Pre•Views & Features
by Mike Telin
At a time when everyone is practicing social distancing, and shelter in place is for the time being a reality, many artists and arts organizations are responding by moving to streaming formats. Beginning on Monday, March 30, Cleveland Opera Theater will launch Opera for All Online, social-distance-safe programs to experience, explore, and engage in opera. The events are free.
“Throughout the company’s history we’ve always done what was necessary to remain viable and relevant in the community,” Scott Skiba, Cleveland Opera Theater’s executive artistic director, said during a recent telephone conversation. “We’ve often thought about getting into the streaming environment, and now is the opportunity to try some new things without changing the organization’s mission.”
Skiba noted that two Opera for All Online programs were already part of the company’s offerings. That includes Opera-101, which will now meet Monday through Friday at 12:15 pm on the company’s Facebook page. The staff welcomes questions for future sessions (email them here). “People can ask anything they want to know about opera, like can you really break a glass by singing high? Or what do the conductor and the director do?” Skiba said. “Megan Thompson, our director of education and outreach, will moderate and give lectures about upcoming Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.”
by Daniel Hathaway, Jarrett Hoffman, and Mike Telin
With the recent spread of COVID-19, the opportunity to attend live classical music performances has come to a complete halt and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. Many organizations and individual artists are seeking to fill that void through online streaming.
On Thursday, March 19, two area institutions presented the first of what will likely be many live-streamed concerts. At 4:30 pm in Oberlin Conservatory’s Stull Recital Hall, Flute Professor Alexa Still and Faculty Collaborative Pianist Evan Hines presented a program of works by Koechlin, Chopin, Coleman, and Debussy.
On the same day at 7:30 pm in Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland, Piano Cleveland presented the first of its Quarantine Concerts. Pianist Yaron Kohlberg played selections by Schumann and Grieg, and duo pianists Irwin Shung and Natsumi Shibagaki played works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin.
Remotely streamed concerts raise an interesting question for journalists: is it possible to critically evaluate live performances when you’re not in the same room? Three of ClevelandClassical’s writers attempted to answer that and other questions about covering virtual performances.
by Margi Griebling-Haigh
Stephen T. Griebling, 87, of Akron, OH, passed away peacefully at home after a brief but rapid decline, on March 20, 2020.
He was born during a snowstorm in a small house on the Portage Lakes in Akron on December 10, 1932, to Louis George Griebling and Genevieve Eleanor (né Wilson) Griebling. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann (né Rimmel), his daughters Karen Griebling (Robin Brown) and Margi Griebling-Haigh (Scott Haigh), and granddaughter Gabrielle Haigh (Mark Nelson). He was an affectionate, gentle, and playful patriarch who was deeply committed to the happiness, security, and dreams of his family.
by Daniel Hathaway
Beginning last week, virtually all live performances in Northeast Ohio were either cancelled, postponed indefinitely, or scheduled to be streamed online with no audience present. As health concerns over COVID-19 increased, some events in the latter category were eventually cancelled altogether, and colleges, conservatories, and universities have sent students home for the rest of the semester, planning to move instruction online.
The local extent of these alterations is reflected in our Concert Listings (we’ll continue to list and note the status of scheduled events there, and add local live streamed events). An overview of the national impact of the virus has been provided in an article on Classical Voice North America.
During the course of this emergency, ClevelandClassical.com will be developing content we hope our readers will find stimulating in the absence of previews and reviews of live concerts.
Jarrett Hoffman’s survey of online opportunities in this issue is rich and varied. Beginning on Thursday, March 19, we’ll launch a daily Diary that will include news updates, a rundown on broadcasts and podcasts, and a recommended video or streaming event of the day that has particular relevance to Northeast Ohio.
Be patient, be healthy, and take care of yourselves and others.