San Francisco Opera Cancels Fall 2020 Season

By David Salazar

The San Francisco Opera has canceled the fall portion of its 2020-21 season due to the continued challenges faced by the country regarding COVID-19.

Among the productions affected by the cancelation are “Fidelio,” “Così fan tutte,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Rigoletto,” and “La Bohème.”

The season is expected to resume in the summer of 2021.

“It is heartbreaking to have to make this announcement today. It will mean a full year without opera on the War Memorial stage and the loss of projects that would have connected powerfully with our world today,” stated Matthew Shivlock, the company’s Tad and Dianne Taube General Director. “As painful as this moment is, we remain a company of extraordinarily creative artists, artisans and technicians, dedicated to doing everything we can to bring opera to life in other contexts, whether digitally or live in other venues, as government mandates and critical issues of safety allow. The creative urge to share our art with audiences has never been stronger. I am so grateful to every member of the Opera family for their resilience and belief. We will keep the music alive.”

The San Francisco Opera is the latest in a long line of opera companies to cancel the fall portion of its 2020 season. Other organizations to take similar actions include the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Dallas Opera, among others. Despite the fact that the U.S. is currently seeing an increase in cases of COVID-19 and many health experts are advising of an impending second wave of the pandemic sweeping across the country, several states are entering full reopening stages.

Meanwhile, in Europe, where more preventive measures were taken to contain the spread of COVID-19, opera companies have started their reopening process in earnest with several companies confirming the start of their 2020-21 season on time and as originally scheduled.