Teatro Real de Madrid Cancels Sunday Performance of ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ Due to Audience Disturbance

By David Salazar

The Teatro Real de Madrid was forced to cancel its Sunday performance of “Un Ballo in Maschera” after a disturbance broke out in the upper levels of the audience.

Per El País, the protest broke out after audience members complained of the lack of social distancing. In the report, an assistant noted that there were 15 straight occupied seats with many audience members expressing disgust over the lack of separation.

Some of the audience members started kicking seats and making noise to express their displeasure until the theater’s management ultimately had to step in and announced that the performance would be delayed and offering to reimburse anyone who wanted to return their tickets. From there, chaos broke out, forcing even the police to arrive to quell the excitement.

Eventually, the orchestra members came out to perform and even started the first pages of the Verdi score. However, as the first singers took the stage, audible jeering and booing forced conductor Nicola Luisotti to leave the podium and effectively end the performance. Per the theater, the conductor made several attempts to continue the performance, but simply could not manage the “sabotage” from the audience.