Would you go to a drive-in symphony concert? Here's what the OSM's looked like

The event drew more than 500 carloads of people to a parking lot at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport to hear music by Mozart, Beethoven and Ravel.

The event drew more than 500 cars to a parking lot at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport

A member of the audience emerges through her sun roof to enjoy the OSM's drive-in concert on Aug. 5. (Antoine Saito)

On Aug. 5, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presented a drive-in concert, the group's first public performance since COVID-19 put an end to public gatherings more than four months ago.

Dubbed Classical Flight, the benefit concert took place in a large parking lot near — where else? — Montreal-Trudeau International Airport with the public seated in their cars and listening via FM radio transmission.

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal rehearses for its drive-in concert on Aug. 5, 2020. (OSM/Facebook)

Tickets started at $100 per vehicle and the event's maximum capacity had been set at 550 cars. Giant screens were added to improve stage visibility.

Conducted by Jacques Lacombe, the reduced orchestra of 50 musicians played Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, excerpts from Mozart's Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte (with soloists Hélène Guilmette and Jean-François Lapointe) and Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin.

The concert was timed to begin after the final scheduled takeoff of the day at the airport, as this video from OSM librarian Michel Léonard illustrates.

Here's what the set-up looked like before show time from the perspective of Scott Feltham, a member of the OSM's double bass section.

The sun set while final preparations took place for the OSM's Classical Flight drive-in concert at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. (Scott Feltham/Facebook)

At the end of the concert, the audience showed its appreciation by honking horns and flashing headlights. The OSM's principal cellist, Brian Manker, shared this video.

TVA reports that the concert raised $165,000 that will go toward the OSM's education and outreach programs, and to help the organization through the COVID-19 lockdown.

The OSM's ongoing Summer in the City series presents chamber music in parks around the Greater Montreal Area. Details here