In Wiesbaden, Germany, a live vocal recital is performed in a sparsely populated theater

Posted on: May 20, 2020

“When Günther Groissböck, an Austrian bass … stepped before a sparse audience at the State Theater of Hesse [in Wiesbaden, Germany] on Monday evening … at least three empty seats separated every occupied one in the neo-Baroque auditorium, which normally holds 1,000 but accommodated fewer than 200,” writes Jack Ewing in Tuesday’s (5/19) New York Times. “Mr. Groissböck and the pianist Alexandra Goloubitskaia performed songs by Schubert and Mahler…. Concertgoers were required to wear face coverings…. Tickets came without seat assignments…. The theater recorded everyone’s name and address, so they could be contacted later in case someone turned out to be infected.… Elsewhere in Europe, governments are also taking steps to get music lovers back into concert halls…. In August, a new limit of 1,000 people has been proposed [in Austria], if an event’s organizers present a safety plan for government approval.… In Italy, the government passed a decree … allowing concerts starting June 15, so long as they meet certain conditions…. For an encore, Mr. Groissböck sang an excerpt from a role he was scheduled to perform at Bayreuth … Wotan’s Farewell from the end of Wagner’s ‘Die Walküre.’ The audience was ecstatic, making up in volume what it lacked in numbers.”