COVID-19 Changes

Date: April 21, 2020
Contact email:
Organization: Festival Opera
Phone: 925-944-9610

Dear Friends of Festival Opera, 

In this time of crisis and upheaval – as worldwide casualties from COVID-19 continue to unfold – it has become clear that plans for the remainder of Festival Opera’s 2020 season must be reimagined.

I remain hopeful that our highly anticipated triptych of works by Jake Heggie will be presented in August, and I am pleased to announce a second performance has been added to this production. Performances will take place August 21st and 23rd at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. The remaining two recitals in our Artist Recital Series will be presented in September and October at the Piedmont Center for the Arts. Details for all of our events are available on our website at

The high standards for performance and preparation of our artists, chorus, dancers, sets, and costumes would make a July production of Bizet’s Carmen extremely difficult under current conditions. Therefore, this exciting new production is being rescheduled to our 2021 season. This Carmen will be a celebration of collaboration, as we join forces with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, and as young artists from surrounding High Schools and Universities add their voices to the outstanding Festival Opera Chorus. While it’s a painful reality to bear today, rescheduling our Carmen is absolutely the right thing to do for our future. Above all, the health and safety of Festival Opera’s artists and patrons makes this shift in programming imperative.
We are proud to maintain our commitment to artists at a time when their engagements – and the financial stability they provide – are disappearing. Festival Opera looks ahead to creating beautiful operatic experiences for all, as we play a vital role in the healing and togetherness of the Bay Area region. We are indeed grateful for the collaboration and support of our artists and sponsors, who are seeing us through this challenging time with an overwhelming showing of strength and community.

I look forward to seeing you in the theatre as soon as it is safe to gather, and I wish us all health and strength as we continue to shelter-in-place. 

Zachary Gordin
Artistic Director