Silence finally? The owner of the “opera house” in Štúrovo detained

The woman whose case has been made into a theatre play was charged with ignoring the Supreme Court’s ruling and dangerous threats and brought into pre-trial custody.

The "singing house" in ŠtúrovoThe "singing house" in Štúrovo (Source: My Nové Zámky/sme.sk)

A woman in the southern Slovak town of Štúrovo “tortured” her neighbours by playing a single Verdi opera loudly every day between 6:00 and 22:00. This happened for almost 16 years, until the police came to arrest her, the Sme daily wrote on August 7.

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The house with amplifiers, which played La Traviata as sung by Placido Domingo, includes a steel network for protection, rolled-down blinds, spotlights and cameras, and allegedly for night vision, the daily wrote, citing TV Markíza’s website.

The woman started to play the opera as revenge, as she had vainly complained about a barking dog next door. (In the meantime, the dog has probably died.)

Charged with making threats

“The owner of the house did not even respect the Supreme Court’s effective order that banned her from playing the music,” TV Markíza wrote, adding that police came to arrest her. The investigator also charged her with dangerous threats and proposed pre-trial custody.

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Now, the owner of the “opera house” is awaiting the decision of a judge in a prison cell – whether she will be released, or remain in custody. She faces a prison sentence between six months and three years, the TASR newswire wrote.

Noise from early morning till late evening

The re-playing of the aria on Kossuthova Street in Štúrovo was accompanied by unbearable whistling – catcalls. The four-minute piece was played again and again between 6:00 and 22:00.

How the case developed

In June 2015, the mayor of Štúrovo issued a preliminary injunction in which he banned the harassing of citizens by playing recorded music, TASR wrote. For the next two years and three months, the “opera house” and the street went quiet. The woman, identified as Éva N., contested the preliminary injunction through a court complaint. The district court confirmed the mayor’s order, as did the regional court. It was still not valid, however, as Éva N. appealed against the courts’ decisions. Last September, La Traviata thus resounded again across Kossuthova Street.

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In March 2018, the Supreme Court confirmed the preliminary injunction issued by the town in 2015, which bans the harassing of citizens by playing recorded music, according to TASR.

“The whole street is suffering,” Sme wrote, quoting TV Markíza, adding that noise is one of the gravest factors in creating stress.

The aria from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, based on a novel by Alexander Dumas, is very popular.

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