The pandemic didn’t stop Tony-winning actress and singer Kelli O’Hara from performing with the Dallas Symphony over the weekend. Special precautions were taken to make this long-scheduled appearance happen.
Before the pandemic, O’Hara had 2020 booked solid with concerts. Then, COVID struck, and everything was canceled. Her Dallas symphony gig — booked over a year ago — was the sole scheduled event that survived.
With two children and an actor husband who’s also out of a job, O’Hara said she’s grateful for the work. But she also lives to perform.
“I had to come, I needed to come, financially,” O’Hara said. “But when I got here and they began the program in rehearsal the other day with the South Pacific Overture, which was a huge part of my life, I broke down — I wept. Like I said I never took this for granted, but I don’t think I quite knew how easily it could be lost.”
O’Hara said every musician wore a mask in the building, many on stage. There were 40 musicians in front of a live, socially-distanced audience. Their temperatures were taken daily, followed by checks from doctors. O’Hara said protocols like these and trust could help bring back live performances.