Houston Grand Opera cuts 70% of season, will stay closed until April 2021

Mon Jun 29, 2020 at 11:03 am
Wagner’s Parsifal is among the casualties of Houston Grand Opera’s cancellation of most of its 2020-21 season due to Covid-19. Photo: Robert Kusel

Houston Grand Opera has cut 70% of its scheduled performances for the  2020-21 season due to continuing concerns about Covid-19. That includes cancelling the fall productions of Carmen, Werther, and the world premiere of The Snowy Day, as well as the Parsifal and Cinderella slated for January 2021.

The company will remain shuttered until next April when it will present Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves and The Sound of Music.

The cancellations total 33 out of the previously scheduled 47 performances.

Patrons and subscribers who hold tickets for the 2020–21 season will have their full subscriptions applied automatically to the 2021–22 season. Tickets to Breaking the Waves and The Sound of Music will be made complimentary. 

Because of the extended loss of revenue, HGO has reduced its workforce by 27%—a first in the company’s history. All staff remaining at HGO will have a 15% pay reduction, or have their hours reduced beginning July 1 and continuing through February. The combination of savings will reduce the FY21 expenses from $30,730,707 to $20,658,665.

“Many people depend on HGO for their livelihoods, and this was not an easy decision to make,” said artistic and music director Patrick Summers in a released statement. “We are thankful to have a strong board and patron base that will help us get through this upcoming season and remain financially sound,”

“The arts are transformative and provide an impactful and moving experience. Now, more than ever, the Houston community needs the arts to help it process and heal, and that is not lost on us. We will continue to find ways to connect with our beloved audiences, even if we cannot physically be together.”


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