Innovations That Matter

Alexandra Palace, outside of which the opera will take place | Photo source ENO

Drive-in opera aims to revive performance art in the COVID era

Arts & Entertainment

Up to 300 cars will be able to drive in, and instead of clapping, attendees can honk their horn or flash their lights to show their appreciation

Spotted: Opera is one of the many performance arts to take a massive hit during the coronavirus lockdowns, and companies are looking for ways to restart with energy after the disruption, in a safe, distanced manner. Now, the English National Opera (ENO) is hosting a drive-in opera, at the Alexandra Palace in north London.

Although traditional drive-in cinemas are traditionally the stuff of hazy, American evenings, it is thought that such a feat has never been attempted with opera before. The “Drive & Live” concept will include the showing of shortened versions of well-known operas such as Puccini’s La bohème and Mozart’s The Magic Flute

The audience members must stay in their respective cars, and all of the performers are spread out across the stage along with social distancing guidelines. Up to 300 cars will be able to drive in, and you can also attend if you are on a bike or motorcycle. Instead of clapping, attendees can honk their horn or flash their lights to show their appreciation.

Moreover, CEO of ENO, Stuart Murphy, told The Guardian that having the opera around is important for morale and social interaction. “I miss seeing my brother and sister, seeing my mates close up, and I miss seeing something live”, he says. “It is human nature to yearn for that. Hopefully, we can offer that universal, collective experience in a safe environment”.

The concept will be rolled out in the first three weeks of September, and if all goes well, Murphy hopes to expand it across the UK.

Written By: Holly Hamilton

Explore more: Arts & Entertainment Innovations | COVID-19 Innovations

Website: eno.org

Contact: eno.org/contact

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