La Scala's Intendent, Dominique Meyer, has launched an appeal to the government:
If we want to reopen Italy's theatres there is only one solution, – he told the ANSA news agency – and that is that all artists who are not allowed to wear masks such as singers, chorus members, actors, wind players and dancers, should be vaccinated.
The proposal comes after 45 performers and workers were found to be weakly positive during the regular Covid checks carried out in the theatre, but then all but two tested negative when they were swabbed for a molecular test. The filming of a gala was cancelled last month after one dancer tested positive last month, and last week's ‘outbreak' sent the whole company home.
We are investigating what happened, but this shows what a precarious situation we are in.
At La Scala, the anti-Covid protocols have been developed with the Director of Infectious Diseases at the Sacco Hospital in Milan, and this includes regular swabs to test for the coronavirus. The workers most at risk, ie those who cannot wear a mask, have a molecular swab every fortnight and a rapid test every week. So far, La Scala has paid €200,000 for about three thousand swabs for its workers.
If we want to reopen the theatres – and this is important for society's health, which needs it – we must create the conditions of safety for our employees.
Photo: Dominique Meyer (left) with Carlos Alvarez © Teatro alla Scala
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.