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Madrid’s Teatro Real to become first opera house to reopen with an audience

Spain’s Teatro Real is set to open today at half capacity, while BookMyShow unveils a new streaming vertical and an AudienceView study reveals theatregoers are willing to pay extra for tickets at socially distanced shows…

Teatro Real

Madrid’s Teatro Real will become the first opera house in the world to see audiences return as it is set to reopen its doors today at half capacity.

The staging of La Traviata includes a chorus, orchestra and soloists, all socially distanced from one another. The chorus will be two metres apart, while members of the 56-piece orchestra will wear masks where possible and sit 1.5 metres from each other, with plastic panels in front of the woodwind section

The audience of up to 869 people will each also have their temperature taken before being allowed in and be required to wear a mask at all times.

The 1,746-capacity venue has also installed no-touch features in the washrooms and the intermission has been extended to 40 minutes to avoid crowds or long queues.

For artists, they have been asked to arrive much earlier than normal for the 27 performances in order to stagger their entrances to avoid any crowding and to allow them to have their temperature taken.

Joan Matabosch, the artistic director of the Teatro Real, said, according to the Guardian: “There are people who prefer to sit with their arms crossed and wait until we return to normal. And then there are theatres that prefer to try and conquer the normality that we find ourselves in.

“This isn’t an opera staged in normal conditions. This is an effort by the Teatro Real to actively push for a progressive return to normality.”


Indian entertainment and ticketing giant BookMyShow has launched a new video streaming vertical.

BookMyShow Online will remain behind a paywall and be similar to buying a one-time ticket to an event, such as plays, concerts, and comedy gigs.

Parikshit Dar, co-founder and director, BookMyShow said: “We’ve had conversations over the past year on the physical and geographical limitations of a live event but this pandemic has given us an opportunity to fast-track these digital offerings and make it a mix of online and offline events which could be one way for us to reach out to smaller towns.”

BookMyShow has hosted over 750 events in the three months since COVID-19 forced live events to be cancelled and has seen customer engagement close to four million viewers within the first four weeks.


A new study by AudienceView found that more than 70 per cent of theatregoers in the US would be willing to pay between 10 and 50 per cent more for a ticket to offset lost revenue from seats left empty due to distancing.

The study of more than 5,000 members of AudienceView’s TheaterMania community, shared insights on the impact of COVID-19 on returning to theatre and engaging with virtual content.

Theatregoers said they are most nervous about being in close contact with strangers at their seats, as they arrive or depart, as well as in washrooms and other lines.

Almost 80 per cent of people said venues could help patrons feel most comfortable by making masks, while 76 per cent said the mandatory use of hand sanitiser would help with safety concerns.

Rosemary Maggiore, publisher of TheaterMania and vice -president of AudienceView’s consumer division, said: “The entire theatre community is looking forward to returning to enjoy this art form that we love. In the meantime, we are inspired by the creativity that venues are showing as they find ways to keep their audiences engaged.

“We’re delighted to add value by sharing insights into the minds of arts patrons so that organisations understand how to make them feel comfortable to return when venue doors reopen.”

The survey also revealed that almost 80 per cent of respondents have watched a streamed concert since mid-March, with only 0.9 per cent reporting that they did not enjoy the experience.

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