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Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera Scrap Fall Seasons Due to Coronavirus

The Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera have canceled the fall portions of their 2020-21 seasons due to the new coronavirus.

The Lyric Opera eliminated four of its 10 productions and delayed opening night from Sept. 17 to Jan. 16. San Francisco canceled five of seven stagings and delayed opening night from Sept. 11 to April 25. Twenty-six performances were canceled in Chicago and 37 in San Francisco.

Lyric general director Anthony Freud said Tuesday he hopes to reschedule the missed stagings for future seasons: a double bill of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci;” what was to have been the North American premiere of George Benjamin’s “Lessons in Love and Violence;” Puccini’s “Tosca;” and Verdi’s “Attila.”

The season now is set to start with the Chicago premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s “Blue” at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The main auditorium, where renovation continues during the pandemic, is to open Jan. 23 with Saint-Saëns’ “Samson et Dalila.”

San Francisco will reschedule the last phase of seat replacement at War Memorial Opera House, which had been slated for May to August 2021. San Francisco’s eliminated stagings include new productions of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and Mozart’s “Così fan tutte,” the West Coast premiere of Poul Ruders’ “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and revivals of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Puccini’s “La Bohème.”

Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)” and Alexander Zemlinsky’s “Der Zwerg (The Dwarf)” remain scheduled for next spring.

San Francisco general director Matthew Shilvock hopes to reschedule “Fidelio,” “Così” and “Handmaid’s” for future seasons.


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