In Perm, Russia, opera house institutes lottery; one winner gets a personal live performance

Posted on: March 27, 2020

“Picture the scene: the curtain rises as the orchestra strikes up the opening bars of Puccini’s La Bohème or Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin,” writes Andrew Roth in Wednesday’s (3/25) Guardian (London, U.K.). “And in the 850-person auditorium of a storied Russian theatre sits just one lucky viewer, a lottery winner whose prize is the personal performance of a lifetime. Barred from hosting audiences due to the coronavirus outbreak, a theatre in Perm, a city near Russia’s Ural mountains, plans to host a unique experiment—private viewings of the theatre’s ballets and operas for the price of just a normal ticket. The project, called One on One, is the creation of Marat Gatsalov, the principal stage director of the Perm Opera and Ballet theatre…. ‘We’d been told that we can’t let viewers into the theatre hall,’ Gatsalov said. ‘But that doesn’t mean we can’t let just one viewer in.’… The lottery will work like this: 850 people will register for each show, whether it’s an opera, ballet or concert, and a winner will be selected and invited to buy a ticket…. Nobody else will be charged, although the theatre could use the funds. Financially, Gatsalov said, the coronavirus crisis has been ‘catastrophic.’ ”