Melbourne Symphony’s Chinese New Year concert impacted by coronavirus concerns

Posted on: February 4, 2020

“Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Chinese New Year concert usually plays to a capacity crowd,” writes Nick Miller in Tuesday’s (2/4) The Age (Melbourne, Australia). “Last Friday Hamer Hall was barely half full, with some crowd members in face masks and the original conductor [Yi Zhang of China] replaced after going into self-imposed quarantine.” The performance was led by Australian Matthew Coorey. “MSO is among the first [Australian] arts organizations to be hit by coronavirus fears…. But it is not the only one. Two artists scheduled for the “What is Chinese” performance and installation … for this month’s Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts … have been unable to leave the country owing to travel restrictions. A festival spokeswoman said at least one other production would be affected by the travel ban…. MSO managing director Sophie Galaise said she had worked on a festival in Canada during the SARS outbreak and it made a loss after years of surpluses…. ‘People would not come because they were afraid,’ she said. ‘We hope the coronavirus will be short-lived and things will come back to normal in the not so far-off future, but I presume we will see an impact on [ticket] sales.’ ”