Covid-free New Zealand cancels its opera

Covid-free New Zealand cancels its opera


norman lebrecht

June 29, 2021

The nation that was first to declare itself Covid-free has ordered New Zealand Opera to call off Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in Wellington this week after the government declared Alert Level 2.

‘It is therefore with huge disappointment that we announce the cancellation of NZ Opera’s Wellington Season,’ the company said.




  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    That was a cheap shot.

    It is the government’s responsibility to KEEP New Zealand Covid-free.

    In view of the havoc wrought by the Delta variant in countries that seemed to have done well during the previous Covid waves, especially insular ones like Australia, Taiwan, or Singapore, not an enviable task, and not one to be played down.

    • Peter Hind says:

      The roll-out of the covid 19 vaccination in New Zealand is the slowest in the OECD. There is little point in attempting to be covid free when Ardern’s hapless government is so poor at immunising its citizens and then goes into a blind panic, shutting down Wellington musical performances and forcing such opera cancellations, because an Australian who visited the city and then returned home has tested positive. NZ cannot live in a bubble forever. The NZ Opera Company is in a perilous enough situation without this nonsense undermining its ability to survive.

      • Aussie says:

        Peter Hind – NZ is not the slowest in OECD getting the vax out. My country, Aust is, and NZ has double the number vaccinated. I suggest you read Le Krenek’s comment above and get some balance on the issue.

        • Hayne says:

          Your country is the slowest getting “vaccinated” in the OECD. Count yourselves lucky.

          • Saxon says:

            Huh? If you are high risk, or haven’t had the virus, then you would be mad not to take the vaccine.

      • Sanity says:

        Bravissimo!!! You said it all. This madness has got to stop!!!

  • gcmp says:

    But it appears the vaccines are largely effective against the delta variant too. So get vaccinated, and stay open. Countries like NZ seem to be substituting lockdowns for vaccines. Surprised there are not more protests.

  • TI says:

    That’s a bit misleading. Alert Level 2 restricted gatherings to only 100 people with social distancing in force. We’ve known that for over a year since the alert levels came into force in New Zealand. Other performing groups were affected as well.

    The Auckland season was sold out and hopefully the Christchurch performances will be as well.

    For the record, the reason that Wellington went to Alert Level 2 was due to an Australian visitor who became infected with the Delta Variant in Sydney before flying. Fortunately, Wellington returned to Alert Level 1 today but not in time to reschedule the performances, it would appear.

  • Sanity says:

    Until when will people keep accepting this sort of madness so passively? Until when will we remain subject to the decisions of authorities who will only allow us to live in peace again when all the cases and all the risks involved drop to zero, which is never??? Enough is enough!!! Either we do something now or we will never, ever get our lives back.

  • fflambeau says:

    I’ve lived and worked in NZ and this comes as no surprise as I doubt there is much of an audience there for opera. The country fashions itself as being exceptionally democratic and let’ face it, the opera is not.