Brexit and the Arts

By: Frank Cadenhead  Deborah Warner is staging La Traviata opening Wednesday night at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées. She tweeted this photo and text:

“The #Traviata creative team on the Avenue Montaigne last night. Please note @10DowningStreet the passports held by this team:- French, Greek, Australian, Danish, Italian, Belgium & British. Tell me EXACTLY what happens post March, 2019.. General rehearsal tonight @TCEOPERA Paris.”

It is only a hint of the problems which the performing arts community is facing with the coming decisions about Brexit. There is an agreement between the British government and the European Union about the form and nature of the separation happening in March, what is being kept and what is not. However, remarkably, this agreement still faces a vote of the parliament in London where it’s death is rather commonly assumed. There can certainly be no renegotiation at this late date and the choices are, if parliament rejects the plan, either no agreement and a brutal EU exit for the United Kingdom or another chance at a vote of the public who might want to reconsider their rejection of the EU two years ago.

For opera management, the headache pills are always within reach. While you are planning your productions for 2021-22 season, you have no idea of the complications which may affect the free flow of goods, services and people with the UK and the EU. Worse, you already have singers and productions scheduled to open in just four or five months and have no idea what will happen to the planning so carefully set in place a few years ago.

It is unlikely that a new vote will ever happen and, even if one were held, a different outcome is not at all assured. A hard exit suddenly puts everyone in a different and entirely new world of regulations and controls and all of those plans for this and future seasons have to be reexamined. Everyone hopes those headache pills still remain easily available.

Comments are closed.