Vocalist Salar Aqili calls playing to an empty hall tough experience 

July 26, 2020 - 18:52

TEHRAN – Vocalist Salar Aqili and his ensemble went on stage at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Friday to perform to an empty auditorium, something that he called a really tough experience.

“It is very difficult for me to give a concert without an audience. This is the first time I am doing this but I should say that the audience is always in my heart,” Aqili said before his performance.

“Leave Me Free” was the first song he and his pianist wife Harir Shariatzadeh performed at the beginning of the concert, but they were later accompanied by other members of the ensemble in the next performances.

Wearing face masks, the musicians included Monika Loran, Ali Jafari-Puyan, Sohrab Barahmandi, Ehsan Shami and Fardin Lahurpur.

“My Homeland”, “What Can I Say”, “Find Me”, “I Stay Alone” and “Iran” were among other songs performed at the concert.

Aqili also performed the song “Mother” and said, “I was supposed to perform this song at the Espinas Palace Hotel in Tehran in February, but the concert was halted due to the spread of coronavirus, and I hereby dedicate this song to all the mothers.” 
He also paid tribute to veteran actor Ali Nasirian for his role in the TV series “Dear Brother”, while he was singing “I Stay Alone”, the ending credit song of the TV series.

A noteworthy point was that the concert was performed on a stage where the empty seats of the hall served as a constant reminder of the coronavirus days. 

In a meeting held at the Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters in early June, President Hassan Rouhani said that movie theaters and concert halls could resume activities with 50 percent of their capacity.

Movie theaters, as well as theater and concert halls, resumed activities in mid-June after a four-month-long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the musicians and the organizers have preferred to concentrate more on online concerts.

Vocalists Alireza Qorbani and Homayun Shajarian gave separate online concerts at Vahdat Hall in May.

Vahid Taj, Ali Zandevakili and Parvaz Homay, pianist Saman Ehteshami and tar virtuoso Keivan Saket were among other musicians who gave online concerts at Vahdat Hall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Photo: Vocalist Salar Aqili performs an online concert at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on July 24, 2020. (Honaronline/Seyyed Barat Zamani) 



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