The Winspear Opera House in Dallas's Arts District is bright red on the outside, but dark inside. The Dallas Opera announced it is canceling the 2020-2021 season due to the pandemic.
"We absolutely are kind of just reacting to what is going on, particularly in Dallas County with the number of (COVID-19) cases," Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Ian Derrer said.
Derrer said putting on an opera is uniquely risky at a time when disease spread is high.
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"You are bringing together critical masses of people every single time you have a rehearsal," Derrer said. "When you're doing that many numbers of people and the caseload is as high as it is in Dallas County, it's just too fragile."
Shortly after the pandemic started in March of 2020 the Dallas Opera launched a social media channel to connect with fans and supporters. TDO Network features talk shows and cooking videos that showcase the hidden talents of opera performers.
"It's not safe to do the things we wanted to do, so we're gonna come up with something else," Derrer explained.
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The extended intermission is so there can be a second act when it's safe to gather again.
"It's a palpable feeling when you have an audience, and a cast, and an orchestra all sensing that they're on the same plane, that they're really feeding off each other's energy," Derrer said. "I can't wait for that again."
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.