cause more harm than they prevent, but are also at best ineffective in achieving their stated purpose, and at worst liable to exacerbate the impact of the virus (it is difficult to be sure since the evidence is, as usual in science, inconclusive on most points — for instance, it is not clear whether masks are actually effective… based on the evidence available, they are unlikely to prevent the wearer *catching* COVID-19, but they may prevent the wearer *spreading* it… then again, **if not washed and replaced every couple of hours**, a mask may cause more harm than good, in that it may be liable to give the wearer bacterial pneumonia). For example, as Tom Barclay’s comment itself observes, it sounds like curfews are part of the problem (in that they increase overcrowding).

  • Bruno Michel says:

    Well, at least there is no risk of this happening in this country. Fancy the Secretary for the Arts attending an opera performance!

    • Tamino says:

      Where is “this country”? Britain, where this blog is based? Or do you mean that country. Only those might know. I can see this clearly.