Opera news

The Dallas Opera makes drastic cuts to current season due to COVID-19

The Dallas Opera makes drastic cuts to current season due to COVID-19

Joyce DiDonato
The next event on TDO's schedule is a special solo concert starring mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, called “Viva Diva,” on May 10. Photo courtesy of The Dallas Opera

For The Dallas Opera, it's the same sad aria, second verse. Amid ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the company will cancel its 2021 performances and postpone all live, full-scale productions until February 2022, they said in a January 27 release.

The pandemic had forced the cancellation of last year's season, which TDO had planned to consolidate into March and April of 2021. Now those are called off, and some new outdoor, virtual, and one-off events are being planned to help fill the void for local opera fans.

“It is with profound disappointment that TDO has made the decision not to proceed with the 2020/2021 season performances planned for March and April of this year,” says Ian Derrer, The Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO, in the release. “The ongoing spread of COVID, the level of hospitalizations in our area, and the rate of vaccine rollout is such that we believe we cannot proceed with the modified season we had planned.

"On the advice of medical experts, and with the full safety of our artists, patrons, and staff of paramount importance, we are moving all our subscribers to the new 2021/2022 season in the Winspear that will begin February of 2022 with four, full-scale grand opera productions."

Those will include Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers

The next event on TDO's schedule is a special solo concert starring mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, called “Viva Diva,” on May 10.

But TDO's National Vocal Competition, The Hart Institute for Women Conductors Showcase Concert, the TDO Family Season performances of Jack and the Beanstalk and Doctor Miracle, and the student matinees will all be delayed until later in the year, with dates TBA, they say.

While mainstage productions are on hold, the company is planning a series of live outdoor opera events, socially distanced recitals in the Winspear, and new digital offerings that patrons can enjoy at home.

"We have some very exciting plans brewing for this spring and fall, 2021, as well as some unique presentations that will keep TDO front and center on the digital stage," Derrer says.

One major loss from the 2021 season is the much-anticipated world premiere of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which will now happen in the 2022/2023 season, Derrer says.

The scrapping of full-scale productions is disappointing but not surprising. Houston Grand Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and other major companies are finding ways to innovate while they await the return of their full seasons, as well. Texas' five largest opera companies recently created the Texas Opera Alliance, with the goal of protecting and advancing the art form.

TDO subscribers will be contacted in coming weeks regarding ticket options for upcoming seasons. For more information, visit the company's website.