Full Cleveland Orchestra And Audience Return To Blossom In July

Jahja Ling conducts a past Cleveland Orchestra concert at Blossom.
Jahja Ling conducts a past Cleveland Orchestra concert at Blossom. He is scheduled to guest conduct this August. [Roger Mastroianni / The Cleveland Orchestra]

Audiences will soon be able to gather for Cleveland Orchestra concerts again.

The orchestra announced Sunday a 10-week season at Blossom Music Center from July 3 to Sept. 5, with limited admission to allow for social distancing.

“We’re expecting, at least in the beginning, to be able to accommodate 3,500 people on the lawn and 1,500 in the pavilion,” said André Gremillet, orchestra president and CEO. “Under normal circumstances you can go all the way up to 15,000 people at Blossom.”

Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced outdoor venues could determine their own attendance limits as long as other safety measures, such as social distancing, remain in place. Gremillet said the orchestra will likely experiment with adding additional capacity as the season progresses.

Guests are to wear masks, except when eating or drinking, and lawn monitors will be on site to ensure groups are six feet apart. Picnicking on the grounds is allowed.

The season kicks off with “An American Celebration” on July 3 in honor of Independence Day and the return of orchestra concerts to Blossom. Former Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchel will conduct the festive event. Other concerts will feature programs on Mozart, Dvořák and Beethoven, as well as popular music from the Beatles and Hollywood scores.

Previously announced “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” movie concerts for the 2021 Blossom season have been canceled and may be rescheduled for a future season.

Wind instrumentalists will also be onstage with the orchestra, a change from the indoor setup the orchestra arranged for filmed performances at Severance Hall last year that were available for streaming on the orchestra's Adella app.

"For the first time in a year, in over a year, we’ll be able to have a full orchestra,” Gremillet said.

The orchestra also plans to present concerts in person at Severance Hall for its next season, beginning in October. The season announcement is due in May, Gremillet said.

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