Conductor Musa Göçmen transformed a concert hall – which is named after himself – in the capital Ankara to be in accordance with social distancing rules to overcome the effects of the novel coronavirus on the art world.
The 350-person capacity of the Musa Göçmen Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall in the district of Çayyolu was reduced to 100 people by removing 250 seats. The hall, where disinfection is carried out at specific intervals, has been made compatible with health protocols.
The stage of the concert hall was designed in a way to allow artists to perform in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
Orchestra conductor and composer Göçmen said that they have stopped their concerts for two months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but they have spent this period preparing for the day when normalization will begin.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA), Göçmen pointed out that the outbreak measures were being reorganized gradually. “When it comes to concert halls, we wanted to be ready for this transition period. We have made our hall suitable for social distancing rules for the day that we hopefully wait and want our halls to be filled with the audience again. We have launched Turkey's first social distancing concert hall,” he said.
Göçmen stressed that the hall aims to be ready and fully prepared for the audience when the Coronavirus Science Board decides to open concert halls. “We continue our cleaning and disinfection activities with a team of experts as if our audience is constantly coming. When the events are allowed, we will open our hall to our listeners by following all health protocols,” he said, pointing to the importance of art in overcoming the distressing mood caused by the pandemic.
“After this social isolation we have experienced, we all will need art even more. But of course, it would be wrong to wait for everything to suddenly return to its old days. It's a fact that we need a gradual transition,” Göçmen said, noting that reducing the capacity of the hall will never affect ticket prices.
“As artists, we will have survived these bad days with our audience, without sacrificing our quality, to heal the wounds opened in our soul as soon as possible,” he continued. “Nowadays, when we have started to experience normalization again, this project, which will enable us to interact with art for the transition period, will be an example for all other concert halls.”