Of Dress Codes and Social Codes at the Opera

( Alper Çuğun) / Flickr )

( Alper Çuğun) / Flickr )

At Teatro alla Scala in elegant Milan there is a “notice for the public” posted in Italian and English that says, “The public is kindly requested to dress in keeping with the decorum of the Theatre, out of respect for the Theatre and for other viewers. People wearing shorts or sleeveless T-shirts will not be allowed inside the auditorium; in this case, tickets will not be reimbursed.”

I know that such a request can prove incredibly divisive and there are valid arguments that can be made for and against it. As someone who spends a lot of time in Italy and used to work at La Scala, I fall somewhere in the middle. But I fervently believe that there are all kinds of reasons why we should not deny admission to people who want to go to the opera and, if that should happen, they definitely should receive a reimbursement. Full story.

Fred Plotkin (WQXR) / April 20, 2017

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