A show at Welsh National Opera was twice stopped by the conductor after mobile phones went off in the audience.
Carlo Rizzi was conducting a performance of Verdi’s Les Vêpres Siciliennes at the Wales Millennium Centre on February 22 when he halted the music because of the disturbance.
According to the BBC, when the mobile phones rang out in the auditorium, Rizzi stopped performing and spoke to the audience about the distraction, for which he was then applauded.
David Jackson, who was at the performance, said: “He got a warm round of applause after he stopped and ticked off the audience member. Both incidents were right at the beginning of the show and all was well after that.”
Welsh National Opera stressed that the incident caused a “short pause” in the performance rather than an official stopping of the show.
The use of mobile phones during live performances has often caused controversy, with actors including Patti LuPone and Richard Griffiths famously reprimanding phone-using audience members while on stage.
In a recent poll by The Stage, 77% of more than 340 respondents said theatres should consider removing access to audience members’ phones during shows.
The practice, used this month by Madonna for her run at the London Palladium, sees phones locked in a secure pouch that is retained by the owner during the performance, which is only unlocked once the show is over.