Posted June 18, 2020
The Camden Opera House is planning a new series of Friday night concerts for very small live audiences and larger online enjoyment. The SoundCheck series will begin in August.
“This series is the evolution of the beloved Blue Café,” said COH Manager Dave Morrison. “We’ve been working hard to come up with a way to live up to our mission of delivering the very best of arts and entertainment to the folks of the Midcoast in these uncertain times, and SoundCheck is it. Our beautiful 1894 stage will become a digital stage. Anyone on the globe with Internet can join us.”
As state guidelines are expected to limit in-house gatherings to 50 people, only 45 tickets will be sold for the under-an-hour shows. The opera house staff has worked out a seating chart that will spread attendees around the 300-plus orchestra seating area to fulfill distancing guidelines. It is hoped most tickets will be sold in advance; in any case, safety protocols will make entering and exiting as contact-less as possible.
“The safety and health and enjoyment of our visitors and staff are our top priority” Morrison said.
In light of quarantine requirements, performers are drawn from the State of Maine, which has a fine stable of musicians. The initial lineup is as follows: Aug. 7, Gentle Temper (duo); Aug. 14, Chris Ross; Aug. 28, MMCM (duo); Sept. 4, Nikos Apollonio; and Sept. 11, Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Soucy (trio).
Lobby and house doors will open at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. shows, so ticketholders can go directly to their assigned seats; other seats will be strapped closed to ensure proper distancing. Attendees will be asked to wear face coverings; and to exit promptly after the concerts.
Those who cannot or choose not to attend in person may enjoy the shows via livestreaming on the Camden Opera House Facebook page. There will be no charge for home viewing, although a PayPal donation to the Community Arts Fund is encouraged.
“Music, expression, gathering, and celebration are crucial to us as beings,” said Morrison. “This is simply an opportunity to do it in a new way.”
Tickets will go on sale in coming weeks. For more information, visit camdenoperahouse.com or call 236-3154.