Seattle Opera has announced the cancellation of its first opera of the 2020–2021 season; the double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci was slated to open August 8 at McCaw Hall. The company is unable to reopen due to COVID-19 safety concerns and the continuation of the shutdown in Washington State.
“It is a deeply painful moment for us as a company, region, and world, “ said General Director Christina Scheppelmann. “Considering King County and Washington State are not yet open for large gatherings, COVID-19 has forced us to remain closed for safety as a means of protecting all artists, musicians, and our audiences.”
The cancellation represents a loss of work for more than 220 singers, crew, and musicians. In light of the loss of its federal government Payroll Protection Act funding on June 16, the Seattle Opera made the decision to furlough 58 percent of its administrative staff.
Ticketholders for Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci will have their tickets transferred to August 2021, when the company plans to present La bohème.