April 25, 2020 / 4:32 AM / a month ago

Famed Buenos Aires opera house turns its sewing machines to mask masking

General view of the empty seats at the Colon Theater during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

(Reuters) - A Buenos Aires landmark and one of the world’s great opera houses, Teatro Colon has adapted its enormous basement workshops to making face masks, churning out 1,500 a week to help Argentina’s health workers cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a factory of dreams,” said stage director Enrique Bordolini. “The Colon has this advantage that everything you see on stage, when the curtain opens, is made right here.”

More than 50 volunteers who normally work to create stage props, sew tutus, and manage special effects, have been cutting and stitching felt and cloth to make face masks, stamped with the theatre’s logo.

“I feel the same joy that I do when I make costumes. For me, it’s the same pride and I do it just as happily,” said Stella Maris Lopez, the Colon’s head seamstress.

All performances and tours of the theatre have been suspended. Most public places have been closed since March 20 in Argentina, which has reported over 3,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 167 deaths.

Reporting by Lucila Sigal and Horacio Soria, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Tom Brown

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