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Orchestra welcomes first audience after shutdown
By:Wu Qiong   |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2020-05-11 18:01

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra welcomed its first audience after shutdown during the pandemic outbreak.

In normal times, the auditorium is filled with 400 people, but on the evening of May 8, 20 people were led by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra staff into the auditorium in three batches. The twenty spectators were the first since the concert hall reopened during COVID-19. Wearing face masks, they were asked to sit at certain intervals while enjoying the show.

“For music lovers, onsite concerts are irreplaceable,” said Zheng Rong, one of the 20 audience members. “The live performance is more immersive, with unparalleled sound quality.” As a veteran music fan, she goes to 50 to 80 concerts each year. Due to the epidemic this year, she could only listen to online music to satisfy her ears.

Not only the audience, but also the artists on stage were happy beyond words. “I did not expect that we would have an audience today,” said violist Ba Tong. For the past month, he and his colleagues played instruments on the same stage, but the spectators were online and there was no applause in the concert hall. “It will give us a better feeling if they are here.”

On May 8, Shanghai announced that the city would downgrade its emergency alert level from 0:00 am on May 9 after assessing that the pandemic risk has receded.

Learning the exciting news, Zhou Ping, head of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra was thrilled. “We have cancelled several live concerts from February to May. Each time there was a cancellation, we received many queries from the public, inquiring when we would resume our performances. We understand the feelings of our music fans. After serious consideration, we invited 20 music lovers to be our first audience members after the reopening,” said Zhou. He believes the concert hall will reopen officially to the public not long after.