How Pittsburgh arts groups are faring during latest COVID-19 wave

Posted on: January 25, 2022

“After a hopeful fall season that saw many theaters, orchestra halls and opera houses fling their doors open to the masked masses, things are looking grim once more in parts of the country,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Sunday’s (1/23) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Broadway in New York City has been reporting ticket sales about 30% lower than in previous years…. In Pittsburgh, things are difficult but less dire…. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra this weekend has … been forced to cancel or alter its programming due to a key musician testing positive for COVID-19…. The organization … managed to mount smaller, alternate programs … keeping orchestra musicians on their toes, … ‘like a football team changing opponents at the last second,’ [violinist Christopher] Wu said…. Pittsburgh Opera is also bracing for possible positive tests…. If someone tested positive, backups are rehearsed and ready to go…. While Broadway relies on ticket sales for its profits, ticket sales at Pittsburgh Opera, for example, only account for about 20% of its overall budget…. According to Kevin McMahon, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust … ‘We attract a largely regional audience from the Tri-State area …,’ he pointed out.”