2020 Festival Season Cancellation Announcement

A Message from the General Director

Dear Friends,

I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. Normally at the beginning of spring in St. Louis, we are bustling with activity to prepare for Opera Theatre’s festival season — building sets, sewing costumes, and preparing to start rehearsals. Unfortunately, that is not the case today. Like you, we have been following the news of COVID-19 and taking appropriate precautions. It is now with great regret that we are forced to cancel Opera Theatre’s 2020 Festival Season.

Until recently, I held out hope that we might adapt our festival season and still produce opera in June. However, it has become clear that it is no longer possible to present our festival. More importantly, it would not be safe to convene hundreds of artists, staff, and audience members night after night — we must all do our part to flatten the curve. 

This is difficult news to share. This crisis has had a devastating impact on so many, including the artists and artisans who rely upon companies like ours for their livelihoods. Thanks to the unwavering support of our Board of Directors, we have made the commitment to honor 50% of the expected income for each of the 380 seasonal members of our company — including singers, artisans, production crew and staff, front of house staff, administrative interns, and our partner, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra — and will retain 100% of our year-round staff.

We are heartbroken that we won’t be able to share a season with you this year, but now we are asking for your help. Though we know this is a difficult time for organizations and individuals alike, by choosing to convert your 2020 season ticket purchase into a tax-deductible donation, you will ensure OTSL continues to support our artists and artisans now and in the future. You may also choose to convert your purchase into a credit for the 2021 Festival Season or request a partial or full refund. Credit or refund requests must be made by June 30, 2020; any remaining tickets that are undesignated on July 1 will be automatically converted into a tax-deductible donation.
 
If you choose to donate your ticket, every dollar of your donation will be matched up to $800,000, thanks to a special challenge effort led by members of the Board of Directors. I am making a personal commitment to this campaign with a 50% voluntary pay cut through the end of Opera Theatre's fiscal year. I hope you will join us — your generosity will have twice the impact and will make a real difference for our artistic family. 

In accordance with national guidelines, our Box Office is working remotely through at least the end of April. To expedite your ticket request, please consider filling out the online form below to record your choice between a donation, credit, or refund. You may also contact the Box Office at boxoffice@opera-stl.org or (314) 961-0644 and leave a message — our staff will return your message as soon as they are able. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as it may take us longer than usual to process ticket requests. 

Donate, Credit, or Refund Your 2020 Season Tickets

Our community will emerge from this crisis, and when we do so, shared artistic experiences will be more powerful than ever. Today, I promise you that we will return to creating art as soon as it is safe to do so. We are already hard at work on our 2021 Festival Season, which will be announced by early fall. Thanks to forty-five years of your generosity and guidance, Opera Theatre is a resilient organization. We have never believed more strongly in our mission, and we look forward to the day when we can once again bring people together through the power and beauty of live opera. 

Thank you for your understanding. Your support and passion make all of our work possible. Until we meet again, I wish you good health and spirits.

Sincerely,
Andrew Jorgensen
General Director

Request Ticket Donations, Credits, or Refunds

If you are able, please consider donating your 2020 tickets. By doing so, you will help sustain our company and our payments to artists. Members of our Board of Directors have committed to match the dollar value of every ticket donation made before June 30, 2020 up to the amount of $800,000. Your generosity will have twice the impact and will make a real difference for our artistic family.

Donate, Credit, or Refund Your 2020 Season Tickets

You may also contact the Box Office at boxoffice@opera-stl.org or (314) 961-0644 and leave a message — our staff is checking voicemail frequently and will return your call as soon as they are able. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. 

Credit or refund requests must be made by June 30, 2020; any remaining tickets that are undesignated on July 1 will be automatically converted into a tax-deductible donation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why can’t the 2020 Festival Season simply be postponed to later in the summer or fall?
A: Unfortunately, due to the size of seasonal staff required to produce each opera season, it is not possible for us to assemble the same casts, creative teams, and backstage artisans at any other point in the next several months. Even if we could postpone our season by a month, we simply don’t know when it will be safe for groups to gather again. 

Q: Will the missed 2020 productions be presented in 2021?
A: At this time, there is no active plan in place to move any of our 2020 productions into the 2021 Festival Season. However, we are still evaluating various options and scenarios — stay tuned for more!

Q: When will the 2021 Festival Season be announced? 
A: We hope to announce the 2021 Festival Season by early autumn.
 
Q: What will happen to my 2020 tickets?

A: If you are able, we hope you will consider donating the full value of your ticket purchase as a tax-deductible gift — please see below for more information. You may also choose to convert your 2020 purchase into a credit voucher for the 2021 Festival Season, or to receive a partial or full refund of the value (excluding ticket handling fees). Credit or refund requests must be made by June 30, 2020; any 2020 season tickets that are undesignated on July 1 will be automatically converted into a tax-deductible donation.

Q: Will my ticket donation qualify for donor benefits? 
A: Yes. Due to the unique nature of these circumstances, ticket donations from the 2020 Festival Season will qualify for membership benefits between May 2020 – June 2021. Please click here to learn more about how your donation impacts membership benefits and tax-deductibility. 

Q: What can I do to help OTSL’s staff and artists? 
A: Thank you for asking! We hope that you will stay home and practice safe social distancing if you are able to do so. Our annual staff is working remotely for the foreseeable future, so please be patient as our response times may be a little slower than usual. 

Though we know this is a difficult time for all, every ticket donation provides critical support for our 380 artists and staff. By choosing to convert your 2020 season ticket purchase into a tax-deductible donation, you will help OTSL in its commitment to offer all 2020 seasonal artists and artisans 50% of their original contract and allow us to plan for the future with confidence.
 
If you donate your ticket, thanks to a special challenge effort led by our Board of Directors and General Director, every dollar of your ticket donation or outright gift will be matched up to $800,000. 

Donate, Credit, or Refund Your 2020 Season Tickets

Make A Special Gift

 


 

Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges Noémi & Michael Neidorff, the Steward Family Foundation, Sally S. Levy & Family, the Berges Family Foundation, and Andrew Jorgensen & Mark Stuart-Smith for their generous support of the $800,000 Challenge Fund.