Updates on Opera Companies & Orchestras Throughout U.S. & North America Canceled Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

By Francisco Salazar

***We will update this article as more cancellations are announced.

A number of orchestras and opera houses have announced cancellations due to the coronavirus.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that it was canceling all performances at Symphony Hall from Friday, March 13 through Saturday, March 28.

Meanwhile, the Nashville Opera announced the cancellation of performances of its children’s opera, scheduled for Sunday, March 15 and 20 at Akiva School and Belle Meade Plant.

The Boston Lyric Opera announced that it was canceling its production of “Norma” while the San Diego Opera suspended performances until the end of March.

The Lyric Opera of Kansas announced that following the City of Kansas City, Missouri and Mayor Quinton Lucas, it will be unable to perform the last two performances of  “Lucia di Lammermoor” on March 13 and 15, 2020 at the Kauffman Center.

The Chicago Opera Theater has announced that “amid ongoing concerns about the Coronavirus COVID-19, Chicago Opera Theater has made the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone our Gala and Season Reveal on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has made the difficult decision to cancel all public events in March (including Opera Tastings, the Cupcake Concert, Cocktail Concert, and Sip, Savor, Sing) in cooperation with local efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The New Camarata Opera has announced that “it regretfully announces the cancellation of “Barnum’s Bar and Games” on March 18th. We are working with (Le) Poisson Rouge to reschedule this event at a later date. Rest assured, those who have purchased tickets will be offered tickets to the rescheduled event, or to one of the performances of “Barnum’s Bird” in May at no additional cost. New Camerata Opera is grappling with the realities of the COVID-19 situation and feels that holding this event in the current climate would be inappropriate and unsafe.”

Omaha Opera has postponed its One Festival stating, “Opera Omaha is honored to serve this community, which includes our audience, artists, staff and collaborators.  We strive to be a leader in our community and in our field, even when it means making difficult decisions. As we have been monitoring the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, relying on information from local authorities as well as our partners and colleagues, we have decided that the most responsible way to honor our commitment to our community is to postpone our upcoming events and ONE Festival offerings including the productions of ‘St. John the Baptist’ in the MidCo Glass Building and ‘The Capulets and the Montagues’ in the Orpheum Theater.”

Edmonton Opera has canceled this weekend’s performance of “Candide.”

Utah Opera and the Utah Symphony has announced that all performances are canceled through March 28.

Opera in the Heights has announced its production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” has been canceled.

Opera on Tap also canceled its March Madness Homebrew at Freddy’s in Brooklyn. The company’s next show is set for April 3, 2020 at Barbes with another one at Freddys set for May 14, 2020.

American Opera Projects has also canceled all March events and stated, “Given the news, we unfortunately have no choice but to cancel our remaining performances this month. Refunds will be available through the box office by which your tickets were purchased. Ticket exchanges for The AOP Mixtape event on March 26 will be available through Joe’s Pub to the rescheduled date of August 27.”

The Seattle Symphony has canceled all public events through the end of the month, the Symphony has said it will continue to offer its performances online “to offer strength, comfort and unity” while many public gathering places are closed to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

Pensacola Opera has postponed all performances of “Il Trovatore” scheduled for March 20 and 22.

Livermore Valley Opera has canceled its performances.

Arizona Opera has postponed its gala while AVA Brava gala has been canceled.

The Academy of Vocal Arts has also canceled its upcoming “Jubilate” concert.

UPDATE: Friday, March 13, 2020

Minnesota Opera has postponed its productions of “Don Giovanni” and “Edward Tulane” to a future season. The company also noted that it will look to reschedule artist contracts to a future season, but will also set up an Artist Support Fund “for artists both on and off stage.”

Sarasota Opera has canceled events and concerts as of March 13. In a press release, Executive Director Richard Russell stated, “Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of our audience and company. When this crisis has passed, we look forward to welcoming our community back so that they can continue to experience the thrill and beauty of this art form we love. We thank you for your patience and your support during this difficult time.”
San Francisco Performances will also cancel performances scheduled through March 31.

Opéra de Montréal has canceled performances through April 12, 2020, including the production “La voix humaine” and “L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi.”  The company did note that the performances would be rescheduled for a later date.

Works & Process at the Guggenheim Announces Temporary Closure until June 3.

The Stratford Festival has canceled its performances between April 11 to May 2, as well as all public events in its facilities during March and April.

Atlanta Opera has announced it will cancel its remaining performances of “Porgy and Bess.”

The Verdi Chorus has canceled its performance of “Opera Gets Real” slated for April 18-19.

The Celebrity Series of Boston to Cancel All Remaining Performances of the 2019-2020 Season. Gary Dunning President and Executive Director of the Celebrity Series of Boston says, “It is our ethical and moral responsibility to care for the welfare of our staff, artists, audience members, and community partners. As disappointing as the decision is, the cancellation of the remaining Celebrity Series performances in our 2019-2020 season is the only responsible course of action. The momentum of the pandemic and various civic and health guidelines and regulations only reinforce the validity of our decision. I regret the impact on our artists and the loss for our audiences. I look forward to a time in the not too distant future where we all can enjoy the joy of live performance.”

Following guidelines from Governor Baker banning events larger than 250 people, The Handel and Haydn Society has canceled both performances of Bach St. Matthew Passion originally set to take place April 3 and 5 at Symphony Hall. The performances will not be rescheduled. The Handel and Haydn Society will continue to monitor the evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The performances of Vivaldi: The Four Seasons on May 1 + 3, 2020 at Symphony Hall remain unaffected at this time. The Handel and Haydn Society will provide updates on its website and social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

The Park Avenue Armory cancelled all performances of Maria Vespers, originally scheduled to run March 21-29, 2020. All public tours have also been cancelled.

AVA will be closed starting on Monday, March 16 until at least March 30.

The Pittsburgh Opera has canceled ‘Carmen’ and all public events through April 5.

The Canadian Opera Company following the advice of public health authorities has canceled all programs and events through the first week of April, both at the Four Seasons Centre and partner venues across the city. The company plans to return to the stage with performances of “Aida” (opening April 18) and “The Flying Dutchman”(opening May 1), but will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation closely and are committed to following the recommendations of health officials as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

The Houston Grand Opera has canceled its productions of “Salome” and “The Magic Flute” from April 17 to May 8.

The Dallas Opera has canceled all private and public events through April 28, 2020. This includes all performances of Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” the double bill of “Pulcinella/La voix humaine,” and the first two performances of “The Barber of Seville” on April 24 and 26.

The Celebrity Series of Boston has canceled all of its remaining performances throughout the 2019-20 season, which ran through May 3 and included performances by Renée Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu and Davóne Tines.

Indianapolis Opera has announced it will cancel performances of “Don Giovanni” are canceled while Opera Colorado has canceled all events.

The NYCHORAL has canceled the Spring Gala on April 2 and out of an abundance of caution for our community, they have also decided to cancel the performance of Randall Thompson’s Requiem on May 9.

UPDATE: Sunday, March 15, 2020

Madison Lyric Stage has postponed its upcoming performances of “Suor Angelica” and “Erwartung” until June 4-14, 2020.

The San Francisco Symphony announced that “due to an extension of the Public Health Order prohibiting gatherings of 100 or more persons to slow the spread of COVID-19, there will be no concerts or events at Davies Symphony Hall through April 30.”

UPDATE: Monday, March 16, 2020

Opera Memphis has shut down its production “Così fan tutte.” Instead, the company will present its 30 Days of Opera throughout April.

The Natchez Festival of Music has also canceled is May 2020 slate.

Opera Mississippi has canceled its final production of the 2019-20 season, “Romeo and Juliette,” which was scheduled for April 25, 2020.

Carnegie Hall has closed until May 10, 2020.

Nashville Opera has canceled its performances of Rigoletto while Arizona Opera has canceled its production of “Ariadne auf Naxos.”

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

San Francisco Opera  has canceled its First Act Workshop: Opera Puppet Show for families on March 28 and the final two recitals of the 2020 Schwabacher Recital Series on April 1 and 22.

The Brooklyn Art Song Society has announced that its two final concerts to Sunday May 10 (The Dichter Project at the Brooklyn Public Library) and Friday, June 5 (The Art of Song at the Brooklyn Historical Society) will continue as planned unless the venues are not open to the public.

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City has announced that the direction of Mayor Quinton Lucas, Lyric Opera will cancel the remaining performances of the 2019-2020 season, including “The Shining” scheduled for April 25-May 3, 2020 at the Kauffman Center.

San Francisco Performances has announced that it will be canceling the rest of its 40th anniversary.

The Fort Worth Opera has announced that the 2020 Festival has been cancelled and all upcoming performances have been postponed, in an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The company is diligently exploring options to reschedule Puccini’s “La Bohème,” the world premiere of Héctor Armienta’s “Zorro,” and Johann Strauss II’s “Revenge of the Bat (Die Fledermaus)” for the future. FWO’s concert with soprano Talise Trevigne at The Amon Carter Museum of American Art and Pops at the Pavilion at The Kimbell Art Museum have been cancelled. The Masked Gala will be rescheduled for a later date.

Florida Grand Opera has suspended its performances of “Rigoletto.”

Opera Buff has canceled its May 10 performance of “La Traviata.”

UCLA announced that amidst the unprecedented realities that are the country is actively addressing due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the university has decided to suspend all performances for the remainder of the 2019-20 Season.

The New Camerata Opera released a statement, “Unfortunately, due to public health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, we have been forced to postpone our spring production of Libby Larsen’s ‘Barnum’s Bird,’ previously scheduled for performances in May 2020. We are working with (Le) Poisson Rouge to reschedule these performances for the fall of 2020. Those who have purchased tickets will be able to transfer to a future performance date, once scheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work to reschedule our production.”

The Kennedy Center has announced that it will cancel all public performances and events scheduled through Sunday, May 10, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Tulsa Opera has postponed the May 2020 production of Tobias Picker’s “Emmeline.”

Anchorage Opera has canceled its production of “Tosca” originally for April 17-19.

UPDATE – Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced that all concerts through May 2, 2020 will be canceled.

The Odyssey Opera will no longer perform Benjamin Britten’s “Gloriana,” originally scheduled for Saturday, April 11, 2020.

The Handel and Haydn Society is canceling the final performances of the season. The company stated that it hopes to reschedule the final performance. show and perform it in a later season.

The Chicago Opera Theater has announced the indefinite postponement of the remainder of our programming for the 2019-20 season in light of COVID-19. The decision comes following federal, state, and CDC recommendations to reduce large gatherings in an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Bronx Opera has announced it will postpone “The Bartered Bride” until it’s coming 2020-21 season.

UPDATE – Thursday, March 19, 2020

Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live has postponed the last production of the year. No date has been given as of yet.

Washington Concert Opera has postponed its performance of “Simon Boccanegra” to Sept. 13, 2020.

Florida Grand Opera has suspended all performances of its production of “Rigoletto.”

Opera Company of Middlebury has postponed its production of “The Maid of Orleans” from June 2020 to June 2021.

“The Voice of Silence” concert, which is set to take place at Lincoln Center, will be postponed until Sept. 14, 2020.

UPDATE – Friday, March 20, 2020

The George London Foundation Recital by Rihab Chaieb and Lawson Anderson on April 19, 2020, at The Morgan Library and  Museum has been cancelled. All public events at the Morgan have been suspended through April 30.

Oratorio Society of New York – The May 6, 2020 program featuring the world premiere of the Paul Moravec/Mark Campbell oratorio A Nation of Others, as well as Robert Paterson’s Whitman’s America, has been postponed – Carnegie Hall has cancelled all events through May 10. This program will take place at Carnegie in the fall, on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 8:00 pm, with Kent Tritle, conductor, and soloists including Maeve Hoglund, soprano; Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano; and Joseph Beutel, bass-baritone. Tickets for May 6 will be honored on November 10.

Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine – The March 31, 2020 performance of Bach’s St. John Passion will not take place as scheduled, but tickets will be honored a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 7:30 pm

The Boston Lyric Opera has canceled its final production of the season, “Giulio Cesare” from May 8 through 17, 2020. The company stated, “As difficult as this decision is to makedoing our part to curb the ongoing crisis will guide all of our decisions for programming and events in the foreseeable future.”

UPDATE – Saturday, March 21, 2020

Opera Atelier has cancelled its upcoming production ofThe Resurrection” scheduled for April 11 – 19 at Koerner Hall.
Opera Parallele has postponed its performances of “Harvey Milk,” originally scheduled for May.
The LA Philharmonic will remain closed until May 10.

UPDATE – Monday, March 23, 2020

Third Coast Baroque announced its will postpone performances of Vivaldi’s “Orlando Furioso.”

The New York Philharmonic has canceled the remainder of its 2019-20 season.

UPDATE – Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Opera Philadelphia has postponed its upcoming production of “Madama Buttefly” scheduled for April. The opera will be rescheduled for spring 2022.

Opera Carolina has postponed its 2020-21 production of “I Dream” to Jan. 21, 23, 24.

The Washington National Opera has canceled its production of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” which was to have been performed May 9­-23. As a result, it will be rescheduled at a date to be determined.

Pittsburgh Opera has canceled all performances of “Norma” and all public events through May 3.

The Spoleto Festival has canceled its 2020 festival.

LA Opera has announced that it will cancel performances of “Angel’s Bone” at the Broad theater.

Mother Goose at the Emerging Artists Theatre has been scheduled. The performance was originally scheduled to be performed on May 10.

UPDATE – Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Seattle Opera has canceled its upcoming production of “La Boheme” which was set to open May 2.

UPDATE – Thursday, March 26, 2020

MasterVoices has postponed its April 2 performance of Bizet’s “Carmen” for the summer. Dates to be announced.

UPDATE – Friday, March 27, 2020

The Academy of Vocal Arts has canceled the remainder of its season, which included a production of “Un Ballo in Maschera” and the Graduation Recital.

The Canadian Opera Company has canceled the remainder of its 2020-21 season including performances of “Aida” and “The Flying Dutchman.”

UPDATE – Saturday, March 28, 2020

San Diego Opera has stated that while it will cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 season, it will reschedule its productions of “The Falling  and the Rising,” “The Barber of Seville,” and “Aging Magician” for 2020-21 with much of the original casting as possible.

Festival Napa Valley has postponed the 15th anniversary edition of the event for 2021.

UPDATE – Monday, March 30, 2020

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine has postponed its March 31 performance of  J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion and replaced it with a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor on June 17, 2020.

Opera Santa Barbara has canceled the rest of its season.

UPDATE – Thursday, April 2, 2020

Portland Opera and Virigina Opera have canceled the remaining part of the 2019-20 season. At the Portland Opera the Big Night Concert, Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” Heggie’s “Three Decembers,” and Portland Opera Resident Artist Recitals have been canceled. Meanwhile, Virginia Opera canceled a production of “Aida.” 

Carnegie Hall has canceled the remainder of its season.

UPDATE – Friday, April 3, 2020

The Atlanta Opera has announced that it will be postponing its final two productions of the season for “Madama Butterfly” and “Glory Denied” until a later date. “Madama Butterfly” will be performed in November.

UPDATE – Monday, April 6, 2020

The Princeton Festival has canceled it June slate.

UPDATE – Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Opera Theatre Saint Louis has canceled its 2020 festival. The company’s season was set to open on May 23 with productions of “Carmen” and “Die Fledermaus.” The season was also set to world premiere Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman’s opera “Awakenings,” and also set to showcase the company premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah.”

UPDATE – Friday, April 10, 2020

The LA Opera has announced the cancellation of its upcoming production of “Pelleas et Melisande” and concert production of “Rodelinda.”

Long Beach Opera cancels the rest of the season.

UPDATE – Saturday, April 18, 2020

Madison Lyric Stage has announced that it will be unable to bring the double-bill production of “Suor Angelica” and “Erwartung,” scheduled for June 4-14.

UPDATE – Saturday, April 20, 2020

The Maryland Lyric Opera has announced that the Ruggero Raimondi production of “Le Nozze di Figaro,” which was set to premiere in the spring has been postponed until January 2021.

UPDATE – Saturday, April 21, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine will cancel its performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass previously scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30pm at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), Manhattan.

UPDATE – Thursday, April 23, 2020

The revival of Robert Ashley’s “eL/Aficionado,” which was to set to be performed May 21-24 at New York Live Arts (NYC), has been postponed to the 2020-21 season. 

The Oregon Bach Festival has been postponed until 2021.

UPDATE – Thursday, April 29, 2020

San Francisco Symphony Cancels the remainder of the 2019-20 season

UPDATE – Thursday, April 30, 2020

LA Opera has canceled the remainder of it 2019-20 season. The company announced there will be no lay offs and they will pay contracted workers.

UPDATE – Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Pensacola Opera has announced the cancelation of Verdi’s “Il trovatore.” The company said, “Just as our initial decision to postpone the production was made with caution, care, and consideration for our company and our community, the decision to cancel entirely seemed inevitable, and was made with the same concerns in our minds and our heart. With the support of our Board of Directors, we have made the commitment to honor existing contracts with all of our artists and creative team. With a financial loss of over $150,000 to our company, we are making the humble request that our patrons allow us to convert their ‘Il trovatore’ ticket purchase into a donation to our company. ”

UPDATE – Saturday, May 9, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has postponed its performance of Musica Sacra: Under the Arches, previously scheduled for Monday, May 18. The concert will instead be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7:30pm at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), Manhattan.

UPDATE – Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Madison Lyric Stage has announced that it will postpone its 2020 season to 2021. In statement the company said, “We had hoped that we would be able to bring you the remaining productions of the season – ‘The Boys in the Band’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’ – but in deference to state and
local guidelines, it simply doesn’t seem feasible that we will be able to present these productions in the manner we intended.  We are therefore postponing our season to 2021. ‘The Boys in the Band’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’ will join our previously-postponed ‘Suor Angelica /Erwartung’ for a glorious 9th season in 2021.”

UPDATE – Friday, May 15, 2020

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has canceled the remainder of its 2019-20 season, including its European Tour.

UPDATE – Sunday, May 17, 2020

Queens City Opera has postponed its 2020 season until 2021. The new dates for “Fidelio” and Verdi’s “Requiem” will be announced at a later time.