Keith Urban almost had fighting words for a man who sat behind the country singer and his wife, Nicole Kidman, at all places: the opera. The altercation took place in January at the Sydney Opera House, and finally, we are getting Urban’s side to the story — and it’s just a misunderstanding about etiquette.
Since it was the couple’s first time attending the opera, they were moved by the performance of The Merry Widow so much so that they jumped up to give the cast a standing ovation — only that’s not what happens at the opera. Oops!
“It was a bloody great performance, so good, and I’m looking around and we’re cheering and cheering, everybody’s cheering, and then I look around and I see a few people standing and then a few more and I went ‘Oh, bloody hell. I’m getting up,’ ” he recalled to KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O Show on Thursday. “So then I stood up and then this guy behind me just whacked Nic, like really hit her with the program.”
That startling whack on the butt was enough to get Kidman to exclaim, “That guy just hit me!” What’s a husband to do? Urban joked that “violence at the opera ensued,” but he was stuck in a difficult situation: Does he defend his wife or does he admit they broke opera protocol? Well, Urban, being the ultimate gentleman, took the high road to the entire situation.
“It took a lot of restraint. I was pretty upset,” he admitted. “I just looked at him and said, ‘It’s a standing ovation.’ But, at the same time, I get it. I get that there’s this thing going on where there’s a traditional thing that says you don’t do that, and I respect that.”
This is why we love the former American Idol judge; he still found a subtle way to defend his Oscar-winning wife while trying to respect the opera fans, who know that a standing ovation isn’t the best way to honor the performers.
We’re glad there wasn’t a knockdown, drag-out fight that night, but the thought of Urban creating a scene at a night of fancy opera would have been one for the ages. Either way, Kidman knows her husband has her back in every situation — even at the opera.
Before you go, click here to see our favorite country music couples.