March 20, 2020 / 1:57 PM / 5 months ago

Amid coronavirus blues, balcony singer helps Madrilenos to party on

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish singer Beatriz Berodia is helping to banish the coronavirus blues with a nightly concert from her balcony to entertain her neighbors in locked-down Madrid.

Berodia, known as “Betta”, is acccompanied by her guitar-playing partner Andrea Capalbo on the adjacent balcony in the capital’s Lavapies district.

A placard attached to the balcony rail says they accept song suggestions via Instagram account @MUSICBETTA for the half-hour shows. From their own windows and balconies, her neighbors swing and tap their feet to the amplified sound.

“We do this because we want to make everyone happy for a while,” Berodia told Reuters from her balcony.

“I’m a full-time musician, and since so many concerts and tours have been canceled, we decided that to continue with the music and allow people to have a moment to disconnect, this would be something very positive,” she said.

Madrid is the epicenter of the disease in Spain, which with more than 1,000 people dead and nearly 20,000 infected, is Europe’s second most hard-hit country after Italy. A state of emergency in place largely bars Spaniards from all but essential outings, with restaurants and most non-food shops shut down.

Betta said that when people are again allowed to circulate normally in the streets, she would ask them to support live music and musicians “because it is a sector that is going to have a very difficult time”.

After a round of applause for her own show, Betta, Andrea and the neighbors join in a Madrid-wide, daily cheering and applause in support of health workers fighting the epidemic.

Reporting by Michael Gore and Elena Rodriguez, writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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