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Lincoln Center cancels summer programs because of coronavirus
Barriers have closed off Lincoln Center Plaza to the public on March 24, 2020. Bryan Derballa/ The New York Times.

by Zachary Woolfe



NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Lincoln Center canceled its summer programming Thursday, spiking the Mostly Mozart Festival, Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors events because of the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was yet another signal that large-scale cultural performances may not go forward even well into the summer. On Wednesday, Broadway announced it would remain closed at least through June 7. But industry leaders said they expected the theaters to remain shut at least a month longer than that, and possibly through Labor Day.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was too early to determine when large gatherings like plays or concerts could resume.

“Before you go to Broadway theaters,” he said, “people are going to say, ‘When can I go back to work? When can I go back to school? When are the other essential services going to open?’ Before they go to a play, there’s going to be a lot of other questions that they’re going to ask, and that’s going to be a function of numbers.”

In its announcement, Lincoln Center highlighted its new Lincoln Center at Home online portal, which includes classes and archival and livestreamed performances, and added, “It is our intention, when it is safe again to gather in person, to stage a free pop-up festival in a celebration of our great city.”

Some key musical institutions in America and Europe have not yet quashed their summer plans. The season at the Hollywood Bowl, where the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays, is still on. The Boston Symphony has said it will make a decision about Tanglewood, its summer home in the Berkshires, by mid-May. Santa Fe Opera intends to decide over the course of April.

The New York Philharmonic’s concerts in city parks, scheduled for June, are still on its schedule, as is the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado, where the orchestra is supposed to perform in late July. Carnegie Hall hopes to host its youth ensembles at the State University of New York at Purchase.

While the Bayreuth Wagner Festival in Germany has canceled its season, including a new “Ring” production, the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland is still a go. And the Salzburg Festival in Austria, which is celebrating its centennial, will make a decision about moving forward next month.

In England, the Glyndebourne Festival has had its opening night delayed until July 14, while the BBC Proms, the huge music event in London, said it would decide in May about the viability of this year’s performances.

© 2020 The New York Times Company










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