Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme at the Opéra Comique

By: Frank Cadenhead. 28 September 2020. Tonight’s opening performance of Lully’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme at Paris’ Opéra Comique has been cancelled. The next four nights also. The reason: one of the “artistic team” has Covid-19. The performances of 3 to 8 October are still planned, with the assumption that the situation would be under control by then.

With a staging by Jérôme Deschamps and the Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Marc Minkowski, this was the last of a number of comédie-ballets by Lully and Molière. The theater will refund the price of tickets for cancelled performances. The financial impact of the loss of so many performances must be seriously painful to the theater and discouraging for the artists. “We are sorry for this situation and thank you in advance for your understanding” says the Opéra Comique. It is certainly something that is likely to be repeated in the coming months as many more performances return to the stage.

UPDATE, 29 September, 2020. Now it is the turn of the Opéra de Rouen. Sunday’s performance of Wagner’s Tannhauser was cancelled when a member of the artistic team was diagnosed with Covid-19. Today, the opera’s director, Loïc Lachenal, cancelled the two final performances with the discovery that another member of the team has the virus. “We can imagine the disappointment of the spectators and we share that” he affirmed. The opera had build a special platform for the orchestra, and other work, so that distances between players could be maintained. One can only imagine the financial – and spiritual – loss to the company.

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