GALLIPOLIS — The Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre might be closed for in-person activities, but virtual offerings are still available.
“Everyone’s at home for the most part. Maybe you want to learn the banjo. Maybe you always wanted to start piano lessons, but never did,” Lora Snow, the Ariel’s executive director, said. “Look at Ariel Academy because that instruction can continue.”
As reported in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, on June 20 the Ariel announced that it had cancelled the remainder of its planned concert season. All shows will take place instead during the 2021-22 season. According to Snow, the decision was not easy.
“We’re all missing it,” she said. “It’s sad for the artist and the audience to miss out on live performances. The thrill of it—there’s nothing like it.”
Other major orchestras and companies have also decided to cancel their seasons through fall, if not for the remainder of the year.
“Safety has always been a top priority, for both artists and audiences,” Snow said. “There’s just not a safe way to have a concert now.”
According to Snow, the Ariel’s offerings are “a mixed bag of entertainment.” Events that normally take place at the Ariel include symphonies and themed events like Tuba Christmas. The Ariel is also sometimes rented for other productions. Among those the opera house has hosted include Broadway actor Mark McVey, who performed in over three thousand productions of the musical “Les Misérables.” The Ariel first began offering lessons in 1991, when it instituted a string program. But not everything is cancelled. Lessons are still taking place online.
“This is just a little more variety because people don’t have to come to town to do lessons,” Snow said. “We keep adding as symphony members finish their videos. I would encourage people to check back frequently.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person lesson have been put on hold. However, Snow thinks that online lessons are also helpful. The online format permits students to begin a new hobby or sharpen skills on instruments at home safely. According to its website, the Ariel offers lessons in nineteen different areas, from musical instruments to voice coaching to auditioning.
The Ariel may also offer virtual performances in the forthcoming year, Snow said.
Whether and when the Ariel will reopen for in-person lessons or concerts is still to be determined.
“It’ll depend on what the governor says, and public health officials,” Snow said. “We’re not going to go against any rules. We’re going to follow all the guidelines.” The Ariel board also consults also with medical officials on decisions regarding public health. While in-person activities are put on hold, enjoying the arts does not have to be.
The Ariel is located on Second Avenue in Gallipolis.
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Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.