Monday, May 11, 2020

Santa Fe Opera Cancels 2020 Summer Season

Santa Fe Opera House
Seen from the parking lot
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

I'm sad, but not surprised. Here's the general director's message, which includes a commitment to providing some compensation to all. Big applause for that:

Dear Friends,
It is with profound sadness that I announce today that the Santa Fe Opera has been forced to cancel its 2020 Season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This difficult but necessary decision was made with the health and safety of our staff, artists, patrons and the entire Santa Fe community at the forefront of our thoughts. 
Throughout our deliberations, we have maintained close contact with our elected officials and we extend our deepest thanks to the Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, for her leadership in guiding our state through this pandemic. 
I am at a loss to describe the disappointment that I myself and all my colleagues feel today. I know that we are joined by the many singers, artisans and musicians who have been tirelessly preparing to bring our 2020 Season to life when I say that our greatest regret is not being able to share in the creative process with you, our beloved patrons. 
Since the early days of the outbreak, we have remained steadfast in our optimism and explored every possible contingency scenario for realizing a 2020 Season – including how to test and quarantine, limiting theater capacity and conducting wellness checks. We remained hopeful that we could somehow prevail and be able to perform this summer. 
Each year at this time, we begin to welcome over 600 additional staff members in preparation for our summer performances. Many of them now face an extremely difficult and uncertain future. It is with their welfare in mind that I announce our commitment to providing a level of compensation to all artists, musicians, artisans and seasonal staff who were engaged for the 2020 Season. 
But, we can only do so with your help. I ask you to please support this commitment by donating the value of your tickets back to the Santa Fe Opera. With over $5 million in tickets already sold for the 2020 Season, this represents the single greatest financial challenge we currently face as well as the greatest opportunity for you to help during this time of unprecedented need.  
I am pleased to announce that a group of generous friends have collectively offered to match all donated tickets dollar-for-dollar – up to $3 million. Your tax-deductible donation will have double the impact and will provide the Santa Fe Opera with a bridge over these dark and turbulent times. 
You will also receive recognition and benefits for the value of your gift during our 2021 Season. We will be contacting all ticket buyers with options in the next 24 hours and we thank you for your kind consideration of this urgent and critical request. 
Once we have surmounted the immediate challenges involved in the cancellation of our season, we will be in touch to discuss plans for our 2021 Season, which will include the world premiere of The Lord of Cries by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo. 
Brighter days will soon be on the horizon, and there is no greater view than from a seat at the Santa Fe Opera.
With deepest gratitude,
Robert K. Meya
General Director


Geo. said...

Well, you called it. Hopefully for the future, they'll be able to re-schedule M. Butterfly, for one. What Meya is planning to try to do for the scheduled 2020 artists sounds very much in line with what OTSL did on partial compensation for its scheduled 2020 artists after OTSL cancelled its season.

Separately, I actually owe the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival an e-apology, because they actually do have a page about COVID-19 updates, but they just haven't advertised it very prominently:

SFCMS's last update was on March 26. Maybe SFCMS will try to play it like Aspen after all, possibly with cancelling the first few weeks, and trying to hold a truncated season. But as with the opera, I'm not holding my breath.

Lisa Hirsch said...

And indeed they canceled the season.

I hope next summer happens. Santa Fe Opera has usually announced their next season by now, but there's nothing yet. This makes sense, considering the known unknowns about the pandemic.