The New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) Board of Directors, which is run by President Dwayne O. Littauer, decided on November 11 to make adjustments to the winter and spring schedules to comply with social-distancing guidelines and to prioritize the health of the staff, artists, and audience members. Subscribers to the NOOA were notified shortly after the board's meeting.
General Director Clare Burovac, the company's first female, commented on how grateful this opera organization was to their subscribers, as they are able to re-envision shows, while other opera companies were forced to shut down entirely. "We are incredibly grateful to our entire subscriber and donor community," Burovac stated. "Thanks to our supporters, we have been able to adapt our artistic programming for these ever-changing times."
The NOOA, currently in its 78th season, wishes to have people connect through their love of opera and the performative arts; therefore, they aim to produce high-quality operas, both classic and experimental. During the pandemic, the NOOA has been there for the community by hosting a virtual singing competition for regional high school students, presenting three concerts with limited seating, and hiring a COVID officer. The NOOA will even be hosting two masterclass sessions with two notable opera singers.
In a time when it is especially important that citizens feel connected to one another, the NOOA has created an inventive schedule that accommodates social-distancing guidelines and virtual experiences.
Only three shows from the winter and spring schedule were cancelled: Beethoven's Fidelio, Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Aside from these exceptions, New Orleans Opera has adapted the schedule to include not only live performances, but also digital ones.
The digital performances include a collaboration with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) and a recital with highly esteemed tenor Bryan Hymel, widely known soprano Irini Kryiakidou, and pianist and Artistic Director of Opera Louisiane Michael Borowitz. The dates of these concerts will be on New Orleans Opera's website in early 2021.
The live events
include Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium on
March 19 and 20,
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess on April 30 and May 1, and an "Opera on Tap - In on Yard!" series in April.
"We are excited to be able to offer these performances and programs even under the challenging circumstances we all face," Burovac added. "It is important that we continue to find creative ways to share the beauty of live opera, while being mindful of the health and safety of everyone in the greater New Orleans community."
As the popular and iconic theater phrase reminds us, the show must go on!