New York’s Met Opera bans all children under 12 from audience due to COVID-19

28 July 2021, 12:59

New York's Metropolitan Opera
New York's Metropolitan Opera. Picture: Getty

By Kyle Macdonald

Young people are to be banned from opera performances in strict new coronavirus policies announced by the leading opera house.

One of the world's most iconic opera houses will be putting on performances but without any children welcome, as part of a strict COVID-19 policy.

After a year of cancellations that featured unpaid orchestral musicians, and passionate interventions from leading conductors, New York's Metropolitan Opera is opening its doors. Though only to some.

The Met has announced that it will be implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all staff and audiences. Opera attendees will be asked to show proof of their vaccination upon arrival at the company's iconic building.

This has implications for all those opera lovers, old and new, who are not eligible for vaccinations.

In a statement, Met Opera said: “Children under the age of 12, for whom there is no currently available vaccine, are not permitted to enter the Met regardless of the vaccination status of their guardian.

“As soon as children under the age of 12 become eligible to receive a vaccine, fully vaccinated children will be welcomed back to the Met,” the opera house says.

Read more: Met Opera closure leaves ‘devastated’ musicians without pay for over a year

Lincoln Plaza with the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, April 2021
Lincoln Plaza with the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, April 2021. Picture: Getty

Opening Night of their 2021–22 season is on 27 September and features the Met's first performance of an opera by a Black composer. Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a new work Grammy Award–winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard.

Other highlights of the season include a 9/11 performance of Verdi's Requiem, Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov, Puccini's Turandot, and Wagner from young star soprano Lise Davidsen.

Mandatory vaccinations for Met Opera Staff

Last month in an email to staff, the Metropolitan Opera announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all its employees.

The Met said that the vaccination policy for staff will be enforced: “Employees who are not in compliance with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”

The statement said this is to “ensure the health and safety of our employees, their families, and members of our community”.