Wiener Staatsoper Threatened by COVID-19

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Wiener Staatsoper)

A performance of Franz Lehár operetta “Die lustige Witwe” at the Theater in der Gumpendorfer Straße on Sept. 6, 2020 in Vienna has caused a series of COVID-19 infections.

In all, 46 cases have been confirmed so far. As a result, the Wiener Staatsoper had to make two changes to the cast of Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” on Sept. 14, 2020, with tenor Javier Camarena and conductor Evelino Pidò taking over the performance.

Both changes were necessary after a member of the company’s Opernstudios tested positive for COVID-19, per the Wiener Staatsoper official statement.

The company has since traced all the contacts of the person in question, and subjected them to daily COVID-19 tests in order to prevent the further spread of the infection in the house. The Staatsoper General Manager Bogdan Roščić has harshly criticized the alleged dance scenes in the auditorium at the TAG, which represented the mingling between the artists and the audiences. “If these reports are true, that was a shocking irresponsibility,” said Roščić in the statement.

The presentation of “Die lustige Witwe” at the Theater in der Gumpendorfer Straße was a production of the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien.

Performances at the Wiener Staatsoper resume today with the performance of Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra,” starring Plácido Domingo, Günther Groissböck, Najmiddin Mavlyanov, and Hibla Gerzmava. Evelino Pidò will conduct.