Puppetry in the time of corona
We've been working at the Wiener Staatsoper to stage Madame Butterfly for the last 6 weeks.
So we are nearly there. The "General Probe" (hard "G") is at lunch time today and the premiere is on Monday. It will be broadcast on ORFIII at 8.15pm Austria time (time delay), 7.15 UK time, (2.15 East Coast time). It is a one time broadcast and no catch up is planned, so if you want to see something, go to this link (you may need to scroll down to ORF3 to find it):
https://tvthek.orf.at/live The Opera house has spent 330,000 Euro a month on testing, and has received 6 million Euro to make this possible. We have our temperature taken at the stage door, wearing a colour-coded lanyard, masks inside the building, and a weekly test on Friday mornings for all "red lanyards" ie stage teams. They are expecting an audience of 1200 on Monday night (in an auditorium that normally seats 1700. I am hoping to be able to stand at the back. There is going to be no afterparty with guests, just a toast backstage. Otherwise Austria is surreal in it's normality. All the bars and restaurants are open and fairly busy. And shops. Mostly we are able to stay outside in the gartens and terrasses because it is warm. We have been cycling about and swimming in the Danube, but mainly working. The creative team and cast have a range of paranoia from very anxious and turning down all invitations (the older ones), to believing Covid is a conspiracy masterminded by Bill Gates to promote vaccines or something (Younger, also Vegan). I have socialised mainly with the Butterfly cast and crew, but I don't of course know who they have socialised with. The opera is in good shape I think. The puppet team have done a good job. There are local changes, especially to the lighting, which are quite exciting I think.
Lots of love to you all!