CULTURE San Francisco Opera cancels summer season amid COVID-19 concerns


San Francisco Opera cancels summer season amid COVID-19 concerns


07:03, April 15, 2020

Photo taken on April 12, 2020 shows a board reminding people to keep social distancing at the Fisherman's Wharf amid COVID-19 outbreak in San Francisco, the United States. (Photo: Xinhua)

SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The San Francisco Opera announced Tuesday that its 2020 summer season, scheduled to take place June 7-July 3, has been canceled amid COVID-19 concerns.

The company said ongoing developments in the global effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including orders by the City of San Francisco to shelter in place through at least May 3, as well as other state and federal travel restrictions and safety measures, prohibit the company's ability to prepare, build, rehearse and perform this summer.

"Today I am announcing the heartbreaking decision to cancel our 2020 Summer Season due to the current pandemic. The safety and health of our audiences, artists and employees must come first, and it is imperative that we continue to do our part in the critical effort to contain COVID-19," said Matthew Shilvock, the company's general manager.

The company estimated financial losses of 8 million U.S. dollars for the canceled season, which had been scheduled to include 18 performances of three operas.

"At this time, we are focused on mitigating the devastating impact that cancellations could have on the lives of the artists, musicians, crew members and staff who are the heart of this company, while also maintaining a strong organization when we return to the stage," Shilvock said.

In order to remain connected with the opera community and "provide comfort, beauty and joy during the COVID-19 crisis," the company on Tuesday launched "Opera is ON" -- an online initiative featuring new and archival content for the public to explore and engage with opera during the shelter in place.

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