THE Teatro Real in Madrid was forced to close after a dramatic protest during a performance this past weekend.
The venue was forced to interrupt a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera on Sunday night after safety concerns caused a protest among the audience.
The crowd was seemingly angry at the lack of social distancing efforts made by the venue, feeling unsafe at how crowded the theatre was.
The protest caused the performance to come to a halt and the venue was forced to close for the remainder of the evening.
According to a statement issued by the theatre, the venue was at 65% capacity, still 10% below the required number of people allowed under current guidelines.
However, in the wave of new cases and increased lockdown regulations in the capital, the crowd appeared angry that precautions were not as serious as they were two months prior.
During a performance of La Traviata back in July, theatre organisers spaced out the seating and taped off certain tables and chairs to ensure that distancing was maintained.
However, during Sunday’s performance, audience members were allowed to sit where they pleased and with the only stipulation to wear masks at all times.
Users on social media pointed out that the lower portion of the theatre, where ticket prices were at a premium, spaced out the seating more, whereas the upper, cheaper seats did not.
“We deeply regret what happened on Sunday night,” said a spokesperson from the Teatro Real.
“A number of spectators felt unsafe in their seats, despite the fact we complied scrupulously with current health regulations.”
This was also corroborated by police, who were called to the scene.
“The Teatro Real wants to reiterate its commitment to the health safety of the public, artists and workers, in which it has been working with dedication, responsibility and great energy, since April, with its own Medical Committee and scrupulous monitoring of the regulations of the Government of Spain and the Community of Madrid,” the statement concluded.
According to data from Spain’s Ministry of Health, Madrid currently accounts for a third of all new cases nationwide.
Due to this, the city has been placed under much stricter rules including mobility restrictions in the worst hit regions and government advice for entering the city from elsewhere.
The military has also been requested to enter the city by president of the Madrid community Isabel Diaz Ayuso, to assist with disinfection work and to bolster law enforcement if needed.