Vienna State Opera reopens with just 100 guests per show

Advertising

Vienna (AFP)

The renowned Vienna State Opera will re-open its doors from next Monday -- with 100 guests per show in line with anti-coronavirus government guidelines, the opera house announced Wednesday.

A total of 14 concerts will be held this month for up to 100 spectators each. All will be streamed live free of charge, the 1,709-seat opera house said.

The first performance next Monday will be a recital by Austrian operatic bass Guenther Groissboeck for 100 euros ($110) per ticket.

This will be followed by more recitals and other concerts, including a chamber music performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on June 10.

Large-scale opera performances are only scheduled to restart in September.

Classical concerts will also resume in Vienna's famous Musikverein and Konzerthaus for limited audiences from Friday.

Concert houses were forced to shut their doors in March as part of the lockdown introduced to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

As part of the gradual easing of the lockdown, Austria has allowed events for up to 100 spectators since the end of May.

A maximum of 250 spectators for indoor performances will be allowed from July 1, while from August 1 this will increase to 500 people, the government has announced.

Larger scale indoor events of up to 1,000 people will also be allowed from August 1, provided organisers devise safety measures that meet the government's approval.

Outdoor events can accomodate more spectators, though numbers are also capped.

The Vienna State Opera usually hosts 350 performances for some 600,000 spectators per season, generating some 131,000 euros daily in revenue from ticket sales.

Dominique Meyer, who hands over his job as director of the opera house to Bogdan Roscic this month, told AFP in April that the silencing of the state opera halls was "emotionally very trying".

The opera and other concert venues have asked the government for more support to make up for lost revenues due to the shutdown.