Live arts performances in Singapore will return next week, marking the beginning of the end of the country’s concert void due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Singapore’s National Arts Council (NAC) has provided details on these “small-scale pilot performances” with proper safety measures, which were announced in late August by the Ministry Of Culture, Community And Youth (MCCY).
Yesterday (September 3), an advisory by the NAC said it was working with the MCCY to start holding performances at selected arts venues with safe management measures (referred to as SMMs) in place from September 11 onwards.
The shows will be capped at 50 attendees to “minimise the risk of large clusters forming should there be a COVID-19 case”, the NAC said.
The performances will also involve “innovative” presentation “to ensure that only a limited number of cast and crew would be in contact with unmasked performers, as well as put in place larger safe distances when conducting higher risk activities such as singing or playing of wind/brass instruments”.
“Enhanced” distancing measures include minimum distances between audience members, no interactions between audiences and performers or backstage crew, and no congregations of people within the venues.
The pilot performances will only be held at specific venues managed by the NAC, Esplanade, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and Arts House Limited.
Though specific arts groups and performers have yet to be announced for the pilots, the advisory said performances will have a “good range of offerings”, including those that “reflect Singapore’s multi-cultural character”.
“Audiences can look forward to traditional, classical and contemporary music, dance and theatre beginning from September 11, 2020 and involving well-loved artists and arts groups from our arts and culture community,” the statutory board for the arts said.
The advisory added, “We seek the public’s understanding that the audience experience for these pilot performances will differ from previous performances, as a result of the SMMs to ensure the safety of all involved.”
NAC also requests that audience members “observe safe distancing and refrain from congregating in common spaces, not move freely around the venue, and not participate in the production (e.g. singing or dancing) or interact with the performers”.
As of September 3, there are 853 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 56,028 patients discharged since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Singapore’s Ministry Of Health.