A clutch of singers and chorus directors have just published an open letter in the Guardian, appealing to the churches and the Government to let Britain sing again.
They write: ‘…we have had one of the most vibrant choral landscapes in the world. Our professional choral life, consisting of world-renowned chamber choirs, vocal ensembles, opera choruses, cathedral choirs and theatre ensembles, faces an uncertain future. The financial picture for such groups has always been challenging, even in the best of times, but the outlook now for such ensembles, mostly made up of freelance musicians, is not an optimistic one.
‘We need church leaders to have the courage to speak out so that we can make singing together in churches work within certain guidelines. We need the government to show how we can restart singing together on an equal footing with opening theme parks, shopping and kicking a football around. It is imperative that we find a way for choirs in this country to resume as soon and as safely as we can….’
The signatories include composers Bob Chilcott and John Rutter, opera singer Sarah Connolly, LSO and CBSO chorus director Simon Halsey and Harry Christophers of The Sixteen.