Analysis July 2020: The new normal
As Covid-19 lockdowns are gradually lifted, orchestras and concert venues in Europe and Asia are contemplating the task of reopening in a socially distanced world
As some orchestras in Europe and Asia restart broadcast performances and live concerts, ensembles in countries where mass gatherings are still prohibited due to Covid-19 restrictions are watching closely to see what is safe, practical and economically viable in the new reality of physical distancing, face masks and temperature checks. Scientific studies, such as the paper issued in May by Berlin’s Charité university of medicine, led to recommendations for safely distancing orchestra players on stage (bit.ly/3d1PcvK). Such guidelines have allowed orchestras to assess what will be possible in terms of the number of musicians on stage or in an orchestra pit, and the impact this will have on repertoire choice. Orchestras and venues also have to work with audience distancing measures and the audience size limits stipulated by governments and regional authorities, and consider the financial implications of presenting concerts with reduced auditorium capacity.