Your Virtual Weekend: A Guide to Online Arts and Culture #1

While almost every concert, book tour and theatre performance due to take place this weekend has been postponed or cancelled, musicians, authors and artists are coming together to share inspiring content from all corners of the globe.

This is our guide to just a few of the amazing gigs, concerts, shows, exhibitions, playlists and more that you can enjoy while staying at home this weekend.

1. Listen to the Beethoven Quartets

We are so disappointed that we can’t kick off our Beethoven Cycle with the Carducci Quartet on Friday. The only consolation has been to create a dream Beethoven Quartet cycle from great quartets both current and past. Listen to the playlists here.

2. A night at the opera

From London to New York, let the world’s finest operas come to you! This weekend, get ready for live streams of Peter and the Wolf from the Royal Opera House on Friday night here and enjoy Wagner Week from the Metropolitan Opera New York all weekend here. Fantastic music? Guaranteed. Formal dress code? Optional.

3. Listen to an author

While we’re isolating indoors looking for inspiration, who better to turn to than the authors who so often guide us through life? Many authors are sharing Q&A’s, book readings and more on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You can hear Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell read How to Train Your Dragon every day here. For grown-ups, Fran Beauman from the hugely popular FransBookshop on Instagram will be reading aloud short stories every morning at 11am for the next few weeks. Check out ‘Elevenses with Fran’ on Instagram Live here. Octopus Books are hosting a Meet the Author session every Thursday and Sunday on Instagram here. Book fanatics will also want to bookmark the Virtual Book Channel and Stay at Home Online Literary Festival, two platforms that are hosting lots of events with authors regularly.

4. An evening at the theatre
Let’s get theatrical! Let the West End come to your living room with this recorded performance of The Wind in the Willows, available here.

For one week only (including this weekend!), Hampstead Theatre are streaming I and You, a witty and uplifting portrayal of friendship, youth and living life to the full. The production was specifically performed, filmed, and edited for Instagram’s mobile video platform IGTV back in 2018 and is available here until Sunday at 10pm. Finally, something a little closer to home but just as brilliant, young theatre lovers can watch the Egg’s Snow Mouse, an enchanting Winter’s tale for children, here.

5. Listen to a chart-topping act

Musicians of all genres have been live streaming gigs on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, performing intimate versions of their biggest hits and taking requests via the comments section. Chris Martin, John Legend, Hozier, Lindsay Stirling and Bastille are amongst the stars who have performed as a part of the #TogetherAtHome campaign, a virtual concert series from Global Citizen and WHO to help us practice social distancing and promote global health. Watch the concerts back here.

Other artists posting regular sessions on social media to their fans include Neil Young, Ben Gibbard and Christine and the Queens.

6. Friday Night is Music Night at The Bath Festival

Relive The Bath Festival Friday Night is Music Night special BBC Radio 2 concert recorded last year at The Forum! The Magic of the Musicals concert is available on iPlayer now for a limited amount of time! Listen here

7. Listen to a local musician

Bath’s thriving music scene may have been paused in person but the wonderful musicians and venues who keep our city live have been turning to social media on a daily basis. Check out Not Live at The Bell for a series of videos from local artists on the legendary venue’s Facebook page here. Matt Owens, of Noah and the Whale and Livewired Music, is also performing ‘Songs From Self-Isolation’ on a daily basis on YouTube here.

8. Browse an arts exhibition or tour a historic building

Do you fancy skipping the queues for world’s finest museums and galleries? Many of the world’s wonders are available to view online with virtual exhibitions and tours becoming ever more popular. Both the Vatican Museums and the Louvre have virtual tours on their websites. Meanwhile, the Google Arts and Culture website offers a huge collection of exhibitions from organisations including The MoMA, The National Gallery, London and Tate Britain. You can also tour many of the fantastic local attractions in Bath and Bristol including the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and Victoria Art Gallery, find out more from GoBathBristol here.

9. Listen to the London Symphony Orchestra live

The London Symphony Orchestra are determined to keep playing! You can join them for a programme of full-length concerts twice a week as well as artist interviews, playlists and activities for young music fans. The next concert is 7pm this Sunday 19 March. Find out more here

10. New Orleans jazz with Preservation Hall

Get a dose of New Orleans Jazz from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Every night at 11.30pm (GMT), the band will be gigging live on Instagram here with #ThePorchSessions

We’d love to know what you’ve been reading, listening and watching! Join in the conversation and let us know recommendations on Instagram or Twitter

We welcome any donations that you can make to help Bath Festivals continue during this difficult time. Please click here to donate.

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