Those big, outdoor summer concerts the Minnesota Orchestra was planning? They’re canceled.
So are August and early September performances inside Orchestra Hall, the orchestra announced Tuesday. But the orchestra also revealed two dozen new concerts featuring smaller crowds and smaller ensembles.
In August, the orchestra will play 24 free chamber music shows outside on Peavey Plaza for concertgoers who already purchased tickets to the nixed indoor concerts in August and early September.
A small number of tickets will be available via a lottery.
The 16 canceled concerts featuring the full orchestra don’t meet the state’s guidelines for gathering safely during the pandemic, the nonprofit said in a news release. They include outdoor shows in August and Osmo Vänskä-led performances in early September that had once been slated for April.
“While we aren’t able to offer the full-Orchestra concerts in August that we originally envisioned, we are pleased to focus on what the Orchestra can responsibly and creatively do next month,” said Michelle Miller Burns, the orchestra’s CEO, in a statement. “Right now, that means we can take advantage of summer weather to offer outdoor chamber music for small audience groups.”
The 70-minute, 7 p.m. concerts in August will feature distanced seats, face masks and health screenings. Total capacity for each show, including musicians, is 250.
This spring, Burns spoke about how the size of the orchestra, with musicians sitting shoulder to shoulder, makes planning performances during COVID-19 more complicated.
Musicians developed new programs for the August shows. Each will feature a piece of music written by a Black composer.