LA Master Chorale cancels annual “Messiah” indoor singalong amid worries of pandemic surge; event moves outdoors

Posted on: December 8, 2021

“In an all-too-familiar pandemic pivot, the Los Angeles Master Chorale on Tuesday announced cancellation of its 40th ‘Messiah’ singalong at the recommendation of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health,” writes Jessica Gelt in Tuesday’s (12/7) Los Angeles Times. “The guidance came before news of the Omicron variant spooked the world and was enacted largely over concerns about elevated COVID-19 infection rates and the difficulty of keeping masks secured during an event where everyone is singing. The Master Chorale is replacing the event with a free outdoor singalong, ‘Carols on the Plaza,’ … Dec. 20 on the plaza at the Music Center downtown.… Master Chorale President and Chief Executive Jean Davidson … says that at recent performances, most audience members have complied with wearing masks. There are, however, bare-nose offenders…. With a holiday surge possible in the coming weeks, the idea of serious mask slippage during a 70-minute singalong became daunting, Davidson says…. The Master Chorale [is still planning its] Dec. 19 performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ During the replacement singalong, the group’s artistic director, Grant Gershon, and associate artistic director, Jenny Wong, will lead 20 Master Chorale singers and public carolers in a 40-minute program.”