Eva Kong is in a very enviable position right now; as far as we can tell she is currently the only Australian opera singer to be in a studio with a director and cast rehearsing a fully staged production of an opera.

Kong – who was born in South Korea, but is now based in Brisbane – is currently in Seoul where she will make her debut as Manon in Massenet’s 1884 opera on June 26. A few days ago, she thought she’d be performing in front of a real, socially distanced audience, but a new spike in coronavirus cases in Seoul has put paid to that, with the government re-tightening restrictions around public gathering. Instead the production will now be live streamed via three different platforms. On top of that, the cast will be wearing transparent face protectors.

Eva Kong in rehearsals for Manonat Korea National Opera. Photograph supplied

Ironically, were it not for the coronavirus, Kong wouldn’t be playing the role. When Korea National Opera first offered her Manon, she had to decline as she had already signed a contract to cover Princess Eudoxie in La Juivefor Opera Australia,...