Anna Patalong wore a yellow ball gown with a blue waistband and a necklace covered in gold stars as she performed in Classical Spectacular show on Sunday.
A concert goer took to Twitter to say she was disconcerted by Patalong's choice of dress, despite being a Remainer herself.
"In my opinion the public paid to come to a classical music concert and not a political rally. As much as I applaud your wife for having the guts to quite literally nail her colours to the mast, I feel it was inappropriate to do it at a concert," Angela Whelan wrote, addressing Patalong's husband, baritone singer Benedict Nelson, on Twitter.
…. a very bold statement indeed. In my opinion the public paid to come to a classical music concert and not a political rally. As much as I applaud your wife for having the guts to quite literally nail her colours to the mast, I feel it was inappropriate to do it at a concert..— Angela Whelan (@angela_whelan) March 25, 2019
Some agreed with Whelan and suggested that "classical music is and has always been apolitical," while others accused the artist of turning the performance into a "PR stunt."
who smells a pr stunt? An unknown becomes a 'known' over a dress….. yawn! and if we were all allowed to wear what we wanted when we wanted then I would wear batman costume to work… but I cannot so…— eli lam (@eli_elilm) March 26, 2019
Ridiculous comment. It's a political statement. She's there to sing, not give her unwanted irrelevant opinion.— Fred Giulanu (@giulanu) March 26, 2019
She needs to know her place & get back in her box.
And for the record, you can pipe down too.
In contract, some commentators mocked the incident with photos and memes.
No, come on. She's talking about a dress, not race. She voted remain, and even if she didn't a leave vote does not a racist make. Please don't make slurs. This is an interesting chat about the relationship between art & politics at a charged time. pic.twitter.com/8VWHV374aB— Emily Gray (@EmilyGrayMezzo) March 25, 2019
According to the concert's producer, the complaint by the member of the audience had not influenced the company's request for Patalong not to wear the dress again. However, the singer's husband insisted the reason for the request was the "provocative" nature of the dress.
Yesterday a man was ejected from the ROH for wearing a pro EU T-shirt. Today my wife was asked to change her dress from yellow and blue at the RAH as the colours were too provocative.— Benedict Nelson (@ennobledinsect) March 24, 2019
Two artistic venues people. Anyone who knows their history knows what that sounds like.
Classical Spectacular has been playing for around 3 decades, featuring classical music and multicoloured laser displays in the March 2019 season.