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Post-Brexit rules force Bryn Terfel into mad visa dash for Vienna opera performance

26 Jan 2022 2 minute read
Bryn Terfel. Picture BY Frankie Fouganthin (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Frustrated opera star Bryn Terfel has revealed he had to travel from Austria to Slovakia to get a visa so he can perform in the Austrian capital.

The trip yesterday came about after the internationally renowned bass baritone from Pant Glas in Gwynedd fell victim to new restrictions imposed on performers as a result of Brexit.

With just 24 hours to spare, he travelled an hour on the train to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava so he could get a visa from the Austrian Embassy to allow him sing at the Vienna State Opera.

The Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows visitors to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, and the opera singer had almost maxed out his quota.

Terfel made the cross border dash ahead of the opening night this evening of the Benjamin Britten opera, Peter Grimes, in which he will be taking the role of Captain Balstrode at the Vienna State Opera.

Clearly frustrated, he posted a picture of himself at the train station in Bratislava on Facebook.

‘Why am I here’ 

He said: “So. Why am I here the day before opening night of Peter Grimes in Vienna. Well. Long story short. I was nearly over the Schengen days. Note to all performers. Either download the darn Schengen day calculator or count back 180 days to see if you are anywhere close to the 90 day allowance.

“The consequence was a day trip to the closest Austrian Embassy outside of Austria for a working visa. I was a tad lucky this time as it was only an hour on the train from Vienna. The Vienna state opera and my agency Harlequin were onto it like a flash.

“I am quite certain that I will not make that same mistake again. Surely the Government can do something about this. Pronto. Ship ahoy for tomorrow.”

The issue has been a bone of contention for the music industry since the Brexit deal was struck.

Last year furious musicians gathered over 260,000 signatures on a petition to the Westminster government asking for a “Europe-wide visa-free work permit for touring professionals and artists”.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

The industry has been banging on about this since 2016 and the idiots in Westminster still haven’t got a clue what Brexit means let alone organised anything. This affects thousands of technicians, designers, specialist crafts and support staff like drivers and caterers and not just the headline artistes like Sir Bryn.
It’s a shambles.

2 years ago

Da iawn chdi Bryn mae eisiu died fel ac y mae poverty lwc at yfory

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Personally speaking. I’m not bothered if Bryn Terfel has post-Brexit visa woes. I was once an admirer of him, but after I heard his backward attitude regarding Welsh independence has tarnished his image.

He was quoted to have said that he’d move to Switzerland if Wales ever became an independent nation. Loyality to his country means nothing it seems. Funny, Switzerland’s an independent country, but it’s also a haven to the tax avoider too. This speaks volumes of Bryn Terfel. He’d rather his money go to Switzerland than Wales. He’s no Welshman.

arthur owen
2 years ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

‘He is no Welshman’ looking after number one seems to be a fairly typical Welsh attitude to me. You must stop thinking that all Welsh people are good.

Andy Williams
2 years ago

When Wales plays at the Principality Stadium, 72,000 passionate Welsh people, ask them to support Wales at the ballot box, you must be joking.

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