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The show must go on, as the saying goes, but sometimes there are so many obstacles that stopping is the only option. It is with great regret that we had to decide to cancel the entire Carmen performances series.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, we have always put the health of our staff and artists first. In the current situation, we want to keep the impact of the Omicron wave on our organisation as low as possible. The virulence of this variant did not spare our staff. Like many other companies, many staff members and guest artists were absent due to illness or quarantine. This loss of personnel would have continued to seriously hamper the performances of Carmen.
Initially, we had hoped to be able to perform part of the Carmen series in front of more than 200 spectators. In the meantime, it has become clear that the next Consultation Committee has been postponed to a later date. It was on this occasion that the roadmap that was being negotiated with the sector and the government was to be discussed. Because of this and also because of the explosive increase in the number of Covid infections and the forecasts for the coming weeks, any hope of an increase in the number of visitors allowed in theatres has vanished completely. Playing the planned twelve performances of Carmen for only 200 people would result in a financial loss of 900.000€. Add to this the fact that we would only be able to sell 2.400 tickets instead of the planned 13.800, and it becomes clear that such a scenario wouldn't meet the expectations of anyone.
These and many other arguments do not alter the fact that the decision to cancel the entire series of performances was a very difficult one. After all, Carmen is one of the most mythical titles in the repertoire, and we were going to perform it in an iconic production with an absolute top cast. All this translated into overwhelming interest from our audience. We realise that we are greatly disappointing both our subscribers and the many occasional visitors who would have come to La Monnaie to discover this specific title, and we are therefore doing our very best to ensure our co-producer's series of performances in Luxembourg. A later re-run in our theatre of this production of Carmen, which premiered in 2017 at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, is currently being considered.
We are hoping to be back in full force for the next new production, Puccini's Il trittico in March/April.