In a bid to save the sector, individuals and organisations have united to bring the arts to Australian homes via digital platforms.

The Melbourne Digital Concert Hall (MDCH) has been established amid the pandemic to support musicians and the Australian arts community during this unprecedented time and beyond.

Founded by musicians for musicians, the MDCH launched with an online music festival on March 27 to 29, and has since held multiple concerts each week.

Among the many performances scheduled throughout the month of August is a concert starring versatile soprano Clarissa Spata, who won the hearts of Australians when she appeared on The Voice earlier this year.

Spata will join forces with showman Glenn Amer, who has been described as “the fingers of Liberace and the voice of Mario Lanza”, and who will accompany the soprano on the piano.

Glenn Amer

The one-hour concert, dubbed ‘An Evening of Magic’, will be aired on August 20 at 8:30 pm.

Audiences can expect a beautiful mix of much-loved music, from famous opera arias to highlights of musical theatre and some beautiful classics.

Pieces will be sung in Italian, French and English, and there will be a mix of solos and duets.

“We felt the need to give Australia – our family, friends and colleagues – a hug,” Spata said.

“What better way than to do it with a repertoire people know and love.

“Music is so important to all of us – it takes us on a journey, it fills us with hope and it inspires us.

“Every time I sing, I give a piece of my heart and soul, and I hope the audience feels that at home watching us.”

While the concert is a way for Spata and Amer to virtually embrace the nation, initiatives such as the MDCH allow the community to support an industry that’s hurting beyond belief. 

Of the 600,000 workers in the arts sector, many have lost their jobs or have seen their work schedule and income completely dry up for months on end.

“I’ve personally had about 16 concerts cancelled, a cover role contract cancelled, and a few corporate gigs cancelled, which was most of my income for the year,” Spata said.

“Because we’re still not in the clear with this pandemic, performances are only tentatively being booked for next year, which feels like a lifetime away.

“We’re all extremely devastated because music is how we express ourselves and share our gift; if you take that away, we start to feel useless, unproductive and empty inside.”

Spata said the hardest part is not knowing when things will return to normal.

While coronavirus has caused all sectors to think outside the box, from medical appointments over the phone to virtual classrooms and Zoom meetings between colleagues, the arts industry is relying heavily on this new way of communication to ensure its survival.

“We would love your support right now, and we need your support more than ever,” Spata concluded.

“A big thank you to anyone who purchases tickets, and to the MDCH, which is giving us back our voices, our strings, our keys and our heart.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, head to the MDCH website.