U.S. cultural organizations look ahead to 2021, with fall 2020 season in question

Posted on: May 28, 2020

“In the world of performing arts, the coronavirus pandemic has already sunk summer. Now it is felling fall,” write Michael Paulson, Joshua Barone, Ben Sisario, and Zachary Woolfe in Sunday’s (5/24) New York Times. “Concert promoters, theater presenters, orchestras and dance companies are … hoping 2021 will mark a new beginning…. ‘Everyone is looking to the fall with huge question marks and doubt,’ said Marc A. Scorca, the president of Opera America…. Jesse Rosen, who leads the League of American Orchestras, said, ‘I sense that many are assuming the fall is not going to be the start time.’ … Henry Timms, president of Lincoln Center in New York, said, … ‘It’s very hard right now to see a path to [a] traditional fall season,’ he said, ‘absent some material change, from a medical perspective.’ … Orchestras are discussing relying more on string players, since those musicians can perform in masks…. In August, the St. Louis Symphony hopes to begin with what its chief executive, Marie-Hélène Bernard, called ‘very small live experiences.’ But … many organizations view [social distancing] as impractical…. ‘I can’t imagine any scenario in which performances can take place at the Metropolitan Opera when social distancing is still a factor,’ said Peter Gelb, the opera’s general manager.”