Monday, April 06, 2020

Cancellations Creeping into the Summer

The Berkeley Festival and Exhibition [of Early Music], which was to have run from June 7 to 14, has now been canceled. From the press release:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 3, 2020 —The San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) and its Board of Directors today announced that it will cancel the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition which was scheduled to take place in June because of concerns over the coronavirus. Since its inauguration in 1990, the Festival has been recognized as one of the foremost events of its kind, bringing together early music performers and enthusiasts for a week of concerts, lectures, master classes, film screenings and more in Berkeley, California. In association with Early Music America, this year’s Festival was to be the first to expand to San Francisco.
“Because the health of our artists, production team, patrons and wider community comes first, we will be cancelling the 16th biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition,” said Derek Tam, executive director of SFEMS and artistic director of the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition. “We did not come to this decision lightly. Each Festival represents the culmination of two years of planning and preparation, of anticipation transformed into joy. But even as we dismantle the sprawling structure of the Festival, our attention must turn to the immense task of stewarding SFEMS through this unprecedented crisis, while fulfilling our mission to promote the early music which sustains our souls.”
Patrons who have already purchased tickets for the Festival may ask for a full refund, or they may choose to give their tickets back to the Festival as a tax-deductible donation. All donations help to cover the significant costs SFEMS has already incurred, and may potentially also help to provide honoraria for the Festival’s participating artists.
The Berkeley Festival & Exhibition is produced by the San Francisco Early Music Society, and was conceived of and founded by Robert Cole, then director of Cal Performances, and the late Joseph Spencer, then SFEMS president. Over the years, the Festival has presented many memorable events: Mark Morris Dance Group’s interpretation of Rameau’s PlatéeLe Carousel du Roi, featuring dressage horses and riders executing elaborate ballets from 17th-century France accompanied by shawms and sackbuts; and the North American premiere of a long-lost Mass by Alessandro Striggio for 40 and 60 voices.
I'm expecting a couple more shoes to drop for June, alas.


Sacto OperaFan said...

Hi Lisa,

Any rumors from SFO? Surely they must have made a decision about the Summer Season by now. Given the circumstances, I can't imagine them moving forward.

Lisa Hirsch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Hirsch said...

No rumors yet, but I agree with you. I don't see how they can start rehearsals in early May, given the present circumstances, for June performances. Maybe, just maybe, they can pull off Steve Jobs: most of the cast was in the premiere, same sets, same conductor, performances are late in June.