Russian cultural institutions and major tourist attractions that were closed earlier this week amid the spread of COVID-19 are ready to join their colleagues worldwide in offering virtual tours and live streaming of their concerts for an online audience, Fabio Mastrangelo, a famous conductor and the artistic director of the St. Petersburg State Music Hall Theater, told Sputnik
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th March, 2020) Russian cultural institutions and major tourist attractions that were closed earlier this week amid the spread of COVID-19 are ready to join their colleagues worldwide in offering virtual tours and live streaming of their concerts for an online audience, Fabio Mastrangelo, a famous conductor and the artistic director of the St. Petersburg State Music Hall Theater, told Sputnik.
Museums, galleries, theaters, opera houses and cinemas across the world are suffering colossal financial losses as they shut their doors to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this week, Moscow and St. Petersburg, among some other major Russian cities, banned all mass public events, including those held outdoors, and limited indoor gatherings to 50 people.
"Times are really uneasy. Because of the new type of virus, COVID-19, the entire world has been turned upside down [...] Of course, as in other countries, we are looking at alternatives. For example, live broadcasting our concerts through internet," Mastrangelo said.
According to the maestro, the musicians are eager to perform even in empty halls for an online audience of devotees of classical music, and perhaps for enticing newcomers. However, music is an art form that should ideally be experienced live, he emphasized.
This week, music fans across the world were able to watch streams of operas, orchestral concerts and chamber music programs offered by major opera houses and concert halls � from Germany's Berlin Philharmonic to the United States' Metropolitan Opera.
Both big and small venues working in the entertainment industry, where ticket sales are often critical to financial survival, are hoping that the COVID-19 outbreak does not get significantly worse, as bans on gathering and canceled performances could jeopardize their businesses.
Gayane Shiladjyan, the director of the Moscow City Symphony "Russian Philharmonic" orchestra, told Sputnik that the orchestra had postponed all of its performances until the end of May, noting that the forced measures could cost it millions.
"The loss of performances can be devastating ... Box office revenue is vital for us because musicians' salaries and bonuses are paid out of it. Of course, we suffer colossal losses even though we try to reschedule concerts instead of canceling them. The problem is that no one can say these days for how long this would last. Besides, we have already paid the lion's share of advertising. We paid for the distribution of tickets and for the rent of the venues," she stressed.
According to Shiladjyan, only part of the financial losses could be recovered as part of the economic relief efforts of the Russian government, which said it would raise subsidies and provide tax deferrals to some industries, state institutions and small- and medium-sized businesses. Private entrepreneurs would be the ones who suffer the biggest loss of income, she highlighted.
Russia has so far confirmed 199 cases of COVID-19 infection. Fifty-two new cases were registered over the past 24 hours and 9 people have recovered.