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Opera Louisiane safely brings live music back to the capital area riverside

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BATON ROUGE - Bringing live music to Baton Rouge in one way or another, Opera Louisiane is "Shifting Gears" on the riverfront to showcase their performances with a safe twist.

The capital area's opera company took the stage riverside Friday evening after months of staying socially distant due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are so excited because we had artists that wanted to sing, musicians that wanted to play, so we came together and put together a program as a way we can bring live music, even when we can't play in the theater," General Director of Opéra Louisiane, Leanne Clement said.

The outdoor performance, "Shifting Gears," looked a bit different than it would from inside of an opera house. Lawn chairs, to-go food and drinks, and chalk circles to keep attendees at a distance. But after months without social gatherings or live music performances, these few differences were no issue.

"It feels so good to see people out and about and that's what everyone has said. It's so nice to be out with other people. They're distancing, they're wearing their masks, they're staying safe, and enjoying some live music. So, I'm thrilled to give people a reason to get out of the house, especially on a beautiful day like today," Clement said.

One attendee, Larry Heard, enjoyed the music with his toddler. Both wearing masks, but enjoying the opportunity. Larry says his wife is one of the lucky performers chosen to perform at the event. A musician himself, he says the family stays connected through their mutual love for the art.

"Whenever I do something artistically, I include my family with it. It allows for my family to bond," Heard said.

As for other musicians ready to get back to work, Larry says it's especially important to continue doing what you love for both yourself and your supporters during this tough time.

"Stay positive and do something. Even if it isn't with an audience of 200 people, you still have an audience, so use them," Heard said.

Opera Louisiane's next event will be partially virtual, but after this successful event, organizers plan to safely bring the people of Baton Rouge together again soon.


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