Opera Australia has introduced a COVID test, called rapid antigen testing, which provides results within 15 minutes, in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus among its singers, staff and crew.

It is the first performing arts company in Australia to use the test as a key element of its COVID-safe program. OA Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini believes it is also the first major opera company in the world to use the test.

Lyndon Terracini, Julie Lea Goodwin and dancers at the launch of Opera Australia's 2021 Sydney summer season Lyndon Terracini, Julie Lea Goodwin and dancers at the launch of OA’s 2021 Sydney summer season. Photograph © Prudence Upton

In March 2020, just two performances into its season of Verdi’s Attila , the pandemic hit, a lockdown was introduced, and the rest of the season, and eventually OA’s entire 2020 program, had to be cancelled.

However, in January this year, after a hiatus of nearly 10 months, OA returned to the stage with a two-week Sydney season of The Merry Widow . Tonight it opens a new production of Verdi’s Ernani...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.