San Francisco Opera Cancels 2020 Fall Season

San Francisco General Director Matthew Shilvock. Photo by Kristen Loken

San Francisco Opera has announced they will be canceling their entire 2020 fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellations will include their Opening Night Celebration (September 11), Fidelio (September 12–October 1), Rigoletto (September 13–October 4), Così fan tutte (October 6–28), The Handmaid’s Tale (October 29–November 22), and La Bohème (November 15–December 6).

The decision to cancel the five operas in the fall 2020 season comes from the current guidelines and recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Matthew Shilvock, San Francisco Opera’s general director, announced the cancellation saying, “It is heartbreaking to have to make this announcement today. It will mean a full year without opera on the War Memorial stage and the loss of projects that would have connected powerfully with our world today.”

San Francisco Opera plans to return with the planned spring 2021 season which will include The Barber of Seville (April 25–May 16) and Der Zwerg (April 27–May 15). The opera company will also continue offering virtual events and digital content through their website as part of their Opera Is ON programming. 

Due to the fall performance cancellations, the renovations of the War Memorial Opera House, which were originally planned to take place May–August, 2021, have been rescheduled for this fall. This will allow for the possibility of offering more performances and other events next summer, when it is safe for the public to return. 

San Francisco Opera has asked ticketholders of the fall 2021 season to consider contributing their ticket purchases as a donation or receiving a gift certificate for the value of the tickets to assist the opera during these financially difficult times. Refund information is also available on their website.  

Opera is ON programming can be found on San Francisco’s website.