Upcoming West Australian Symphony Orchestra concerts are the latest to be cancelled in response to the government’s recommendations to avoid large public gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The decision followed revelations a woman with a confirmed case of the virus attended a WASO performance last Sunday.
As of Monday, the government’s recommendations against all organised, non-essential gatherings of 500 people will be in place, which lead WASO to announce the cancellation of performances at Perth Concert Hall until the end of April 2020.
The following day she tested positive, with the company and health department forced to issue a warning to people in surrounding rows.
It’s understood there were about 1080 concert-goers, staff, orchestra musicians and contractors who may have been exposed to the potentially lethal virus, however, health authorities considered the woman “low-risk”.
At the time, WA Health Minister Roger Cook labelled her decision to attend the concert as “regrettable” and “inadvisable” and stressed that people listen to advice of their health professionals and use “common sense and above all”.
In a statement released on this afternoon, a WASO spokeswoman said the suspension decision was to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of patrons and employees.
“We continue to actively monitor and manage WASO’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, engaging with relevant health authorities and making decisions guided by their advice,” she said.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patrons and employees is always our priority
“Ticket holders will be contacted directly on what they can do to arrange exchanges to alternate events or refunds.
“For those patrons who cannot exchange tickets but would like to support our mission to touch souls and enrich lives through music, please consider donating part or all of the value of your tickets back to WASO, so that we can let the music play on from May.
“WASO relies on the financial support and generosity of the community to operate. We would like to thank the Federal and West Australian Governments, our corporate partners and patrons for their continuing support at this difficult time.”
The following events have been cancelled:
- Asher Fisch, Mozart and Bruckner – Friday 20 and Saturday, March 21.
- The Best of Rodgers and Hammerstein – Friday 3 and Saturday, April 4.
- Bach’s Easter Oratorio – Wednesday, April 8.
- Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique – Thursday, April 16, Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18.
- Playing with Fire – Thursday, April 23.
The following events have been postponed:
- Ben Folds with WASO – originally Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, with a new concert date to be announced this week for January 2021.