To our dearest friends,
We write to you today with the news that, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, we are forced to cancel our 2020 Summer Festival.
This is particularly difficult to share with you now, on the eve of our 100th anniversary celebration. At this moment, however, the trajectory of the pandemic is unknown. Public orders currently prevent our artists, production crews, and staff from safely assembling to prepare for our season, a process that begins months in advance of opening night. We have followed guidance from public health experts while maintaining hope that we could move forward, but it is now clear we are not able to do so. With the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of public gatherings, it is our responsibility to act in favor of the continued well-being of our audiences, artists, staff, and community.
Like many other professionals, those who make their living performing and producing art have been directly impacted by this pandemic. And while we are heartbroken to have lost the opportunity to showcase their remarkable artistry this year, we are equally concerned about their well-being. That’s why we are committed to providing a level of compensation to all of the nearly 400 professionals who appear onstage and work backstage to make the season happen—from singers and musicians to stage technicians and craftspersons. We are also committed to keeping our extraordinary year-round staff intact.
We invite you to help support this effort by donating the value of your 2020 tickets back to Cincinnati Opera. The Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation, Nanci Wilks Lanni & Nick Lanni, and Barbara Wilks have generously established an Artists Relief Matching Gift Fund to match all ticket donations dollar for dollar. By choosing to donate the value of your 2020 tickets, you will provide important relief to our community of artists and ensure the longevity of the company. As a special thank-you for your tax-deductible donation, you will receive recognition and benefits for the value of your gift during our 2021 season.