“A full rehearsal the day before a show?” McBride said. “That’s a lot in the jazz world.”

José Rivera pointed at the space between two clusters of seats. “From here to here, it’s 6-foot 4,” he announced, bending to scrutinize his yellow tape measure. “From here to here is 6-foot 1.”

That made the grade: According to state rules, the distance between audience members had to be over six feet.

He and another facilities employee, Steven Quinones, had been arranging the chairs for some two hours, ensuring that the setup matched a detailed paper diagram.

“And see, this is the big aisle that people walk through, so it’s 9 feet, 5 inches,” Rivera continued, raising his voice to be heard over the whirring of a third colleague zooming around the room on an industrial floor scrubber.

Five floors up, Josh Phagoo, an operations engineer, checked up on one of the Shed’s most important technologies for Covid safety: the HVAC system. Massive air handlers and chillers in the building’s engine room whirred constantly as Phagoo made sure the machines that keep the air at roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity at 50 percent were functional.

On the stage itself, the first piano notes of the day were vibrating through the air, up to the McCourt’s 115-foot ceiling.

Stephen Eriksson had arrived at 11 a.m. to tune the gleaming Steinway grand piano. While he said his business had disappeared for the first four months of the pandemic, now he is busier than ever.

For nearly 30 minutes, he used a tuning wrench to make sure that the piano was concert ready. Afterward, he played a bit of Debussy and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

“That’s a bit of pure indulgence,” he said.

Within 15 minutes after arriving at the Shed, Fleming — who was scheduled for her second vaccine in New York the morning after the show — got the rapid Covid test in her dressing room. Negative.

Afterward, she rehearsed onstage with the musicians, their instruments positioned more than six feet apart from one another, while an audio crew member in a mask and a face shield flitted around them, making sure everything was working properly.

The six-person crew working the show was slightly smaller than usual, according to Pope Jackson, the Shed’s production manager. Everywhere they went, they brought along what Jackson referred to as a “Covid cart,” which contained a stock of masks, gloves, sanitation supplies and brown paper bags, which the musicians’ union requires so that players have a clean place to put their masks while they perform.

Downstairs, a staff of eight security guards had their nostrils swabbed to make sure that they tested negative.

Fleming and the musicians had been doing virtual and outdoor concerts throughout the pandemic, but the security staff was filled with people whose careers had been even more upended.

Allen Pestana, 21, has been unemployed for more than a year after being let go from working security at Yankee Stadium; Duwanna Alford, 53, saw her hours cut at a church in Morningside Heights; Richard Reid, 33, had worked in April 2020 as a security guard at a field hospital in Manhattan, where he had tried to forget his health fears and focus on the hazard pay he was receiving.

This was the moment before a concert where the theater was alive with preparation and nerves — a bustle missing in the city during the first year of the pandemic.

“It’s like doing the electric slide, the moonwalk and the bachata all at once,” Jackson said of the minutes before showtime. “But when the lights go up, it all fades away.”

The front-of-house staff had only 20 minutes to review the audience members’ IDs and Covid-related documents; take their temperatures; and show them to their seats.

Icy gusts of wind just outside the doors weren’t making things any easier.

But by 8:05 p.m., 150 people had settled into their precisely placed seats, able to snap a photo of the QR code on the arms of the chairs to see the concert program.

In between performances of the jazz classic “Donna Lee” and “Touch the Hand of Love,” which Fleming had once recorded with Yo-Yo Ma, the artists chatted onstage about what they’d been doing with their lives for the past 13 months.

“Wishing this pandemic would be over,” McBride said.

Tepfer said he had been improving a technological tool that made it easier for musicians to play in unison over the internet — a tool that he and Fleming had used to rehearse together virtually.

Frisell had not performed for an indoor audience since the beginning of the pandemic. “This is such a blessing,” he said.

The show ended with a standing ovation, and then the musicians played an encore: “Hard Times” by Stephen Foster, which Fleming described as a song that tends to resonate in times of crisis.

“Hard times,” she sang, “come again no more.”

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Gustavo Dudamel, Superstar Conductor, Is to Lead Paris Opera

In a coup for the venerable Paris Opera, founded in 1669 by Louis XIV, the company announced on Friday that the superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel would be its next music director.

The musical leader of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009 and the rare classical artist to have crossed into pop-culture celebrity, Dudamel has led only a single production in Paris: “La Bohème,” in 2017. And while he has dipped his toe into the operatic repertory in Los Angeles, at the Metropolitan Opera and elsewhere, he has been largely known as a symphonic conductor.

But another big appointment will come as little surprise to those who have watched Dudamel rise steadily over the past 15 years. The new position is a milestone in the heady career of an artist who made his name as a wunderkind with orchestras in North and South America and who is now, at 40, taking the reins at one of Europe’s oldest opera companies. His tenure will start in August, for an initial term of six years, overlapping for much of that period with his position in Los Angeles, where his current contract runs through the 2025-26 season.

Dudamel — who was born in Venezuela in 1981 and trained there by El Sistema, the free government-subsidized program that teaches music to children, including in some of its poorest areas — occupies a unique position in music. He is sought by leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic. But he also appeared in a Super Bowl halftime show; was the classical icon Trollzart in the animated film “Trolls World Tour”; is conductor of the score for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film version of “West Side Story”; and inspired a messy-haired main character in the Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle.” In 2019 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

started last fall — has expanded its audience in recent years, but still faces the pressure of roiling debates about racial representation and the relevance of expensive-to-produce classical art forms.

It is no longer the norm — especially outside German-speaking countries — for opera music directors to start as pianists and singer coaches and work their way up through the company ranks, as Philippe Jordan, 46, Dudamel’s predecessor in Paris, did. While Dudamel lacks that preparation, he is not unknown in major opera houses. He made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2006, when he was in his mid-20s, and at the Berlin State Opera the following year. He first appeared at the Vienna State Opera in 2016, and at the Met in 2018, with Verdi’s “Otello”; on Wednesday he finished a run of “Otello” in Barcelona.

In Los Angeles, he has contributed to the Philharmonic’s robust educational outreach, especially the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, a program inspired by El Sistema that was founded in 2007. He also continues to hold the post of music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, but after he criticized the government there in 2017, the country canceled his planned international tour with that ensemble.While he has not been able to perform with the Simón Bolívar since then, he still works with the ensemble remotely and has sometimes met outside Venezuela with groups of its players.

Dudamel’s appointment comes two months after the release of a report on discrimination and diversity at the Paris Opera, focusing on changes to the repertory, school admissions process and racial and ethnic makeup of its in-house ballet company.

Around the world, opera companies, too, have been called on to make their staffs, artistic lineups and repertories more representative. Alongside Ching-Lien Wu, the Paris Opera’s newly appointed (and first female) chorus master, Dudamel’s hiring is part of an effort to change the face of the company’s executive ranks and how it thinks about diversity and equity.

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Edinburgh Festivals Will Go Ahead, in Person and Online

LONDON — The Edinburgh International Festival, a showcase of international dance, music and theater, will go ahead in front of audiences this August, the festival’s organizers said on Tuesday.

The festival, which normally floods the city with tourists, was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But events will be staged Aug. 7-29 in three pavilions across Edinburgh, Fergus Linehan, the festival’s director, said in a telephone interview.

The pavilions will be specially built to maximize air flow and allow social distancing, he added.

The festival’s program will be released in June, Linehan said; the organizers are still waiting for a decision from the Scottish government about how many people will be allowed to attend. But the ongoing pandemic and the limits it has placed on international travel mean it will have a different flavor from normal.

“In terms of the people onstage, we’re not going to be flying in a big dance company from the U.S., or an opera company from Paris,” Linehan said. “But there are individual artists coming.”

Orchestre de Paris performing epic pieces by Beethoven and Berlioz, as well as several presentations by the Komische Oper Berlin. That will also change this year. “We can’t have that many musicians onstage, and we can’t have those big choral bits,” Linehan said, but he insisted smaller works would be just as exciting and innovative.

Many performances will be streamed free for international audiences, he added.

Coronavirus cases have fallen rapidly in Scotland this spring thanks to an extended lockdown and a strong vaccination program. On Monday, there were only 199 new cases reported among a population of around 5 million, and no deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to Scottish Government figures.

But many restrictions are still in place, including on cultural life. Museums cannot reopen until Apr. 26. Other cultural activities cannot restart until May 17 at the earliest, and even then, only with small audiences.

The Edinburgh International Festival is one of a host of arts events that normally take place in the city each summer. The festival’s organizers insist the others will occur in some form, too.

A spokeswoman for the scrappy Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which normally features thousands of small theater and comedy shows, said in an email that organizers were working toward an event to run Aug. 6-30. It was still unclear if the Fringe would be “digital, in person, or both,” she added.

Edinburgh International Book Festival will also proceed from Aug. 14 with in-person events “if circumstances permit,” a spokeswoman said in a telephone interview.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a popular series of parades involving bagpipe performances by armed forces from around the world, is also set to go on. It started selling tickets last October but has not provided any updates since. On Tuesday, its organizers did not respond to a request for comment.

Linehan said he hoped the International Festival’s announcement would give confidence to other events to press ahead with plans. His festival won’t make any money, he said, but that didn’t matter. “This is a really momentous moment for us,” Linehan said, adding: “It’s really important we get back to live performance.”

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Tanglewood Is Back This Summer, With Beethoven and Yo-Yo Ma

There won’t be the traditional, grand closing-night performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with its stage full of singers. In fact, to reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, there will be no vocal music at all at Tanglewood this summer.

But there will still be a lot of Beethoven, along with crowd-pleasing tributes to the composer John Williams and familiar guests like Emanuel Ax, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma.

Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s warm-weather home in the Berkshires, announced in March that after remaining closed last year because of the pandemic, it would open this summer for a six-week season — about half the usual length — with limited crowds and distancing requirements. On Thursday, the orchestra filled in the programming: heavy on appearances by its music director, Andris Nelsons, and with a focus on Beethoven, whose 250th birthday last year was muted because of widespread concert cancellations.

Nelsons will lead eight orchestral programs, including a Beethoven opener on July 10 featuring the “Emperor” Piano Concerto, with Ax as soloist, and the Fifth Symphony. On July 23, the Boston Pops will honor Williams, who turns 90 next year and is the Pops’ laureate conductor; the following evening, Mutter gives the premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2, and on Aug. 13 Williams shares the podium for a night of film music. On July 30, the violinist Leonidas Kavakos does Beethoven trios with Ax and Ma, who also plays with the Boston Symphony under Karina Canellakis on Aug. 8. (Details are available at bso.org.)

that began with great fanfare in 2019. The orchestra will host a two-day version of its annual Festival of Contemporary Music, July 25-26.

The Knights, a chamber orchestra, will be joined on July 9 by the jazz and classical pianist Aaron Diehl for Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and selections from Mary Lou Williams’s “Zodiac Suite.” Among the Boston Symphony’s guest conductors will be Thomas Adès (the orchestra’s artistic partner), Alan Gilbert, Anna Rakitina and Herbert Blomstedt; soloists include the pianists Daniil Trifonov, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Kirill Gerstein, and the violinists Baiba Skride and Lisa Batiashvili.

The Tanglewood season is part of the nationwide thawing planned for this summer of a performing arts scene that has been largely frozen for over a year. The Public Theater has announced that its venerable Shakespeare in the Park will go forward, as will Santa Fe Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York. On Thursday, the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado said it would move forward with a nearly two-month season.

But as they reopen, institutions are reckoning with sharp losses. As it celebrated the return of Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony said its current operating budget was $57.7 million, down from its prepandemic budget of over $100 million. The orchestra estimated that it has lost over $50 million in revenue in the last year.

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A Pandemic Opportunity: Geffen Hall’s Overhaul Accelerates

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to performing arts institutions nationwide, closing their theaters and robbing them of ticket revenue. But for the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center, it has also offered a silver lining: the opportunity to accelerate the long-delayed renovation of David Geffen Hall.

With concerts in the hall canceled since March 2020, construction began in earnest over the past few months. Work is expected to continue for the next year and a half, with a reopening planned for fall 2022, the orchestra and center announced on Monday.

That is a year and a half ahead of schedule, though it comes with the trade-off that the Philharmonic will not be at Geffen for the wave of triumphant cultural homecomings expected around the country this fall, assuming the pandemic ebbs.

The orchestra will nevertheless still spend much of its coming season at Lincoln Center, with the majority of its performances at Alice Tully Hall or the Rose Theater. Though it plans to announce its full program in early June, Deborah Borda, the Philharmonic’s chief executive, said in a video interview with other orchestra and center leaders that she anticipated smaller-scale and intermissionless concerts, at least at first.

that jump-started the project in 2015.

“Through 2020, quite rightly, people’s minds were elsewhere, and we had lots of other challenges as organizations,” Timms said. “But once we got to the end of the year, the opportunity became clear: Could we do this sooner? That became a period in which a lot of people stepped up to support the project, because they saw it as a recovery story, a way to invest in the economic and human recovery of the city.”

The old plan had called for progression in stages to limit disruption to the Philharmonic, which would never have lost a full season in the hall. Katherine Farley, the chairwoman of Lincoln Center’s board, said the new timeline would not diminish the scope of the renovation, which aims to render the lackluster hall more aesthetically and acoustically appealing. Seating will wrap around the stage, which will be pulled forward 25 feet to what is currently Row J, bringing a greater sense of intimacy to what can feel like a cavernous shoe box. The new space will have about 2,200 seats, down from 2,738.

in a rented pickup truck for pop-up performances, and has said it will be back on the road this spring. Its NYPhil+ subscription streaming service was unveiled in February, featuring archival concerts and some fresh content. On April 14 and 15, a contingent of players will appear in front of small audiences at the Shed, 30 blocks south of Lincoln Center, with the conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. (Jaap van Zweden, the Philharmonic’s music director, was not available because of commitments overseas, though he was in New York recently to tape two programs for NYPhil+.)

But its losses have been crushing. The orchestra has projected that the cancellation of its 2020-21 season resulted in $21 million in lost ticket revenue, on top of $10 million lost in the final months of its season last spring. (Some of that has been mitigated by emergency fund-raising.) Even when live performances resume, despite Borda’s rosy predictions, the box office may not bounce back immediately.

The need for savings that will extend beyond the pandemic was reflected in a new four-year contract agreed to by the orchestra and its musicians in December, which includes a 25 percent cut to the players’ base pay through August 2023. Pay will then gradually increase until the contract ends in September 2024, though at that point the musicians will still be paid less than they were before the pandemic.

plotted a return to its old home, Carnegie Hall; that plan fizzled, further damaging relations between the orchestra and Lincoln Center, its landlord, which also uses the hall for its own musical presentations and for corporate rentals. Concluding in 2012, a $1.2 billion redevelopment of the center left improvements all over — but the costly hall overhaul was not included.

restarted the project with the donation that gave the hall his name. Construction was supposed to start in 2019, but stalled well before that amid logistical problems and management turnover at both the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center. That plan had called for finishing the hall in time for the 2021-22 season. It was a schedule that the orchestra and center came to doubt was viable, but had they been able to stick to it, the renovated hall would have been ready to open just as the city hopes to emerge from the long pandemic closure.

Borda was hired in 2017 in large part to put the renovation back on track; in her previous job leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she had brought the construction of Walt Disney Concert Hall over the finish line. In New York, she pushed for a scheme less flashy and more achievable than some of the proposed options — one less likely to overrun its budget and designed to unfold in phases, limiting the stretches the Philharmonic would be exiled.

To be away from the hall for multiple years was assumed to pose an existential threat to its audience’s loyalty. Ironically, if Geffen reopens as now scheduled, the orchestra will have been out of its home for nearly two and a half seasons straight — exactly the situation that was so feared by its management.

As for David Geffen, who expressed frustration at some of the earlier setbacks in the years since his gift, Farley said in the interview that she had just spoken to him earlier that day.

“He’s a guy who’s big on efficiency,” she said, “and loves the idea we’re building it in one shot.”

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Paul Laubin, 88, Dies; Master of Making Oboes the Old-Fashioned Way

Paul Laubin, a revered oboe maker who was one of the few remaining woodwind artisans to build their instruments by hand — he made so few a year that customers might have had to wait a decade to play one — died on March 1 at his workshop in Peekskill, N.Y. He was 88.

His wife, Meredith Laubin, said that Mr. Laubin collapsed at his workshop during the day and that the police found his body that night. He lived in Mahopac, N.Y.

In the world of oboes, his partisans believe, there are Mr. Laubin’s oboes and then there is everything else.

He was in his early 20s when he began making oboes with his father, Alfred, who founded A. Laubin Inc. and built his first oboe in 1931. Paul took over the business when his father died in 1976. His son, Alex, began working alongside him in 2003.

Sherry Sylar, the associate principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. “It’s a resonance that doesn’t happen with any other oboe. It rings inside your body. You get addicted to making that kind of a sound and nothing else will do.”

In a dusty workshop near the Hudson River, lined with machines built as long ago as 1881, Mr. Laubin crafted his oboes and English horns with almost religious precision. He wore an apron and puffed a cob pipe as he drilled and lathed the grenadilla and rosewood used to make his instruments. (The pipe doubled as a testing device: Mr. Laubin would blow smoke through the instrument’s joints to detect air leaks.)

His father taught him techniques that date back centuries. As the decades passed and instrument makers embraced computerized design and factory automation, Paul Laubin resisted change. As far as he was concerned, if it took 10 years to build a good oboe, so be it.

“What’s the rush?” he said in an interview with The New York Times in 1991. “I don’t want anything going out of here with my name that I haven’t made and checked and played myself.”

told News 12 Westchester in 2012.

When a Laubin oboe was finally completed, its unveiling was cause for celebration. One customer arrived at the Peekskill workshop with a bottle of champagne, and as he played his first few notes, Mr. Laubin raised a toast.

told The Times in 1989. “I would have to think twice about starting it today.”

The company’s fate is now undetermined. Alex Laubin served as office manager and helped with some aspects of production but did not learn the full process. He often urged his father to modernize their operation — to little avail.

“No one sits down anymore and files out keys,” Meredith Laubin said. “No one turns out one oboe joint at a time. This is all automated now, like how robots make cars. But Paul wasn’t endorsing any of these things. To him, there was no cheating the family recipe.”

Mr. Laubin knew, however, that the old ways would come to an end. He was finding it harder to ignore the realities of being an Old World artisan in the modern era.

“Paul got to have one part of his dream, which was to be able to work with his son,” Ms. Laubin said. “But the other part of his dream, knowing that his work would continue on in the way he did things, he knew that wasn’t going to happen.”

Still, he hewed to tradition to the end. On his work table the day he died lay the beginnings of Laubin oboe No. 2,600.

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The Covid Testing Slump

A few weeks ago, Citigroup began providing at-home Covid-19 testing kits to many of its workers in Chicago and New York. Each kit includes a nasal swab, a paper strip and a liquid solution, and people get a result within minutes. “It looks a little like a pregnancy test,” Dr. Lori Zimmerman, Citigroup’s medical director, told me.

The company is distributing enough tests for employees to take them three times per week, typically on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Soon, Citigroup will expand the program to all 6,000 of its U.S. bank branches. The goal, Zimmerman said, is to help people learn that they have Covid before they can infect colleagues or customers.

This is the kind of ambitious testing program that many medical experts believe should be available across the country. Why? Even as more Americans are receiving vaccine shots, the country remains months away from vaccination being the norm. In the meantime, wide-scale testing can allow life to begin returning to normal — without setting off deadly new Covid outbreaks.

We have to do more,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told me. “This pandemic is not over. We still have dangerously high levels.”

Testing has declined partly because the health care system has instead focused on giving vaccine shots. And vaccinations are indeed more important than Covid tests. But the country should not have to choose between the two, experts say. If the U.S. can accelerate both vaccinations and testing, the payoff would be huge, in terms of lives saved and schools and businesses reopened.

“It pays for itself,” Dr. Michael Mina, a Harvard University epidemiologist who has argued for more testing, said. “Tests are one of the easiest, least burdensome things we could do.”

For Monica Jurado, a Citi personal banker on the South Side of Chicago, testing has become a simple part of her morning ritual. After taking a test, she gets ready for work — and, 20 minutes later, she can see the test result. “It gives me tremendous peace of mind knowing that I am coming to work safe, and so are my co-workers,” Jurado said.

Worldwide, several countries, including Australia and South Korea, have already used mass testing to hold down Covid cases, as Vox’s Umair Irfan notes. Many colleges in the U.S., as well as pro sports leagues, have also relied on testing to continue operating. And Biden administration officials say they are committed to making tests more available, including for people who show no symptoms.

Carole Johnson, the White House’s testing coordinator, told me yesterday. “We think it’s really important.”

So what will it take for the U.S. to do more testing?

Money. The recently passed virus-relief law includes $50 billion for expanded testing, including $10 billion for schools. That will help, experts say, although it’s not yet clear how much.

The tests that Citigroup is giving cost about $5 each, when bought in large quantities. A nationwide program of universal mass testing for unvaccinated people would probably cost a few billion dollars a week — which, again, pales compared with the cost of extended shutdowns. The country’s current testing plan is much less aggressive.

Logistical help. With many hospitals and pharmacies focused on vaccinations, people need places to get tested. The Biden administration is working with state and local officials to open four regional coordinating centers in coming weeks.

Corporate America can play a role, as well. Large Canadian companies recently created a consortium to give rapid-result tests to employees, and the group’s organizers announced this week that they planned to expand into the U.S.

F.D.A. approval. Citigroup has been able to distribute its tests — which are known as rapid antigen tests — only because it is doing so as part of an academic study; the Food & Drug Administration has not approved the tests Citigroup is using. The agency has approved two other at-home antigen tests, but they are not yet widely available.

One issue is that rapid-antigen tests are slightly less accurate — missing some people who have Covid — than the other main type of test, which is known as a P.C.R. test and isn’t an option for mass home testing. But that’s OK. Think of it this way: Citigroup is detecting many more Covid cases than most employers are.

200 million vaccinations in his first 100 days — is not ambitious enough to get there). Second, the administration will have to find a way to reverse the recent decline in testing.

A programming note: I will be on break next week, and my colleagues will be delivering The Morning to your inbox. I’ll be back Tuesday, April 6.

what New York’s burlesque performers are missing.

Modern Love: She tried to keep her expectations in check. Would that make it hurt less?

Lives Lived: Jessica Walter’s acting career included roles on Broadway and an Emmy-winning turn on the 1970s show “Amy Prentiss.” But she may be best known as the martini-swilling matriarch of the Bluth family on “Arrested Development.” Walter died at 80.

completing violin sonata fragments that the composer left behind.

Posthumous completions aren’t uncommon in classical music. But Jones’s latest effort comes with a twist: He made multiple completed versions of each fragment, each emphasizing different aspects of Mozart’s style.

He also benefited from recent research that helped put a more accurate date on Mozart’s compositions. “Having a precise sense of the context for these fragments is what let me ask detailed hypothetical questions about what his compositional strategy might have been,” Jones told The Times. “What was he working on, listening to, his compositional interests? That was key, because his style is still evolving really quite fast up until he died, in 1791.”

play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Enlightened (five letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. I’m off next week. My colleagues will arrive in your inbox while I’m gone. — David

P.S. Apoorva Mandavilli, a Times science reporter, has a master’s degree in biochemistry, speaks seven languages and has a weakness for “Bridgerton.” In a Q. & A., she talks about covering the pandemic.

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Met Opera Musicians Accept Deal to Receive First Paycheck Since April

The musicians of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra have voted to accept a deal that will provide them with paychecks for the first time in nearly a year in exchange for returning to the bargaining table, where the company is seeking lasting pay cuts that it says are needed to survive the pandemic.

The musicians, and most of the Met’s workers, were furloughed in April, shortly after the pandemic forced the opera house to close. Months later, the Met offered the musicians partial pay in exchange for significant long-term cuts, but their union objected. Then the Met softened its position: Since the end of December, it has been offering to pay the musicians up to $1,543 a week on a temporary basis if they agreed to start negotiations. While the union representing the chorus agreed to the deal more than a month ago, the orchestra’s union took longer to accept the deal.

On Tuesday, the musicians in the orchestra, which became the last major ensemble in the United States without a deal to receive pandemic pay, agreed to take the offer, according to an email sent by the Met orchestra committee to its members.

“We’re very pleased that our agreement with the orchestra has been ratified and that they will begin receiving bridge pay this week,” the Met said in a statement, “along with the start of meaningful discussions towards reaching a new agreement.”

which it says has cost the company $150 million in earned revenues. For its highest-paid unions, the company is seeking 30 percent cuts — the change in take-home pay would be approximately 20 percent, it said — with a promise to restore half when ticket revenues and core donations return to prepandemic levels.

Under the deal, musicians will receive up to $1,543 for eight weeks; money they get from unemployment or stimulus payments is deducted from that total. If, after eight weeks, the musicians and the Met have not reached an agreement but the negotiations are productive, the partial paychecks will be extended, according to an email from the Met to the orchestra explaining the offer. The musicians’ labor contract expires at the end of July.

The Met offered the same deal to its choristers, dancers, stage managers and other employees who are represented by a different union, the American Guild of Musical Artists. That union accepted the deal at the end of January, and its members have been receiving paychecks for roughly five weeks.

The opera company is hopeful that it can start performing for the public in the fall, but opening night will be determined by where the virus and vaccination rates stand, as well as the outcome of the Met’s labor disputes. The company locked out its stagehands in December after their union rejected a proposal for substantial pay cuts.

In a note to Met employees sent on Friday, one year after the Met shut its doors, the company’s general manger, Peter Gelb, wrote that there was a “light at the end of the tunnel” because of the accelerated pace of vaccinations that President Biden had announced. Still, Mr. Gelb wrote, the Met needed to “come to terms with the economic necessities” that the pandemic has demanded.

“Even before the pandemic, the economics of the Met were extremely challenging and in need of a reset,” Mr. Gelb wrote. “With the pandemic, we have had to fight for our economic survival.”

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Yo-Yo Ma plays cello in vaccine waiting room in Massachusetts – video

The renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma gives an impromptu performance in a vaccine waiting room in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, after having received his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine. He performs Ave Maria and the prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 to the small number of patients waiting to receive the dose. Ma, who played for about 15 minutes, is a part-time resident of the area and wanted to ‘give something back’ to his community, according to a local paper, the Berkshire Eagle

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