Musicians and cultural organisations are refusing to allow the coronavirus to totally derail this year’s event season.
A growing number of artists, ensembles and orchestras are migrating online for free performances – ranging from intimate bedroom jams to full orchestral concerts in empty theatres – to provide healing through music during challenging times.
Leading the charge in the region is The Fridge. Known for its concert season, held in Al Quoz, the events company is taking their shows on the virtual road and have announced that its 22nd season will all be streamed online.
"Music plays such a vital part in bringing us together, which is more important now than ever,” says The Fridge founder Shelley Frost. “It is really important for us, as The Fridge and artist alike, to continue by respecting social distancing and to connect as humans and being able to share hope and meaning.”
Below are a key online local, regional and international gigs coming our way. Keep checking on this page as it will be updated regularly once new virtual shows are announced.
Christine and the Queens
Indie music fans will be happy to hear that French electro-pop singer Heloise Letissier, known by her stage name Christine and the Queens, has taken it upon herself to perform nightly as way to deal with social distancing – an experience she describes as an "ennui." She will perform tracks from her universally acclaimed second 2018 album Chris.
The performances are at 9pm UAE time and streamed on her Instagram.
Massar Egbari on Facebook
Egyptian rock band Massar Egbari are keeping things fun for fans with a series of hit and run online gigs throughout the month. Keep checking out their Facebook for details on the next virtual concerts, which they promise will run for up to an hour.
For details go Massar Egbari’s Facebook page.
Friday, March 20
Vienna State Opera: Tosca
One of the world's busiest opera houses continues to perform, even without sold out crowds. Log in and sample the opulence of the venue as the in house opera company perform Puccini's Tosca, one of the most loved productions in the opera canon.
The performances are at 8pm and 10pm UAE time and streamed on the Vienna State Opera website.
Saturday, March 21
Metropolitan Opera: Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment
As part of its Live in HD free series of concerts, The Met will present the passionate opera starring French soprano Natalie Dessay and the brilliant Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez. The latter performed a sold out show as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2015.
The performance begins at 3.30am UAE time and streamed on the Met Opera website.
Ben Gibbard: live from home
Ben Gibbard's sweet voice has always been characterised by its intimacy. So his solo acoustic performance, one of many he plans to do and to be streamed from Gibbard's home, will find the Death Cab for Cutie frontman well and truly in his element.
The performance is scheduled for 3am UAE time will be streamed on Death Cab for Cutie's Instagram page.
Monday, March 30
The Fridge: featuring Aleksandra Krstic and Chris Ishak
The Fridge kicks off its latest concert series featuring seasoned Dubai jazz singer and pianist Aleksandra Krstic. She will be supported by Chris Ishak. The Lebanese Filipina soul singer is steadily building her own body of work with two singles released last year, Here for You and If I Got You.
The concerts will begin at 8pm and streamed on The Fridge’s website.
With the Coronavirus cancelling her European tour, the British singer and songwriter decided to make it up to her fans by honouring nearly each concert date with a free online concert. Devine promises to switch things up, with gigs on her brilliantly titled URL Tour ranging from solo acoustic sets from home to a full band performance in a studio.
The concert will be streamed on her YouTube page. Check out L Devine’s social media accounts for the time closer to the date.
Saturday April 3
The singer of US cult favourite rock band Pile will plug in and perform a solo set for his social media followers. This is not a particularly new thing, as Maguire has performed plenty of online shows throughout the years. Expect a smooth set by a seasoned pro.
The performance will be at 4.30am UAE time and streamed on Rick Maguire’s Instagram page.
Friday, April 6
The Fridge: Noush Like Sploosh and Ollie Chapman
Headlining the second night of The Fridge concert series is Noosh Like Sploosh. A true creative, the Dubai musician and filmmaker combined her talents to release eye catching videos for half a dozen of her ambitious pop songs. She will be joined 17-year-old singer-songwriter Ollie Chapman, whose soulful and weathered voice is well beyond his years.
The concert will begin at 8pm and will be streamed on The Fridge’s website.
Saturday, April 11
7 Deaths of Maria Callas
This innovative opera by Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper celebrates the life of American Greek soprano Maria Callas. The production features the key death scenes Callas portrayed in operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Georges Bizet, Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti and attempts to draw a parallel between the tragedy on stage and Callas's turbulent life.