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Michael Kaiser: Empty Halls Until a Vaccine Emerges

May 14, 2020 | By Susan Elliott, Musical America

In today’s One to One interview on Musical America, Michael Kaiser, among the most sought-after arts consultants in the world, predicts that it could be a year before concert halls and opera houses re-open in earnest. He divides the pandemic into four phases. We’re coming to the end of the first, he says: lockdown. Next is phase 2, when people may return to their offices, but not to the concert hall.

“Some organizations hope to open in their theaters and practice social distancing. But that means they’re only going to get 30 percent of earned revenue, when they’re already having trouble breaking even [on filled houses]. I think this phase is going to last as long as there is no vaccine or cure for Covid. That could be a good year or more.”

He describes Phase 3 as a time, post vaccine, when everything reopens. “People will want to go the theater,” he says. “Some people say the arts have changed forever. I don’t buy that. The arts have changed for now. When I can go back into the theater I know I will, and so will millions of others.” 

 


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