NEW YORK - "Between Cirque du Soleil and Italy there is a love affair. Returning to Italy with our shows is a priority". Daniel Lamarre, the Canadian CEO of the legendary "dream tent" who fell victim to the Coronavirus after the announcement of the request for assisted bankruptcy presented last week in Canada, told ANSA. "I'm still CEO, I'm not worried about my future," Lamarre says in response to an article today in the "New York Post", according to which creditors have a plan to put it on the door: "I am interested in the future of the company, of the our employees and our shows. Today I am happy to announce that the Circus will survive. "
Two shows, in China and Mexico, have reopened and Cirque is on stand by for autumn in Las Vegas and Orlando. Everything on the other hand will remain difficult, according to Lamarre, until the planet returns to normal. "To start our tours in 450 cities around the world, we will have to wait for the reopening of the borders and the resumption of flights." Born on the success of Quebec street artists, including the legendary founder Guy Laliberte, Cirque du Soleil is now waiting for the process started in Canada to run its course: "Interested parties have 45 days to step forward. To date, six groups have shown interest, "announces the CEO. When the lights went out in March, Cirque du Soleil laid off over 4,500 employees (95% of the workforce) after closing 44 productions worldwide. "The idea - explains Lamarre - is to summarize them gradually once the shows have resumed, starting from Las Vegas where about 500 artists reside on a permanent basis and which alone represented 40 percent of the billion dollars collected by the company in 2019 .
In the meantime, Cirque du Soleil has also experienced streaming, reaching over 50 million viewers on its social channels: "Our core business remains live shows, but the experience has been so positive that we are exploring the possibility of developing shows totally designed for broadcasting on streaming platforms ". As for the magic of the marquee, at the beginning it will be that of the "new normal" in the coronavirus era. In China and Mexico the circus operates at 60% or of capacity with safety measures including temperature measurement, masks and social distancing. "We are very attentive to the safety of the public and the artists who will be tested regularly". As for Italy, Cirque du Soleil was "devastated" when in mid-March the shows already scheduled in Rome and Milan were canceled within 48 hours. "Italy has a great circus culture. Your creators and your artists have played a big role in the development of Cirque du Soleil. Reopening in Italy is one of our priorities. We will return as soon as possible."