I was so excited to be contracted for performances during the holiday season at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia! After nearly 2 years of no performing, I couldn’t wait to join the Philadelphia Orchestra again in their choir, even if we had to be masked to rehearse and perform.
On Sunday, December 19th we began rehearsals for Messiah. Before we could enter the rehearsal room, each singer took a rapid Covid test. Those who were negative were able to begin rehearsing that day.
We were tested (either rapid or PCR) every day and sometimes twice a day until we opened on December 21st! The day before we opened, they had to replace 6 choristers, the conductor and all 4 soloists. Luckily, the orchestra was able to hire replacements and the show went on!
Sadly, the next day we received word that they cancelled our second performance and all remaining shows through January 2nd. We are still waiting to hear whether or not we will be able to perform at Carnegie Hall on January 11th.
While the cancellations are so sad, I know that they must do whatever will keep everyone safe. I am keeping in my thoughts everyone who tested positive, or who was exposed. It’s a scary time, and so disappointing for those who were unable to celebrate Christmas with their families. We are also in good company with many Broadway shows being cancelled until further notice.
I urge everyone to please continue to wear a mask (especially while singing in groups) and to get tested before meeting together.
Maria Palombo is the founder of Finely Tuned Voice Lessons, a private voice studio. Her studio is open to all regardless of age or ability.