It’s a case of the show must go on — in September — for the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Instead of holdings its next concert featuring the baroque ensemble Rosa Barocca, on April 18 as scheduled, the RDSO will be delivering the same music on Sept. 12, said music director Claude Lapalme.
With no public gatherings of more than 15 people allowed in the province because of preventative measures to curb COVID-19, a postponement was obviously needed, added Lapalme.
He’s pleased the musicians, as well as the Gaetz Memorial United Church, were available on that September date to perform Suites from Handel’s Water Music and Pachelbel’s Canon.
Decisions have not yet been made about the RDSO’s June 5 Finale Friday concert.
Lapalme said this one involves a huge orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, so a new date would be next to impossible to arrange.
Since the season finale is a couple months away, it makes sense to wait and see how Red Deer is doing in terms of reducing the viral caseload, he added. Options being considered are cancelling that concert or holding it in a digital format.
Lapalme said the fight against the novel coronavirus crisis has been hard on many musicians, who have lost sizable chunks of freelance income from event cancellations.
The saving grace is that music teachers all over the world are now Skype-ing with students.
Online learning is so universal that Lapalme created a meme from a Vermeer painting — substituting a man depicted as standing across the table from a woman in the original painting to an image of the same man now on a computer screen.
Lapalme heard his meme is being shared by musicians across the country and in Europe.
The RDSO, like many arts groups, is pleased to see the federal government is making some funding available to them and are waiting to hear more details.
Lapalme said the RDSO has a wonderful season planned for next year. But he’s trying to keep costs down as much as possible because of uncertainty about whether subscriptions and business sponsorships will fall off this summer because of the financial crisis caused by so many business closures.