For its opera season premiere, the Staatstheater Cottbus is staging "Carmen”, the tale of passion, jealousy and tragedy set to music by Georges Bizet. Rehearsals were held through November under strict precautions. But will it ever premiere?
Conductor Mario Venzago and director Stephan Märki have never rehearsed like this before. How can they keep an ensemble's morale up if they don't even know when or if the production they're working so hard on will go on stage? And that's not their only problem. Their singers have to stay shut away behind Plexiglas walls and compete with air purifiers. The climactic stage kiss is blocked by masks. And how can the choir singers maintain the required distance from one another? One thought keeps them going strong through it all: there's no quitting - culture must go on, even - and especially - in the time of corona. A report by Axel Rowohlt.