Apparently, operagoers are not supposed to offer standing ovations at the opera. And Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman found that out the hard way.
Last month, the showbiz couple attended a performance of “The Merry Widow” at the Sydney Opera House with Kidman’s mother Janelle. While there, they got into an altercation with another operagoer. And now Urban is breaking his silence on what actually happened that night.
Keith Urban Opens Up About Opera House Incident
On a recent episode of “The Kyle and Jackie O Show,” Urban explained his side of the story.
“We were sitting down with Nic’s mum and we were clapping. It was a bloody great performance and… everyone was cheering and cheering,” Urban said, The Daily Mail reports.
“I looked around and I see a few people standing and a few more and I thought ‘Oh I’m getting up,’” he went on. “And then this guy behind me just whacked Nic, just like really hit her, with the program.”
Urban and the operagoer exchanged words. Then Urban’s security team escorted him and the Kidmans out. Opera House security reportedly ushered the offending operagoer out. At some point during the exchange, someone called the police.
“A 53-year-old man and a 67-year-old man were both attending the entertainment centre when an argument broke out,” police said in a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald. “Officers spoke to both men and no further action was taken.”
Traditionalism at the Opera
Urban said he tried to explain their behavior to the operagoer who swatted Kidman.
“It was a bit of a pickle that I was in because, you know, you’re a husband, you want to defend your wife, but I’m like, what the hell? It took a lot of restraint,” Urban said, per Hollywood Life. “I think I just looked at him. I said, ‘It’s a standing ovation,’ like I didn’t know I’m not allowed to [do it].”
“At the same time, I get it,” he added. “I get that there’s this thing going on where there’s a traditional thing that says you don’t do that. I respect that, but I was also going by a lot of other people who were standing.”
After the incident, Opera Australia head honcho Lyndon Terracini brought Kidman and Urban through back of house and out the stage door. There they posed for a picture with opera star Virgilio Marino.
“Old mate and his program are part of the reason opera patronage is dwindling,” the Morning Herald editorialized. “As much as Opera Australia needs to keep up with the times, so too does its audience.”