Vienna opera faces Covid challenge with masks and without bravos

By Antonio Sanchez Solis

Vienna, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- The Vienna Opera resumed on Monday after a six-month hiatus and a huge drop in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Performances began again despite mandatory masks and empty seats due to the Covid-19 outbreak and with the aim of attracting new spectators and rejuvenating its audience.

Bogdan Roscic, the new director of the Wiener Staatsoper, has opted to continue with a full season with the same number of concerts and no adapted works.

The Vienna State Opera will stage 40 operas and seven different ballets until June, of which 12 will be premieres.

This year’s new season will begin with a production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

The dress rehearsal will be the first example of Roscic’s policy of attracting new audiences by opening it to the public with tickets for people under 27 years of age for 10 euros.

Children’s performances will also take place on the main stage with tickets at 15 euros for under 14s and guided tours in cooperation with schools in a bid to inspire a new generation of opera lovers.

“We do not have good data about the composition of our audience but it seems that the average age is 64 and that in recent years it has risen significantly,” Roscic said.

An indispensable part of this strategy is the recent opening of a studio for singers who have completed their training as a springboard to the stage, he added.

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