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How art can soothe us during times of crisis

How art can soothe us during times of crisis


JUDY WOODRUFF: We thought we would to close
tonight with a story of hope, how, in these trying times, people are creatively using
the arts, like song, to come together, even in the face of social distancing. It is a reminder of the power of humanity
even during hardship. Jeffrey Brown has our look, as part of our
ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas. JEFFREY BROWN: Broadway may be dark and silent,
but in the digital world, there is music in the time of coronavirus. And the show, in that way, goes on, “A Chorus
Line” rehearsal from NYU students eager to pick up where they left off, a song from the
musical “Urinetown” by a middle schooler, and a performance of “One More Day” from the
musical “Les Miserables” at Blind Brook High School in New York. This last video and many others like it were
posted to #sunshinesongs, started by Broadway veteran Laura Benanti, a Tony Award-winning
actress and singer who found herself sidelined and thought of young people facing their own
canceled shows, for which they have put in so much work. She put the word: Send me your song videos. LAURA BENANTI, Actress: I want to see you.
I want to hear it. JEFFREY BROWN: And the responses have come
in. In the meantime, in the land of bel canto
opera, Italy is all but shut down. But that can’t stop the. Here, quarantined tenor Maurizio
Marchini sang to his neighbors in Florence, the famous aria “Nessun dorm” from Puccini’s
“Turandot.” And in a rather remarkable performance set
to the same song in a recording by the late, great Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian Air Force
used colored smoke to paint Italy’s flag in the sky. All around the country, there were impromptu
moments of song and pleasure. In Spain, also hard-hit by the virus, music
helped residents of an apartment house join together for some exercise, even as they maintained
their social distancing. Back in this country, there was this, a New
Hampshire Police Association pipe and drum group. Their tour of Ireland had been canceled.
Instead, they went to a local Walmart, a moment of relief for all of us, even staring at empty
shelves of toilet paper. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown. JUDY WOODRUFF: Boy, did we sure need that. Thank you, Jeff.

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