Dallas Opera Cancels Spring 2021 Performances

The Dallas Opera announced Wednesday that its March and April subscription performances are canceled amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Full-scale operas are expected to resume at the Winspear Opera House in February and March of 2022 for the 2021-2022 season.

Subscribers who bought season tickets for the now-cancelled season will be moved to the 2021-2022 season, retaining their preferred seats at no additional cost.

“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,” Ian Derrer, the Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal general director and CEO, said. “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.”

Derrer said that while the mainstage season will not begin until February 2022, the Dallas Opera is in the middle of planning a series of live outdoor opera events, as well as some socially distanced recitals in the Winspear that will take place in late spring this year.

“We want to return to the Winspear with a collection of grand opera favorites that we know will thrill our audiences,” Derrer said. “With Madame Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, and The Pearl Fishers, that is what we will accomplish. The season will also include the TDO premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Flight, a crowd-pleaser that takes place in an airport terminal: it’s a story about identity and connection that’s sometimes very funny and always fascinating.” And, he continued, “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.

After being postponed in June 2020 because of the pandemic, the reconfigured 2020/2021 Season was to have begun on March 5, 2021, with the world premiere of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, composed by Joby Talbot with libretto by Gene Scheer; followed by Verdi’s Don Carlo, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; and Puccini’s Tosca.

Plans were in place to present the season in specially produced, 90-minute presentations that allowed for social distancing for both the performers and audience members, with myriad other safety precautions in place in the theater. 

 “But the current COVID situation makes even this modified plan untenable,” Derrer said. “Now, we must focus our efforts on bringing full-scale opera back to the Winspear in 2022.” Derrer said. “The time needed to assemble an entire season of fully staged operas with internationally renowned casts our audiences expect makes opening the mainstage season earlier than February of 2022 an impossibility.”

Derrer said that the world premiere of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly will now happen in the 2022-2023 season.

Subscribers will be contacted in the coming weeks regarding their options to transfer their previously purchased subscription seats to the new 2021-2022 season, with the opportunity to add to their series with the Joyce DiDonato “VIVA DIVA!” concert on May 10, 2021.

Subscribers are being accommodated for the 2021-2022 season, with subscription sales for the general public opening May 17, 2021. Subscribers can find more information on The Dallas Opera’s website.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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