Omicron continues to hit the performing arts
Anyone who has been to the Sydney Festival opening night decadence at the Sydney Opera House or Girl from the north of the country at Sydney’s Theater Royal will have found a COVID-19 case alert in the secure COVID recording history on their Service NSW app, indicating that they may have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 and that they should watch for symptoms.
Omicron is all over Sydney right now, with NSW now surpassing half a million COVID-19 infections. Cases in Victoria are also skyrocketing with 37,994 more cases reported today, while Queensland has recorded 20,566 new cases.
There haven’t been any mainstream events related to the live theater performances, but Omicron’s broadcast continues to wreak havoc in the performing arts. Not only do shows have to be canceled or postponed due to the cast and crew having contracted the virus, some members of the audience are staying on the sidelines due to their reluctance to attend indoor events, which lowers ticket sales.
Australian Ballet and GWB Entertainment announced today that performances of An American in Paris in Brisbane between January 11 and 16 were canceled due to COVID-related illness.
A press release said that despite adhering to “rigorous protocols to minimize risk, several members of the company have tested positive for COVID, making it impossible to stage production this week.”
Co-producer Torben Brookman of GWB Entertainment said, “Despite tremendous efforts to protect our entire business, like so many productions and events across the country, we have not been able to prevent COVID from occurring. ‘to have an impact on An American in Parisis Brisbane season.
“Fortunately, most of the affected limbs are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, but currently there is enormous pressure on everyone involved in the industry physically, emotionally and financially. “
“For an industry that was just beginning to recover from the first 18 months of COVID challenges and restrictions, the latest round of challenges has been devastating. “
An American in Paris is scheduled to resume performances on Jan. 18 and run at QPAC until Jan. 30 before a nationwide tour.
The wedding singer was due to open its season in Sydney last week, but was forced to cancel performances between January 6 and 12 because of the cast members who contracted the virus.
Meanwhile, the Canberra season of the musical Come from afar, which was scheduled to start on February 3, has been postponed to June “due to the current uncertainty and the rapid number of Omicron COVID cases.”
Come from afar was one of the many shows that had to cancel performances during the holiday period due to the cast or staff members contracting the virus. Hamilton, six and Small jagged pill canceled shows in Sydney, just like Red Mill! and Frozen in Melbourne. Red Mill! is now closed between January 11 and 16 “due to the impact of the COVID-19 containment issues in Melbourne”.
The Sydney Festival had to cancel its season of Qween Lear due to a COVID outbreak and postponed the opening of A choir line, by postponing the first week of shows. The highly anticipated musical, which premiered at the virus-shutting down Darlinghurst Theater Company on opening night in March 2020, and its rescheduled 2021 season also closed, will now have its first performance in Parramatta on January 13.