L.A. Master Chorale cancels ‘Messiah’ singalong at Disney Hall, citing abundance of caution

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In an all-too-familiar pandemic pivot, Los Angeles Master Chorley on Tuesday announced the cancellation of his 40th “Messiah” singalong on the recommendation of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The organization confirmed with The Times that the Omicron edition’s news had shaken the world and that it was enacted over concerns about the massive COVID-19 infection rate and the difficulty of securing masks during such an event. Where everyone is singing.

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Master Chorale is replacing the event with a free outdoor singalong, “Carols on the Plaza,” on December 20 at 6 p.m. on the Plaza in the Music Center Downtown.

“Since the pandemic, and as we work on resuming our season, we have checked regularly with the Department of Health to obtain approval of our protocols,” said President and Chief of Master Chorale. says executive Gene Davidson. “Out of an abundance of caution, he recommended that we reconsider singalong.”

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The Master Chorale requires that all guests, cast and staff be fully vaccinated, and Davidson says that in recent performances, most audiences have complied with wearing masks. However, open noses are the culprit, and some have been removed for contradicting the mask mandate. Davidson says the thought of severe mask slippage during a 70-minute singalong hit hard, with the prospect of a holiday in the coming weeks.

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If Master Chorale had decided not to cancel the program, the health department was recommending measures that would include proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test and additional social distancing. “It seemed like there was a lot to ask of our mentors and our initiators, who have to implement all this stuff,” says Davidson.

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Canceling would result in about $30,000 in damages, says Davidson, but luckily, Master Chorley has been the one to get emergency funding for situations like this. It also has a pending closed position grant of $250,000.

Davidson says that apart from the cancellation, Master Chorale is operating under the assumption that the rest of its season will go ahead as planned, including a regular December 19 performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”

During the replacement singalong, the group’s artistic director, Grant Gershon, and associate artistic director, Jenny Wong, will lead 20 master choral singers and public carols in a 40-minute program, including “Deck the Hall”, “Joy to Holiday Mainstage”. Are included. The World” and “Silver Bells.” Since the event is out, proof of vaccination is not required, but attendees will be asked to wear masks.

“Our biggest concern now is to get the word out that it’s free singalong,” says Davidson. “It will be fun whether there are five people or 200 or more.”

“Messiah” singalong ticket holders can donate their ticketsCall the box office at (213) 972-7282 to exchange them or get a refund.

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