The first big Australian arts festival in 2021 will be a litmus test for future festivals as it is on shaky ground in the city’s Covid epidemic.
The Sydney Festival, the first major Australian arts festival of 2021, is on a “knife edge” amid a volatile Covid environment, according to its artistic director The festival opens Wednesday and its administrators are on high alert. Although the number of NSW Covid 19 cases is low, a $200 fine on the spot would have to be charged for someone not wearing a mask in the Sydney area. Even the much-discussed cricket matches have lowered the capacity of the venue. I’m trying to put my emotions aside and just respond to changing public health orders,” said Sydney Festival artistic director Wesley Enoch. ‘Half masks,’ packed foyers and queues at bars: are Covid-safe theaters really safe?Read more “In many respects, since we’ve been preparing Covid security for many months, it’s a very dispassionate opening for the festival. All is very organized and methodical, which for me is bad because I am normally the normal enthusiastic director of the festival.
“I feel more like a teacher leading a field trip right now and making sure everyone is safe,” Enoch said. With the Perth Festival following in early February and the Adelaide Festival a few weeks later, people will watch closely to see what’s going on in Sydney. The theatre, music, dance and performance program this year will be an all-A thanks to the closure of international and state borders. Other out-of-state artists have opted to continue their festival activities and to quarantine when required. It is also mandatory to wear face masks indoors at venues. 15,000 masks were bought by the festival to give to those who forgot to carry their own. Attendees will also be expected to wear masks at the outdoor festival events in Sydney – at Barangaroo Headland, Enoch reported, for example. The indoor venues for the festival are at 50 percent capacity, while the commercial theaters in Sydney are usually at 75-85 percent capacity. We were planning on 50 percent from the start,”We planned on 50 percent from the beginning,” “It’s a soft cap, so we can open more seats if a show becomes very popular, but I wouldn’t expect that to be the norm. “Director Kate Gaul has been planning for a revival of her production at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, which will be seen as part of the festival.
She said the last two weeks were “nerve-wracking. “We’ve been nervous about whether or not we’d be able to go on until Christmas,” Gaul said. “But now it’s just so exciting to be back at work. In this world, we are so fortunate to be able to put shows on at all. Everybody is very excited in the cast. “HMS Pinafore was created before Covid, Gaul said. The show needs to be rehearsed with new cast members and according to new health department guidelines, including playing without intermission.A very important kiss in the show also needs to be rethought. “All we do on stage is a negotiation between the actors,” Gaul said. “Later this week, we will open the conversation about the kiss. The aim is to achieve the show’s suspense, surprise and enjoyment without putting anyone in the way of hurt. “Gaul said the show will be re-blocked so that the performers will sing to the audience and not face each other. The audience will be at least 5 meters from the nearest performer. Sydney Festival, Opera Australia and Rent will continue with opening nights as Covid falls in NSW Continue Reading “You need a lot of air when you sing loud, but for many health reasons we don’t sing to each other, Performers don’t come to the front of the stage, and the crowd doesn’t come in. By sewing masks for anyone in the theater industry who needed one, Gaul created a hobby for herself earlier this year. ” Earlier this year, Gaul created a sideline for herself by sewing masks for anyone in the theater industry who needed one. “