As long as a vaccine is not available to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, mass events will continue to be on the list of things that will not be able to return to normal. And this is a harsh reality that continues to cause ‘victims’ in New York City when it was announced this Wednesday that the massive New Year’s celebration will no longer be held in Times Square, and that the 2020 opera season will be completely suspended. -21 of the Met.
Both announcements deal a major blow to the Big Apple’s entertainment and tourism industries , already undermined by the cancellation of Broadway plays early in the pandemic, and which are not expected to return for the remainder of the year.
With exactly 100 days to go until 2021 , Mayor Bill de Blasio and Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins announced this Wednesday that the massive New Year’s Eve party will now be a “great virtual celebration.”
And although they did not give great details, indicating that they will announce them soon, they did say that an extremely limited group of honorees will participate in person in the celebration, who must comply with social distancing, and who will reflect the themes, challenges and inspirations of 2020 .
“People around the world are ready to join New Yorkers in ushering in the new year with the iconic ‘Ball Drop’. I commend the Times Square Alliance, Jamestown Properties, and Countdown Entertainment for finding a safe, creative, and innovative way for all of us to continue to celebrate this centuries-old tradition. A new year means a new beginning, and we are excited to celebrate it, ”said De Blasio.
“One thing that will never change is the passage of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31, ” Tompkins said, adding that due to the pandemic, “this year there will be significant new and improved virtual, visual and digital offerings. to complement any limited entertainment or live experience taking place in Times Square. “
Lower the curtain on the Met
And in a devastating decision that further hits the cultural life of the Big Apple , this Wednesday the cancellation in its entirety of the 2020-21 season of the Metropolitan Opera was also announced , due to the fact that social distancing in the middle cannot be guaranteed. of the coronavirus pandemic.
The board of the ‘Met’ indicated that a statement: “Due to the hundreds of artists who must rehearse and perform in closed places and due to the large audience that the opera attracts , it was determined that it would not be safe for the Met to resume its activity until that a vaccine is widely used, herd immunity is established and the use of masks and social distancing is no longer a medical requirement ”.
The decision was made, as explained by the directors, after meetings with the health authorities who advised the Met and the Lincoln Center, on what should be the most appropriate measure according to the current reality.
“Health officials have said that this will likely take at least five to six months after a vaccine is initially available. We want nothing more than to re-create operatic magic as only the Met can, but the safety of our company and the audience we serve must come first, ”they concluded.
The Met’s 2021-22 season is scheduled to begin on September 27, 2021, with the premiere of Terence Blanchard’s opera “Fire, Shut up in My Bones,” the first by a black composer to perform at the Met.