No Opera On A Dead Planet

   Thursday, Extinction Rebellion supporters disrupted the Met’s opening performance of Tannhauser in Manhatten, NYC.

   In the midst of Act II, as main character Wolfram delivers the line, “love is a spring to be drank from”, an audience member called out to him,

   “Wolfram—wake up! The spring is polluted! The spring is tainted! The spring is poisoned! This is a climate emergency. This is a climate crisis. There will be no opera on a dead planet!”

   Banners unfurled from the balconies on either side of the stage, bearing the words “no opera on a dead planet” as the Rebels continued to warn the audience and cast of the looming consequences of the climate crisis.
This caused a brief 10 minute halt to the show. Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, informed the audience the show would go on, as security would detain the Extinction Rebellion supporters. When Tannhauser resumed, another Rebel in the house disrupted the opera, and the combined efforts delayed the opera ending by 30 minutes.

   Throughout the action, audience members were disgruntled by the interruption. Linda Solomon, Extinction Rebellion activist, clarifies the rationale behind these provoking actions,

   “We're not protesting the event itself; we are not protesting opera; we are not protesting the emissions that brought spectators here. That's not the point. We are here because we have to disrupt this public event as our last resort to draw public attention to the climate emergency we are facing today.”

   John Mark Rozendaal, Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, cellist and viola de gamba player, further details what motivates interrupting these performances.

   “We love opera. We are interrupting the things we love. We are acting in ways that may seem irrational, but this is because no one is having a sane response to the urgency, danger, and magnitude of the climate crisis. There have been 28 COPs and emissions have only gone up! We stand to lose everything.”

   The bliss of ignorance will not be pervasive much longer. These protests are proportionate to the urgency that must exist in the wake of the ever-worsening climate crisis. In order to save everything we love, we must participate in collective action, and hold the government accountable. Extinction Rebellion demands that a climate and ecological emergency be declared, that permits for gas and oil be halted, and for the work to be done to reduce biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In Solidarity, Leia Perreira



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Leia Perreira


Leia advocates for sustainability and Earth through art, bearing an extinction symbol tattoo. She is a staff writer for Daily Rebellion and community outreach for XRPathways.