A man shows a sign on which is written “PLEASE keep your distance” at a concert in Berlin.
June 24, 2020 14h02
The musicians improvise to survive with the coronavirus
BERLIN — The oboist Cristina Gomez Godoy of the Staatskapelle Berlin, one of the classical orchestras of the German capital, casts a gaze full of excitement on the scene is unconventional on which she is about to play for the first time in the last three months.
With four other musicians, the Spanish artist gives that evening a concert… in a courtyard of a building in Berlin, accompanied by the hum of wasps and bees. As for the decor of the scene, it is an ivy giant who eats up the facade of the building.
“I’m nervous”, concedes the thirty-year-old who, as the whole of its orchestra and thousands of other musicians in Germany could not give the slightest representation since the closure of concert halls and theatre performances in march because of the pandemic of novel coronavirus.
“For us musicians, it is a pleasure to play together again in spite of this framework reduced and I think the spectators will also enjoy” she says.
The culture sector must compete imagination to occur in public in spite of the restrictions related to the virus, and the current buildings are only one example.
If libraries, museums and art galleries have been allowed to reopen subject to conditions in April, the challenges remain the major, in particular, to theaters, concert halls, operas and theatres.
Guidelines were enacted in may, providing for, among others, a limited number of spectators and a distance of 1.5 metres between each one, which drastically limits the number of seats that can be sold. Not to mention the reduced number of artists on stage.
In early may, the Berlin Philharmonic gave a preview of what might look like the cultural world, post-pandemic with a concert of only 15 musicians on stage.
The Deutsche Oper, one of three opera houses in berlin, organized a show on a parking automobile and the Berlin symphony Orchestra played on the upper platform of a double decker bus.
But this is not enough. The union orchestras in germany (DOV) calls for the gradual resumption of concerts in all of Germany.
“For indie musicians, it is a question of survival, pure and simple,” says Gerald Mertens, the head of the DOV. The orchestras are smaller, especially in the churches, the concerts are smaller and in the open air should be allowed to occur again as quickly as possible,” according to him.
The union is critical of the fact that all the seats in the aircraft may be occupied when they are only 30% to be able to be in the concert halls.
“Our members want to get back on stage. They want to once again play music in front of an audience.”
Thanks to the generous system of State subsidies, the arts sector in Germany is less danger than in other european countries.
And the German government announced a plan to help a billion euros for the sector of culture, including theatres and cinemas.
Drop of water
But for some, this is only a drop of water in an ocean.
“This shows the value given to culture, for example, by comparison with the aid of 9 billion euros for an airline”, said the head of culture at the town hall of Berlin, Klaus Lederer. The German State has had to in effect rescue of Lufthansa, of which most of the planes are nailed to the ground.
The court of this building in the district of Charlottenburg, in the west of the capital, has only a few places for the public because of the actions of distancing physical which promote until further order and a distance of 1.5 meters between two people.
The lucky ones are the tenants of the upper floors which have a view down and to the front row on the stage, installed on the window sills, a beer in hand.
Ursula Dyckhoff, 77 years old, lives on the first floor, but still enjoyed the show: “It was great, the acoustics and also the view.”