Larry Perelman raises an elbow to his mouth as orchestras and opera house make plans for a resumption:
At the peak of cold and flu season—which overlaps with the opera and symphony season—it’s typical to hear coughs, sniffles, and sneezes during performances. In 2018, conductor Riccardo Muti stopped his Chicago Symphony Orchestra mid-performance when someone coughed loudly. Back then, his reaction was viewed as extreme, but post-Covid-19, will ushers escort culprits from the hall for endangering the maestro, orchestra, and audience?
The past could be a prelude here. In 1918, the Spanish flu caused many performing-arts institutions to shutter nationwide—but not in New York City, where health commissioner Royal S. Copeland chose not to close most theaters. Instead, Copeland insisted that they remain open and undergo thorough cleaning and sanitation. In addition…
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