Yesterday the Bayerische Staatsoper announced multiple members of the ballet company testing positive for the coronavirus.
Their announcement said,
Unfortunately, the performances of Swan Lake at the Bavarian State Ballet on 27 and 30 October 2020 cannot take place after a person from the Bavarian State Ballet tested positive for the coronavirus as part of the testing strategy. In the tests which followed immediately afterwards, five further cases were identified and isolated. As a safety measure and to protect all other employees of the company, training and rehearsal operations will be suspended for the entire company until further notice.
As part of the testing strategy at the National Theatre, which houses the both the Opera and State Ballet, one person from the Bavarian State Ballet initially tested positive for the coronavirus and subsequent tests showed up five further cases. A spokesperson said, “The artistic staff are now in quarantine until further testing in the coming days.”
Medical experts have been advising the company since this summer and The Bavarian State Opera and Ballet are proceeding in accordance with a safety and hygiene guidance implemented in coordination with the Health Department. This means that the ballet works in fixed groups and employees keep contact diaries. Therefore tracing can be carried out quickly. These cancelled ballets will be replaced by performances of Macbeth and Madame Butterfly.
Last week, there was also a corona case in the neighbouring Residenztheater where the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel is based. A member of the ensemble was infected and all 50 people he’d been in contact with were informed immediately for testing the following day. They were all negative and now, one week later, no further infection has been reported at the house.
Photo: Swan Lake, with Prisca Zeisel and Jinhao Zhang with corps de ballet of the Bayerische Staatsoper © S Gherciu
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.