CEO Statement – Coronavirus update
Thank you to our Radio Rewrite audience, at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday 16 March, for making it to our concert and supporting our musicians amid recommendations for people to avoid large social gatherings made by the government that same evening. At the end of our rehearsal, an hour before doors opened, we took the decision to go ahead with the performance with the unanimous support of our musicians and our colleagues at Southbank Centre, knowing that it would be one of the last performances in the UK for a while.
We face uncertain times over the next few weeks and months. For the moment, we are suspending all public projects and performances taking place in the next few weeks until we have more details from government, our partners and venues. We have therefore stopped selling tickets for 1920s Paris, the Crazy Years (28 April, Queen Elizabeth Hall) and I’m a Rock and Roll Star (20-23 May, Wilton’s Music Hall) for the time being. More information will be sent to those who have already bought tickets for these events in the coming weeks – please bear with us while we sort out this matter.
It is particularly uncertain times for our musicians, and in fact all musicians and artists in London and across the UK. They are the lifeblood of this country’s cultural life and produce astonishing art every day. Many, if not most, are freelance and face the prospect of zero earnings over the coming weeks and months. We call on Arts Council England and others to support them during this time and are confident that those bodies are creating plans that will provide this support. We also ask all audiences that have booked tickets for any concerts, gigs and shows in the next few weeks – whether bought through us or elsewhere – to consider, if they can, donating their ticket price or more to help support musicians and artists in this difficult time.
To protect the health and wellbeing of our staff, the CLS office is running on skeleton staff until advised otherwise. Should you need to get in touch with a member of our team, you can find contact details on the Executive Team page.
We hope to be making music with you all again very soon. In the meantime, stay safe and well, and we’ll send updates on future activity as and when we can.
- Matthew Swann, Chief Executive
Published 18 March | This page will be updated as we receive more information
Opera Holland Park 2020 Season Postponed
We were saddened, but not surprised, to learn this week that our friends at Opera Holland Park have taken the reluctant decision that their planned 2020 season will not take place. In speaking to our friends and colleagues there, we know that this has not been an easy decision, but was one taken with the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone involved at Opera Holland Park forefront of mind.
Opera Holland Park is a highlight of our year at City of London Sinfonia for both our musicians and audiences. We have some wonderful friends there, and we will miss the music-making, the camaraderie, and the sheer joy of performing opera in such beautiful settings.
We are heartened by Opera Holland Park’s hope that they will be able to perform the operas scheduled for their 2020 season at a later date and at alternative venues. We will work with them to make that possible in any way that we can.
This Season had promised to be one of their most exciting yet, and we hope to be back performing with them as soon as possible. We wish all their staff and artists the very best in these difficult and uncertain times.
- Matthew Swann, Chief Executive
You can read more about this on Opera Holland Park's website.
CLS Friends reception and opera: sales suspended
As a result of the postponement of Opera Holland Park's 2020 Season, we have suspended sales for our OHP Friends reception (24 June). More information will be sent to those who have already bought tickets for this event in the coming weeks – please bear with us while we sort out this matter.
Worlds Colliding London Season: sales suspended
Currently, we are unsure if our next Worlds Colliding concert, due to take place on Tuesday 28 April, will go ahead. For the moment, we have suspended sales via the CLS Box Office for all events scheduled in our Spring Season. This includes:
- 28 April: '1920s Paris, the Crazy Years' at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall
- 20-23 May: 'I'm a Rock 'n' Roll Star' at Wilton's Music Hall
Our team is in regular contact with Southbank Centre, Wilton's Music Hall and our artists, and we are regularly reviewing the situation with them and in accordance with further government advice.
Please bear with us while we deal with these challenging consequences. We endeavour to send you updates on the status of your event(s) as and when we can.
Comfortable Classical at Home on Facebook
On Thursday 26 March, we launched Comfortable Classical at Home on Facebook. Each Tuesday and Thursday, 11.30am, a City of London Sinfonia musician will present a short concert live from their homes. We hope our audiences − anyone and everyone, from young children to older adults − will find joy through classical music with our musicians in these difficult times.
How you can help CLS
We are currently facing uncertain times, with all performances and participation work for the Spring currently on hold, and this is particularly true for our musicians − the lifeblood of our organisation − as we are unsure when we will be able to resume performing and creating music with them and our audiences. If you are in a position to make a donation to CLS, this would be greatly appreciated to ensure that we are ready to go as soon as public performances and group gatherings are allowed.
We appreciate that the uncertainty reaches far beyond our organisation, and if this is not possible but you would like to support us, please do spread the word about CLS and our Comfortable Classical at Home concerts to anyone who may appreciate them.