The Arts Are Opening Up. We Should Too.

We went to the Toronto Symphony last week and heard their first live performance at Roy Thomson Hall in 20 months.

I got an e-mail at 2:30 that afternoon advising me to turn up early because everyone had to show their vaccine certificates as well as their tickets. Then at 4:30 the Symphony sent me another e-mail, and at 5:30 a voicemail. So we turned up at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert and breezed right through.

But the concert was 15 minutes late in starting, and I heard later that the night before it started at 8:25.

Then again, Toronto is not Vienna, where the Vienna State Opera issued this edict on Wednesday: “Even if you are fully immunized with a double vaccination, have even received the third jab, or recovered from Covid, you must also show a negative PCR test when you visit our performances.”

Clearly, arriving early is a new reality of attending any big event, from a concert at Roy Thomson Hall, to a hockey game at Scotiabank Arena, to a performance at the Wiener Staatsoper. Which may cut into that pre-show dinner revenue nearby restaurants live or die by.

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