68th Ljubljana Festival opens amid COVID-19

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LJUBLJANA, July 2 (Xinhua) — The 68th Ljubljana Festival kicked off here on Wednesday evening with a rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Piano Concerto No. 3.

Under the baton of Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, the opening concert featured Slovenian pianist Dubravka Tomsic Srebotnjak and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

The concert was warmly received by the audience despite the coronavirus restrictions. Only 500 spectators were allowed to enter the venue in the capital city’s Congress Square. The members of the audience were required to sanitize their hands at the entrance, and the seats were spaced apart.

Darko Brlek, the festival’s director, told local media that the coronavirus situation had affected the stage appearance of large multinational ensembles, and that each event must be approved by the National Institute of Public Health.

Slovenia reported 21 new coronavirus infections over the past day, according to latest official figures Thursday. This is the highest daily figure since April 16, when there were 36 new cases. The total number of confirmed infections now stands at 1,633, and the death toll remains at 111.

The Ljubljana Festival, one of Slovenia’s top cultural events, attracts an average 60,000 people each year. The 68th edition will last until Aug. 30. Enditem

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