Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Santa Fe Opera: Season Decision by May 12

Santa Fe Opera House, seen from parking lot
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

Received from Santa Fe Opera just now:
Dear Friends, 
I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and keeping in good spirits. In line with New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent extension of the stay-at-home instruction through May 15, the Santa Fe Opera staff, like many of you, continues to work from home.  
Over the course of the last six weeks, the Santa Fe Opera Leadership Team and Board of Directors have been working tirelessly to evaluate all possible scenarios for the future of our 2020 Season. Working in close communication with the Office of the Governor, we continue to keep the health and safety of our artists, staff and patrons as the primary factor in all deliberations.  
I want to assure you that the Santa Fe Opera is doing everything in our power to do right by our community. We are committed to making the best decision for everyone whose life is touched by the opera and the business it brings to northern New Mexico. We expect to have that announcement by May 12. 
In the meantime, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your patience and continued support. 
With deepest gratitude,Robert K. MeyaGeneral Director
This is the second email from them, and I certainly appreciate their keeping the audience informed of their decision-making process. I would definitely like to see both Rusalka and Tristan und Isolde this season, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.


Tod Brody said...

Your wish to see those operas notwithstanding, I'm skeptical of Sante Fe Opera's ability to have a successful summer season. It's one thing to be allowed to hold performances (which I know is in question), but when the authorities say it is allowed, will people come? Not specific people, but people en masse, in the kinds of numbers needed to sustain an organization? Will performers be able to perform safely? I'm thinking of pit musicians, but there are also makeup artists, costumers, choristers -- any number of production participants who will necessarily be in very close proximity. As has been pointed out in the groups I'm participating in as an ED of a performance organization, we need to be cognizant of not only the epidemiological situation and the economic situation as drivers of our decisions, but also the psychology of performers and audiences. I'm having a hard time seeing at least that last element leading to a decision to have summer performances.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I believe they will cancel, but also they're going to cut it as close as possible because it's best if they cancel owing to government requirements. By May 12, they will likely know whether the governor is extending NM's SIP order.

Tod Brody said...

That sounds right, in terms of their motivation. There are a lot of situations where being prohibited from doing something makes a better situation for the producer than needing to make the call themselves, even if it's the right call. It does sound as though (and this makes perfect sense) large gatherings may be prohibited far beyond shelter-in-place. Newsom pretty much said that's the way it will go in California.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, exactly. I had a martial arts organization tell me that they knew they were canceling their annual camp, but they were waiting for official action in their state to cancel. They were able to negotiate a decent deal with the school where the camp was to be held.

David Bratman said...

It's reasonable, even if you know that you're almost certainly going to have to cancel, to hold that decision in abeyance as long as reasonably possible, because of the tremendous cascading effect that will have, SO LONG AS you keep everybody involved, including your audience, informed of what the status is and where your decision-making process has gotten to. From what you tell us, Santa Fe Opera is doing that.

Lisa Hirsch said...


You will both have seen the SFS cancellation email or press release or both this morning.