The hoped-for reopening of La Scala after the closure of all theatres and cinemas in northern Italy has been setback after a tenor working in the theatre tested positive for the coronavirus. He was last in the theatre on 26 February for a rehearsal of Salome, a production by Damiano Michieletto with Riccardo Chailly conducting that was to have opened on 8 March. Rehearsals were due to be resumed today but have been postponed once more.
Twenty or so theatre workers who have been in contact with him and have flu-like symptoms are waiting for the results of their swab tests.
Theatre employees have been at home since that Salome rehearsal after a member of the chorus, who had been on sick leave since 12 February, was found to have been infected by the virus.
Yesterday Dominique Meyer, the new Intendant who officially only took up his position on Sunday 1 March, made the decision to close the theatre until 11 March, with rehearsals resuming on the 8th. However, today the government announced that theatres in all Italy (and all public places – cinemas, clubs, gyms and so on) will be closed until 3 April.
NB An earlier version of this article stated that theatres would be closed until 20 March. The finalised version of the ministerial decree extended this until 3 April.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.