Music resonates again in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For 461 days, there was no thunderous applause at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, only a hollow hall with empty seats.
But Friday night marked a homecoming for the Minnesota Orchestra, as it hosted a live audience for the first time since it was forced to shut down last spring.
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“There is very little in the world that can match the applause of 2,000 people when this orchestra plays, and losing that has been the hardest part,” said Grant Meachum, Series Director Live at Orchestra Hall . “To be able to recover this is like one more step towards the normality of the world.”
The last show with people was on March 7, 2020. The Orchestra has, and still offers, virtual performances online. He had to adapt to the pandemic to stay afloat. But the experience isn’t the same when hearing the melodies start playing in person in this downtown Minneapolis space.
When the musicians took the stage in unison – which usually doesn’t happen, but was a symbolic gesture for the Orchestra’s return – the audience again gave a standing ovation with thunderous applause.
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âIt’s really wonderful,â said Margaret Karel of Shoreview, who went to the show with her family for a delayed birthday celebration.
For musicians, the milestone is professionally and personally important – having survived the pandemic like everyone else.
âMy outgoing, human loving side is malnourished, and I’m really excited to start playing and seeing people again. Because that’s what we want to do is share our music and share why we love this music, âsaid Erich Rieppel, who plays timpani.
There are still security provisions in the pandemic era: the site is at 25% capacity right now, and in July and August it will drop to 50% capacity. But by September, Orchestra Hall hopes that there will be a full house. Masks are still required, but site management will revise the policy for July.
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The mask’s warrant has been lifted in the state and in Minneapolis.