Opera Grand Rapids to Stage Virtual Performance of ‘Scalia / Ginsberg’

By David Salazar

While most companies are shutting down to contain the spread of coronavirus, some are turning to creative means of keeping the show going on.

Opera Grand Rapids is among those, having announced that it will provide a virtual performance of its production of “Scalia / Ginsberg” on March 14 and 15. Those who purchased tickets to the performance will have access to a password-protected online screening. This also opens up the possibility for more audiences that were previously unable to gain access to the sold-out opening show.

“As the week progressed, the Met, Broadway and other arts organizations began closing their doors in an effort to halt the spread of this novel coronavirus,” said Emilee Syrewicze, executive director of Opera Grand Rapids, in a press release. “We could not in good conscience continue with our scheduled performances in front of a live audience without potentially risking everyone’s health.

“Yet, we did not want to simply cancel. Instead, in less than 24 hours, we found a way to transform this performance into an experience that highlights the power and possibility of opera. We are an opera company with a millennial staff committed to finding unique solutions and opportunities to bring opera to the masses — even in the face of a global pandemic. We hope that now, even more people will be able to tune into the virtual performance.”

The performance is being provided with help and support from Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, whose president and CEO Peter Y. Hahn noted in the press release that the arts are also fundamental to overall well-being.

“As a physician, I believe the arts are essential to our overall well-being – especially at moments like this, when our routines are upended and anxiety comes into everyday life,” Hahn stated. “We cannot lose sight of what enriches the human experience. As an organization that prizes innovation, Metro Health is proud to support this solution by Opera Grand Rapids to ensure that this historic performance of Scalia/Ginsburg can be appreciated in a new way.”