(Credit: Dijon Opera official website)
The directors and general managers of 50 opera houses, theaters and orchestras in France have expressed their deep concerns about the low attendance since the reopening in September 2021.
For the past few weeks, orchestras and operas have been bubbling with rediscovered, renewed and revived joy. However, after only one month of reopening, a study by the Harris Institute on behalf of the Ministry of Culture carried out at the end of October 2021 confirmed fears that theaters in France are experiencing low attendance because many visitors are still hesitant to return.
“We cannot ignore what the COVID-19 and its repeated confinements could have produced, these parallel lives locking each one in his own corridor, narrowing our imaginations, drying our thirst for discovery. Finding the taste of others is not easy. At a time when we are in a hurry to make up for time with our loved ones, the return to the places of creation can take second place, ”said the group of companies in an open letter.
A similar assessment came from German publicist and journalist Axel Brüggemann. German operas and concert halls have also experienced disappointing attendance in recent months, prompting many open questions and new concerns. The cancellation of the opening night of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the emergence of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron appear to have added to these concerns. The performance in London was reportedly canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among technical staff at the opera company.
The open letter has been signed by directors and general managers of the Angers-Nantes Opéra, Opéra Comique, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Dijon, Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur, Opéra de Rouen Normandie, Opéra Orchester National Montpellier Occitanie, Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, and Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, among others.