Royal Opera House in London Bans Audience Member After Black Child Actor Was Heckled and Booed During Performance

Courtesy of Marc Brenner

The Royal Opera House in London has permanently banned an audience member after the individual heckled and booed a Black child acting in Tuesday night’s performance of Handel’s Alcina, the arts venue confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday.

“We can confirm that this audience member will not be able to return to the ROH in the future,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

Malakai M Bayoh, a trained music student at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in London, had been making his stage debut in the role of Oberta “when a man in the audience yelled ‘rubbish!’ and booed him,’” Financial Times associate art editor Josh Spero, who had been watching the production, tweeted. “Who would do that to a child? Once the boy was done, the audience responded with wild applause and cheering.”

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“[The heckler] was in the row in front of me, three seats to the left,” Paul Halsall added on Twitter. “He left before the end of the second act or I think the amphitheatre audience would have dealt very with him. He was a nasty old git.”

“He left just before the end of the second act, basically to avoid the criticism he would have received at interval, Hannah Jones said, also on Twitter. “I was sitting behind him and despite being shhh and told to stop repeatedly, he didn’t. Atrocious behaviour.”

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SOURCE: The Daily Beast, Helen Holmes

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