Fabio Luisi will debut with audience of 75

Fabio Luisi will debut with audience of 75


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2020

From Texas Classical Review:

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced on Friday that it will present a “carefully curated” fall season of short concerts with smaller ensembles playing to a maximum audience of 75 people per performance.

A revised fall season at Meyerson Symphony Center — which normally seats 2,602 people — begins on September 4 and marks the debut of Fabio Luisi as DSO music director after a season as interim music director. A Verdi specialist, Luisi will conduct a pared-down orchestra and four vocalists in a set of Verdi favorites (October 29-November 1), and will lead programs featuring Beethoven (September 10-13) and Mahler (October 9-11). Classical programming dominates the calendar, with forays into jazz and Ragtime (September 18-20) and soul (November 13-15)….

More here.



  • drummerman says:

    Welcome news but with 2600 seats, surely they could fit more than 75 people and still follow all of the safety procedures.

    • Larry L. Lash / Wien says:

      Yes, it does seem a bit stingy (in actuality, the hall seats 1.838 according to the article in the Texas Classical Review which is linked to this post). When Austria began to lift its restrictions in June (some of which have been reinstated in the last two weeks), I was twice one of 100 people at Wiener Symphoniker concerts in the 1.744-seat Goldener Saal of Musikverin.

      But we’re talking about Texas! Have you seen their soaring numbers of new infections and deaths? 75 sounds just about right, and I salute their courage and wish them all the best.

      • Karl says:

        By September the covid wave will surely have passed. Maybe. It will be interesting to see if a natural herd immunity emerges.

    • barrygrrr@yahoo.com says:

      Talk about exclusivity!

    • V. Lind says:

      I imagine it has to do with the amount of cleaning staff they want to employ for the heightened cleaning services that will be required (and occasionally checked by health departments).

      Shorter concerts probably mean lower ticket prices. Cleaners may now be able to dictate their own fees. Cost-benefit analysis — fewer audience members = less cleaning staff, who can at least be required to do it all for their fees.

      Or, maybe, Texas having been a hotspot with huge outbreaks, largely due to the irresponsibility and politics of Texans, the DSO has opted to be responsible and at least initially to err on the side of caution and consideration for others.

  • Stephen Owades says:

    This is not going to end well. Texas is a very dangerous place for Covid-19, and they’ve done far too much “opening up” without corresponding testing and tracing, or even mask-wearing.

  • MacroV says:

    Some interesting programs. But I’m curious how your cut-and-paste increased the Myerson’s capacity from 1,875 seats to 2,602.

    How do you do a reduced Nutcracker?

  • Bill Ecker says:

    Luisi has proven himself in a crisis. I was at the Vienna Staatsoper 20 or so years ago whilst he was conducting “I Vespri”. He starts the overture, some pall bearers come out with a casket which they place over the prompter’s box. Mara Zampieri comes out and does the Italian widow thing…they hit the big crescendo and the damn thing tumbles into the orchestra pit, taking several bull fiddles with it. People come flying out from the wings, destroyed instruments are taken away and a few musicians are carted off. Luisi, the true professional waits for everything to clear less the few players who were victims of the errant coffin and starts off where he left off as if nothing had happened. Except for Zampieri, it was a pretty damn good performance.

  • fflambeau says:

    Luisi is a gifted conductor but this is ridiculous.

    I’m sure that after this “concert” they will pack people in. It’s in Texas where one doctor really said, “I not only have to fight Covid but stupidity.”

  • Anon says:

    Wonderful! Bravo, Maestro, Luisi! The 75 person limit is actually a great idea! My orch is doing something similar. We’ve been told that we’ll be playing for small audiences & repeating the same concerts more times to accomodate all of our season subscribers.

    As a musician I like this idea a lot. It drops our stress level considerably. Instead of charging thru a season changing programs every week, we’ll get to stay on the same program longer, polishing it up and giving especially good quality performances to our small audiences.

    We got to know many of our audience members individually thru Zoom presentations we musicians did during the lockdown. Being able to play for them live in more intimate audiences is a logical next step. I am truly looking forward to it. I think Maestro Luisi has made a terrific decision – he’s keeping his musicians working and inspired and bringing live music to his audiences in a safe and conscientious manner. Bravisimo, Maestro!

  • dgar Self says:

    Good luck and all success to the DSO and Fabio Luisi, a man of principle, gifted conductor, and now music director of the Dallas Symphony, following some big shoeprints from Dorati to Van Zweden. He’s also a frequent and valued poster to this forum.