Events include a charity performance in response to the Black Lives Matter Movement and a concert from the English Chamber Orchestra
London’s Cadogan Hall is to to reopen its doors to live performance for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown, welcoming musicians back for a series of live-streamed concerts and recording sessions over the coming weeks, all adhering to strict government guidelines.
Events include ‘TURN UP!’ - a charity event in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, featuring performances with a live band, alongside readings, poetry and speeches, from Black West End and Broadway performers including Sharon D Clarke, Noma Dumezweni, Clive Rowe, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Johnnie Fiore, Norm Lewis, Brittney Johnson, Brandi Chavonne Massey and Joe Aaron Reid. It will be live streamed from 10, 11 and 12 July.
There is also a live-streamed concert on 8 July at 7.30pm, in which 25 players of the English Chamber Orchestra play Mozart’s Symphony No.29 and Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending, the latter with soloist Ofer Falk. The performance will be broadcast on Cadogan Hall’s YouTube Channel and will be followed by a Q&A session with members of the Orchestra.
All performances will take place in accordance with current social distance guidelines. There is a one-way system in place throughout the venue combined with specified arrival time slots for performers and players, and all individual equipment will also be changed over after every set to ensure each new ensemble has fresh microphones.
Similarly, wind and brass players from the English Chamber Orchestra will also perform with unique guidelines specific to their musical discipline to enable them to perform safely. Stage markings clearly outline such distances.
Adam McGinlay, Managing Director of Cadogan Hall says, ‘We are so pleased to get performers back on stage once again. We have been working with Taskforce and Working Groups set up by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to develop guidance for the safe reopening from the outset. This, combined with Hall’s agile operation and private funding by Cadogan Estates (the Hall’s owner), means we can start to build on rehearsals, recordings and concert streamings in a safe and responsible environment within sector guidelines.
The government’s announcement of a £1.57bn package of support for the arts, culture and heritage sector in the UK is hugely welcomed and we wait with great eagerness on reopening dates in accordance with the government’s five-plan recovery roadmap.
Online streaming does not - in anyway - replace the live concert going experience. It barely shines a light to it. Meeting friends pre-concert, bustling foyers, people watching, prosecco flowing – a growing sense of excitement as the foyer announces: ”Ladies and gentlemen - please take to your seats - this evening’s performance - will commence - in 5 minutes.”…can’t be replicated online.
Concerts halls, theatres, performers and audiences across the country, long to return and engage once again. As do surrounding hotels and restaurants enhancing the concert-going experience through post-concert dining and night time dwelling. All significant participants in this ecology, contributing to the country’s economic health.
Not until we beat the pandemic, or at the very least control it, can we return to what we do best. Live performance. Until then - our bustling foyers, bars and foyer announcements - remain ghostly silent.
Concert streaming does at least, go someway in reconnecting concert platforms with players, and players with audiences. It doesn’t generate significant income and requires considerable expenditure. But we can at least connect through streaming – and Cadogan Hall is open to all promoters and performers to make this happen.’