Like most live performances right now, the University of Montana has had to cut back on all of their normal fall programming. Musicals, recitals, concerts, nothing looks quite the same.
But the opera department might have landed the perfect venue to allow for some live performances while they navigate the pandemic.
That venue is the front porch of the Prescott House on campus. Each Friday, opera lovers and anyone else who happens to be walking through campus can enjoy a short opera concert coming from the COVID-friendly venue.
The department has named the events “Opera Happy Hours,” as they're intended to help you decompress after the work week and also get your weekend off to a good start.
You’ll notice that the audience AND the singers are all wearing masks. The department simply wants to respect those in the audience and prove that not even a mask can put a damper on live music.
"Even though we're outside and we feel pretty sure it's safe, we know that singers put a lot of energy into their air coming out, so we don't want to risk that. It's worth it if we're taking care of our audience and ourselves. And, you know, we've just decided, we made a reference earlier, that, you know, they were doing a TV show with the masked singers so we can be masked singers too, if we need to," said Anne Basinski, a UM Professor and Director of Opera Theater. You have two more chances to catch an Opera Happy Hour. Those will be at 6pm on October 9th and October 16th.