The controversy had actually erupted long before: the photo, taken by the musical director of the German singer theater and then posted on Instagram by the singer Michael Volle, shows an audience with very few spectators seated at different armchairs at a distance from each other, with the mask on their face. In Wiesbaden, a reduced version of the Internationale Maifestspiele is being held at this time, transformed (but not canceled, exceptionally) by the coronavirus emergency. Volle’s critical intent emerged clearly from another photo, taken on the plane, where the sessions are fully occupied. “This is the maximum number of people allowed in the theater … but on the plane it is perfectly normal to stay close! – writes making a comparison – One of the many unanswered questions these days “
Among the many reactions came that of the Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who directly called the WHO and the political leaders to protest: “Culture is an existential necessity, give it back to people!”. Netrebko also immediately followed suit, with its post of amazement and disappointment.
The theaters were among the first structures to close and will be among the last to reopen (in Italy we still have to wait): it is closed environments with little change of air where people remain still for many hours. Like a school, but with even more unknown factors: while imagining to guarantee the distance between the spectators when they are seated, there is the risk of continually queuing between foyer, ticket office, bathrooms. Not to mention those who work there: behind the scenes, say all the operators in the sector, it is almost impossible to stay one meter from each other. In the comments below to the post of Netrebko many pose this objection: “Prudence is necessary to save lives”, point out the throbbing diva, inviting her to consider all the health implications of this emergency.