“A viola player who suffered a life-changing hearing injury at a rehearsal of Wagner’s Die Walkure in 2012 has won a landmark High Court judgment against the Royal Opera House,” reports Clive Coleman in Wednesday’s (3/28) BBC News (U.K.). “The case won by Chris Goldscheider has huge implications for the industry and the health and safety of musicians. It is the first time … ‘acoustic shock’ has been recognized as a condition which can be compensated by a court. On 1 September 2012, Mr. Goldscheider was seated directly in front of the brass section of the orchestra…. The noise levels exceeded 130 decibels, roughly equivalent to that of a jet engine. His hearing was irreversibly damaged. Mr. Goldscheider claimed damages for acoustic shock…. Orchestras will now need to re-assess policies and procedures and the design of orchestra spaces and could face claims against them by other musicians…. In a statement, the ROH said the expert medical advice it had consistently received was that long-term hearing damage could not be caused by an isolated incident of exposure to live music…. Damages will be assessed at a later date.”

Posted March 29, 2018