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Traviata Teatro Real
©Javier del Real

As Spain exits lockdown, the Madrid opera house is staging a socially distanced opera

In the Teatro Real’s production of ‘La Traviata’, performers and musicians keep a two-metre gap at all times

Marta Bac
Written by
Marta Bac

Last week, Madrid’s majestic Teatro Real raised its curtain for the first time after a closure of nearly four months. The inaugural performance was ‘La Traviata’ – but with a dramatic (and very 2020) twist.

Both as a safety precaution and a nod to the times, the cast remain socially distanced while performing this semi-staged production of Verdi’s three-act opera. They’re helped by an impressive set design, which divides the stage with red lines into two-metre-square boxes. Musicians in the orchestra have also been separated by a safe two-metre distance, with the pit specially enlarged to accommodate the increased space.

Audience capacity has been reduced to half, and the show’s interval has been extended to 40 minutes so that the stage and pit can be thoroughly disinfected.

The striking, socially-distant production continues until July 29. Watch extracts, filmed in rehearsal, below:

Hygiene protocols notwithstanding, it can only be good news that music has returned to one of Europe’s grandest opera houses.

La Traviata’ continues at Madrid’s Teatro Real until July 29.

As Europe exits lockdown: this Berlin theatre has nailed socially-distant seatinglocals in Prague have held a feast to reclaim the city, and Paris has become one giant café terrace.

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