Video grab.
(Image credit: Reuters)

A maximum three seats are next to each other, with many more covered in white sheets to prevent people from sitting to closely to one another.

Reuters
Last Updated: June 11, 2020, 4:32 PM IST

Coronavirus restrictions mean Berlin’s Deutsche Oper is affected by a ban to host large gatherings in closed public spaces just like cinemas, theatres or night clubs – so the opera house operators got creative.

Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold will premiere this coming Friday (June 12) as scheduled but the surroundings will be less lavish this time, with visitors seated on plastic chairs on the opera house’s car park where an open air makeshift stage was set up.

As director Dietmar Schwarz would like to underline, “the music is original Wagner but it was reduced to 22 musicians” by British composer Jonathan Dove.

Also, the normally two and a half hour long performance was shortened to 90 minutes.

A maximum three seats are next to each other, with many more covered in white sheets to prevent people from sitting to closely to one another.

The first sold out showing will have 170 guests, Schwarz said, a fraction of the 1.859 seats inside.

Tickets could only be bought online, at 5 euros a piece.

“After the showing you will have the opportunity to increase that amount by what you want,” a written statement reads.

It was not known whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be among those sitting on a plastic chair in a Berlin car park on Friday night.

Both Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer are known to be big fans of the 19th century German composer’s work and the chancellor is a regular at the annual Bayreuth Wagner opera festival held every summer.


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