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Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera
Photograph: Shutterstock/Sean PaMetropolitan Opera

The first live in-person performance at Lincoln Center in over a year was astounding

Also present: sheep puppets. We're not kidding.

Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Slowly but surely, live in-person performances are coming back to New York. Earlier this week, as part of the newly launched Restart Stages program, which seeks to create 10 outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces across Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic took over Hearst Plaza for the very first in-person show in over a year. 

The 90-minute performance was dedicated to essential workers: 120 of them sat in socially distanced folding chairs enjoying sounds coming from a horn quartet and a brass quintet. Take a listen right here:

"It's so beautiful to have culture back in New York City," Mayor Bill de Blasio remarked before the show kicked off. "We live through our artists, our musicians. We live through the plays we go to, all the things that make New York City special. Arts and culture help us to make sense of the times we're living in. If we ever needed that at any points in our lives, it's now. So the music you're going to hear is also part of our healing. It's also part of our hope that we're going to find a way forward."

The musicians brought along with them the New York Philharmonic Bandwagon, a pickup truck that traveled all through the city this past year to put up live shows in unexpected places. 

Also present: sheep puppets by puppeteer Basil Twist. No, we're not kidding. Here's some video proof of that:

You can expect many more live shows to be mounted around Lincoln Center, and the city as a whole, in the upcoming months. To find out about all of them, sign up for email alerts right here.

And if music just isn't your thing, rejoice at the fact that the city's beaches will officially be open for Memorial Day weekend. Woohoo!

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