Classical and Opera Features

Lockdown Listening: Classical and Opera in the time of coronavirus



Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House, London… empty (Photo: Arup)

“Music… in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Deprived of ‘live’ music in the time of coronavirus, performers, audiences and even critics seek ways to keep that fountain of joy alive. We may not be able to visit our opera houses and concert halls to hear our favourite artists perform live, but now is the chance to catch up with all of that recorded music that we have never got round to listening to.

Not only is it a good time to show our support for artists by purchasing recordings (either in hard format or as downloads), but many organisations have rallied round and begun offering free online material through streaming or on regular channels such as YouTube. In fact, even without live performances, there is so much out there that the choice of what to listen to can be overwhelming.

In in the spirit of Bonhoeffer’s dictum, along with our own desire to be a guide to our readers, musicOMH’s classical team will be offering you a series of insights, commentary and suggestions for listening, including:

  • reviews of archived performances being streamed and transmitted by music venues worldwide; our first review in this series – a 2016 performance of the Verdi Requiem by the London Symphony Orchestra is already available
  • interviews with leading figures from the world of classical music – some in-depth and some as Q&A formats – on the music they like and hate, along with their best (and worst) moments in the business
  • a look into how artists create new ways of reaching audiences when opera houses and concert halls are dark; we have begun already with a look at the creation of online ‘micro-operitas’
  • a look at how those tasked with planning for events and festivals are coping with the present situation and indeed planning for the future, whether that comes in September 2020 or May 2021
  • guides to finding the best concert and opera streaming with introductions and explanations by our regular reviewers
  • pieces from our writers exploring their favourite music
  • listening suggestions for beginners and old hands alike

So, nil desperandum. Music lives on, and we will be here to help you enjoy it.


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Lockdown Listening: Classical and Opera in the time of coronavirus
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London Symphony Orchestra/Gergiev @ Barbican Hall, London