Scottish Opera Coronavirus update for 2020/21 Season

A note from our General Director Alex Reedijk:

Dear Friends,

It has become clear to us at Scottish Opera that, because of the continuing uncertainty around convening large gatherings due to Covid-19, it will simply not be possible for us to present our large-scale Autumn 2020 production. This was planned to take place at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness and His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen.

Our preparation work would be due to commence very soon, and given the on-going requirements for social distancing it is simply not safe for this work to begin yet.

Alongside this, the Scottish Government plan has Scotland’s theatres and concert halls reopening in Phase 4. This is the point when the virus is no longer considered a significant threat to public health and mass gatherings can resume in line with public health advice.

At present, we are continuing with plans to present our Spring 2021 large-scale production but, as you might expect, there will continue to be a level of uncertainty around the feasibility of that for some time yet.

We are working closely with our venues, as well as representatives of the wider theatre industry in the UK, to look at the practicalities of rehearsing and performing so that we can get back to doing what we do best in the safest way.

I want to let you know that we are doing our very best to support the entire Scottish Opera family over these months, making best use of the UK Government Furlough scheme whilst it is available, and our grant in aid to provide all of our makers, crews, orchestra and administrative team with financial support as well as offering financial assistance to our chorus, creative teams and singers.

We are now actively exploring an alternative plan of activity for the autumn which may include a combination of digital and smaller live outdoor projects. We were delighted to hear from audience members who completed our Act 2 Audience Survey and are in support of these ideas.

76% are telling us that you are already enjoying online content, with 92% overall looking to do so in the future.

93% of you are willing to consider attendance at outdoor events. (Look out for branded umbrellas at an event near you!).

As you might imagine this is quite a change for our organisation, but a challenge we are genuinely relishing, and I look forward to sharing our digital and outdoor events with you shortly. The next digital event will be shortly with the premiere of our first Opera Short The Narcissistic Fish  on Thursday 18 June.

We are as frustrated as you to not to be making and experiencing live performances, and assure you we will be back in our rehearsal rooms and theatres as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Kindest wishes

Alex Reedijk