Headline, April 10 2019/ SHHHHH : ''' '' WORLD'S VIRTUAL WHOOPS '' '''

SHHHHH : ''' '' WORLD'S 



THE 17TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHER BLAISE PASCAL once wrote : ''The sole cause of people's unhappiness is that they do not know how to stay quietly in their rooms.''

And in Venice, where the Quatrtto Dafne, made up of members of the opera orchestra, played Beethoven and Borodin to rows of empty seats in the rococo auditorium of Le Fenice to stream online, it was unsettling to watch the players enter in silence and bow in silence

[One online audience member held firm to classical musical etiquette during the performance, repeatedly wrote ''Shhhhh'' as other viewers posted comments]

VENICE'S ornate opera house, La Fenice, has survived floods and been rebuilt after devastating fires. So it was determined to keep going after the coronavirus led it to cancel its performances.

While the coronavirus has taken a big toll on the arts world in terms of closed venues and canceled events, it has also inspired plenty of show-must-go-on creativity in some of the hardest-hit areas, as performers and organizers have tried to adapt to trying circumstances

The outbreaks led the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra to cancel all its concerts in February and March, and left its musicians working from home, so they began posting master classes on their page on the WeChat social media platform, along with informal videos showing the players practicing at home and playlists designed to help people under quarantine ''fight boredom''. 

''All the doctors and nurses were working so hard to help people, so we thought : What can we do as musicians?'' said Hao Jie, the orchestra's principal trombonist.

''With everyone staying home for so long, we thought of doing something for young people, for students interested in-learning how to play musical instruments.

Yet at a time when much of the world has been has been forced to hunker down, French theater-makers are fighting to fill the world by making noise online.

They are producing so much alternative content, in fact, that is nearly impossible to keep up. Since France imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 17, each say has brought new announcements from prominent theaters.

In addition to releasing archive recordings some are making podcasts and videos; others are offering direct interaction with performers through one-on-one phone calls.

The country's oldest troupe, the Comedie-Francaise, has even started an online channel, ''The Comedie Continues,'' offering several hours of programming each day beginning 4pm.

Under the circumstances, it would be churlish to complain about artists desire to connect with audiences in some fashion.

Theater, which depends on crowds gathering to watch performers at close quarters, is experiencing significant loss and upheaval, with many staging either delayed indefinitely or canceled outright. But a sampling of stopgap offerings often left me underwhelmed.

And in Venice : Mr Ortombina, the company's general manager, said that two weeks of canceled  performances had cost Euro 600,000, or around $670,000. But his biggest fear, he said, was losing the theater's relationship with its audience.

''When you close an evening, when it sold out, it is disaster.'' he said. ''Musically, economically and humanely.''

Perhaps, if we embrace the quiet for a little while, theater will make far more of the great lockdown of 2020 in the not too distant future than it can now.

The World Students Society thanks authors Michael Cooper, Alex Marshall, and Laura Cappelle.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Shakedown Showpiece '''

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