Coronavirus cases rise in Italy, forcing closure of Milan’s La Scala and Naples’ San Carlo theaters

Posted on: October 29, 2020

“The number of performers at Milan’s famed La Scala opera house who have tested positive for the coronavirus has risen to 21, even as the theater was forced to close due to new government restrictions aimed at curbing the virus’ resurgence,” writes Colleen Barry in Tuesday’s (10/27) Associated Press. “La Scala spokesman Paolo Besana confirmed Tuesday that 18 members of the world-class chorus and three woodwind players in the orchestra have the virus. That comes after two singers, including tenor Francesco Meli, tested positive, ahead of planned concert performances last week of Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Aida.’ Italian media also reported that 12 positive cases had been reported at the San Carlo Theater in Naples, affecting management, the orchestra, chorus and dance troupe. The new peak in virus cases in Italy has been centered in Milan, Lombardy’s capital, throwing into doubt La Scala’s celebrated Dec. 7 gala season opener. La Scala had launched a limited series of concerts and ballets in September…. It had planned to resume full staging in November, but the government decree has shut down theaters through Nov. 24…. The infections underline the delicacy of staging singing performances during which voices are necessarily projected, risking the spread of contagion.”