Meet the Covid monster mask, made for opera singers

Meet the Covid monster mask, made for opera singers


norman lebrecht

March 11, 2021

This unsightly piece of Covid wear has been developed by Sânziana Roman at UCSF Medical Center and San Francisco Opera’s Costume Shop.

It is medically recommended. But it doesn’t look like it will pass any comfort or aesthetic tests.

Read here.



  • Rogerio says:

    With a pair of sleeves, it could solve the Piccolo problem.
    And in larger sizes, all of the blown instruments.
    In comparison, string instrument players hardly breathe at all.

  • Alviano says:

    Looks like a feed bag. Makes me think of P.G. Wodehouse.

  • BruceB says:

    With all due respect, I don’t think comfort or aesthetics is the main point.

    Anyway, it look like it could be fairly comfortable since it’s held on with head straps, not only ear loops. As far as having something over your face while you try to communicate, well… do any of us find that comfortable?

    Also — according to the link — the masks will be worn in rehearsal only, not for the [outdoor] performance.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Don’t give in. We have to resist this kind of stupidity.

  • caranome says:

    or musical/aural tests. is this opera reimagined? sounds like “singing” from a paper bag?

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    It looks big enough for a skilled artist to draw a face on. Just think of all the creative possibilities. This is clearly the way to go!

  • Gustavo says:

    Even more hot air to leaking from beneath the Mega Mask.

    Maybe male ballerinas can reuse them to protect their manhood.

  • Paul Joschak says:

    Yes, quite amusing no doubt, but remember:
    Unless changed very frequently throughout the day, masks harbour 80-plus different bacteria and at least 4 different types of fungal colonies. Your washing machine will not be able to sanitise them entirely. Only hospital-grade washing machines can do that.
    Masks force wearers to rebreathe their own CO2 plus bacteria, basically a noxious gas – bad for the respiratory tract, bad for facial skin, bad for dental health, bad for blood oxygen. Bacterial pneumonia is one risk. Oxygen plays a crucial role in your health especially if you have some other illness, or in the case of a growing child.
    Tiny fibres of plasticised paper disintegrating from a sodden mask risk being inhaled to lodge in lung tissue.
    MASKS DO NOT WORK. They do not protect you or others from the China or any other virus, which passes through any pad of cloth or plasticised paper like a gnat through an open door. Only hospital grade biohazard masks can filter a virus.
    A major Danish study shows that masks do not reduce covid infection rate.
    In short, masks are physically useless, even harmful. They are indicative of the supine, craven and virtue-signalling depths society has sunk to, and if that wasn’t enough they are now causing huge environmental problems!
    The mask mandates are designed to asphyxiate us psychologically as well as physically.
    They force us to gas and gaslight ourselves.
    And they make us all look like goats.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      Excellent post.

    • GD says:

      Kind of shocking how many upvotes this gets.

    • PFmus says:

      Norman really needs to take this “hope I can talk the the stupid westerners to kill themsleves in droves” kind of fake sciency-sounding crap off this site. We’re not fooled.

      • Pat Senecall says:

        It’s ok. The stupid Biden voters are eating their own over him betraying their ‘entitlement’ to have their entire student loans erased LOL, Biden’s bombing in Syria of Iran-backed militia groups funded by Obama and the Clintons along with yesterday’s signing of the stimulus for only $1,400 as opposed to the FULL $2,000 he ‘committed to’ particularly to Georgian’s who HATE him.

        Libs put an entitled, senile white male BACK in charge with an Indian standing behind him in every staged presser and he’s been using his white privilege to beat them into submission since day one. Predictable and delicious to watch such a daily spectacle of entropy leading to rubble as even Dems clap back at Biden.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Scientific research has shown that masks DO, to some extent, protect, and reduce infection rates, especially the one-off paper masks. The main transmission route is airborne transmission in closed spaces where aerosols linger for hours, if the space is not ventilated. This was already known in April last year but people are very slow to pick this up. Those alarming stories about the ‘danger of masks’ are blown-up nonsense memes circulating on the internet, which have their origin in the use of cloth masks which are worn repeatedly and washed for renewed use.

  • José Bergher says:

    The only way to stop the spreading of the plague is to have everybody stay home day and night, keep the strictest social distancing day and night, wear the monster masks day and night, and cancel all spectacles during the next five or six years. In due time, modern technology shall provide for virtual food and wáter, virtual love, virtual everything. Virtual communication is already taken care of by cell phones and internet.

  • John Borstlap says:

    But it would be perfect for some kind of Regietheater productions.

  • Dr. Birchley Poundbottom says:

    Paul Joschak is absolutely correct. As a medical doctor, I have seen far more patients with mask-related bacterial infections than with Covid-19. The sooner we can move past this bit of safety theatre, the sooner I will be able to get a few much needed days off.

  • Po Chergei says:

    Not surprised! Finally a sanitary solution for the pesky singers.
    I play horn and wish we had a similar handkerchief style mask that covers my chest as well as the entire face except eyes.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Experiments by a research team at the Texas Institute of Technology has shown that the best protection for orchestral musicians, untill everybody is vaccinated, is a closed burka for every player wide enough at the front to cover horns, trombones, tuba, strings etc. as well as the larger instruments like double basses and timpany. Only the eyes look through a little plastic window to watch the stand and the conductor. As Dr Hofstadter, leader of the team at the TIT laboratory explained: “It looks ridiculous, I admit, and the sight of so much wobling cloth during the performance may be a bit distracting for the audience, but only in this way we’ll be safe to keep any virus under cover.” (Source: The Texas Inquirer of 13th March.)