• An Update on the Canadian Opera Company’s Spring Season from COC General Director Alexander Neef

    By Alexander Neef

    Like all of you, we at the Canadian Opera Company have been closely monitoring the latest developments in the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is a heartbreaking situation to watch unfold, and I hope that everyone has been staying healthy and safe during this difficult time.

    Given the recent state of emergency and continued restrictions on public gatherings, it has become clear to us that to protect our audiences, artists, and staff, the COC must make the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of our 2019/2020 season; this includes all upcoming performances of Aida, The Flying Dutchman, the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, and all other events until further notice. Our annual spring fundraisers, Operanation and the Fine Wine Auction, cannot take place as scheduled but will resume in our 2020/2021 season.

    Our two venues — the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre — will also remain closed for the foreseeable future. We will be contacting all spring ticket-holders directly regarding their options.

    In order to best serve the needs of our audiences at this time, we have developed flexible ticketing options for our patrons in response to these circumstances, as well as a number of ways to support the COC during this challenging time.

    As you can imagine, the COC and other arts organizations in Toronto are facing unprecedented financial challenges due to the effects of COVID-19 on our field and the global economy. Recent projections estimate that Toronto’s arts sector will lose substantial revenue now and in the coming months — a catastrophic setback for the cultural vitality of our city.

    Our first priority remains implementing every measure we can to safeguard the health of our staff, volunteers, artists, and audiences. In light of this significant financial impact, we are also taking active steps to plan our return to the stage.

    If you have tickets to our cancelled performances of Aida or The Flying Dutchman, please click here to learn about your options, including donating your ticket back to the company to provide critical support to the COC during this challenging time.

    If you do not have tickets to our spring performances, I respectfully ask you to consider making a donation to the COC or buying a gift certificate if it is within your present means to do so. You would be providing urgently needed support to our organization as we weather this difficult moment.

    I know it is hard to look beyond the day-to-day right now, but I look forward to when we can once again celebrate the triumphs of human creativity together. If you are ready to mark your calendars, please join me in eager anticipation of this moment come fall, when we will launch our monumental 2020/2021 season back at the opera house.

    This global crisis has made it clear how much we all must rely on each other for support especially - during this time of social distancing. As we navigate this situation, I cannot express how grateful I am that the COC has such a dedicated and passionate community. In this unprecedented moment, we need your support and investment more than ever.

    Sincerely,


    Alexander Neef
    General Director

    P.S. To help bring some joy and comfort while we practice social distancing, we are sharing some of opera's most moving and memorable pieces through our social channels with the hashtag #OperaAtHome, and we look forward to connecting with you throughout the spring and summer via email and on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
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