Olympic hockey gold medallist asked to leave opera ‘after coughing twice’

22 February 2019, 12:55

Samantha Quek and the Vienna State Opera
Samantha Quek and the Vienna State Opera. Picture: Getty and Twitter

By Elizabeth Davis

Samantha Quek tweeted that she was asked to leave a performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in Vienna for coughing

Vienna’s opera house is one of the most famous in the world – and this week Olympic gold medallist Samantha Quek took the chance to catch a performance there while in the city.

But while she was watching a performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, she said she was “asked to leave my seat at the Opera because I coughed twice”.

She shared an image on twitter of the “detention” room she was sent to, where she watched the opera on a screen outside the main auditorium.

Spaces like this are sometimes used in opera houses so that latecomers can still see the performance without disturbing audience members once the show has started.

A spokesman for the Vienna State Opera told Mail Online that staff weren’t allowed inside the auditorium during performances and that they’d been unable to confirm the incident.

They told the Mail Online: “None of the staff noticed anything. The only thing I can think of is maybe a neighbour sitting next to her asked her to leave because her coughing was too loud.”

He told the paper that the opera house had tried to get in touch with Samantha about the incident.

English National Opera meanwhile replied and offered to make sure the hockey player was armed with cough sweets for her next trip to the opera.