Last weekend’s sports pages told us that ‘the crowds have not yet been flocking back to the footy with pre-pandemic regularity’. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is quoted as describing them as ‘patchy’. Those descriptions could well be applied to audiences at theatres and concert halls. The reasons are complex but all have origins in the Covid-19 pandemic. Restrictions have played their part, also some audience members will be sufficiently risk averse to stay away; some have just got out of the habit, particularly when it comes to going out on a winter’s night.
One organisation that doesn’t seem too troubled in this area is the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It has been promoting concert series in the second half of the year and on its website most are now ‘sold out’. This is in light of the SSO being out of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall for all of this year during major renovations. It could be that many audience members like the Sydney Town Hall with its sense of Victorian grandeur, its convenience and its warm acoustic.
Undoubted SSO highlights in this part of the year will be concerts to be conducted by Simone Young, currently described as Chief Conductor Designate. She will take up the post of Chief Conductor in 2022. She is conducting Beethoven on 29 & 30 July, Brahms 31 July and Mozart’s Requiem August 4-7. It’s great to have her back in a leadership role.
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