The experience of returning to a socially-distanced La Scala
The usual throng found buzzing under the portico outside La Scala while waiting for the doors to open, was replaced by a slow trickle of spectators. The theatre had opened a full hour before curtain up. A new number was printed on the tickets, indicating the entrance door to use, rather like turnstiles at a football stadium.
We were confronted by a machine that reads body temperature, and the electronic tickets – printed at home or displayed on a smartphone as the box-office is closed – were scanned. We proceeded along a cordoned corridor cutting across the foyer, serving to keep the audience for each sector of the theatre separate, and were greeted by an usher. Delightfully, in Italian, a ticket-tearer is called a ‘maschera’, which also means mask, which in this case they were all indeed wearing. In fact, two: a KN95 face mask and a transparent face shield. With their traditional all-black uniform they looked like a cross between Forbidden Planet’s Robby the Robot and Nosferatu.
After receiving our free programme, we went up to our seats. I was […]