Performers in Opera Australia’s New Production Ordered to Self-Isolate

A building subcontractor who was working on the refurbishment of the Sydney Opera House may have unknowingly exposed the company's musicians to COVID-19

Photo Credit: Prudence Upton

Opera Australia's performances of Aida, Atilla, and Otello have been postponed after a construction worker who later tested positive for COVID-19 spent time working at the Sydney Opera House.

An internal memo sent by Opera Australia to its staff requested that any singers, orchestra members, technicians, and other staff who were present at the Opera House over a six-day period take a COVID-19 test and immediately self-isolate. Members of the employees' households have also been asked to isolate.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the company's rehearsals of Otello were possibly in violation of Sydney's current lockdown measures, and company staff had "privately questioned" why the rehearsals had been allowed to go ahead.

However, the Sydney Opera House defended the company's decision to proceed with the rehearsal. "Only required staff were on site for rehearsals in preparation for performances resuming, operating in line with strict COVID safety plans and protocols,” a Sydney Opera House spokesperson said.

The rest of the company's winter season is now up in the air. "We have paused rehearsals for the time being while we establish what the revised winter season will look like and will then schedule activity required to achieve that," said a spokesperson for Opera Australia. "We are in the process of reviewing the remainder of the season and will be in a position to announce when the situation is clearer.”