Tacoma Opera presents
by Gilbert & Sullivan
Late last week, I regretfully had to cancel our Spring opera, Iolanthe, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a decision that I was very reluctant to make because it puts so many wonderful artists, musicians and production personnel, the people that are the heart and soul of our company, out of work for the time being. But with the mandates from the Governor’s office about the pandemic and our genuine concern for the health and safety of the personnel in the production and our patrons, it was the only course of action we could take. As a community and a nation, we suddenly find ourselves in very uncertain times and are facing challenges that many of us have never had to face before. But with the cooperation and effort of everybody in these difficult times, we, as a community, will get over this pandemic together. Of that I’m certain. Therefore, I am now optimistically announcing our exciting 2020-21 Season.
We start off the season with Iolanthe, which we were supposed to present this Spring and all the wonderful artists we hired for the production will be joining us again! It’s the perfect way to start the season. It’s charming, whimsical and great fun for the whole family. (Please Note: If you already have tickets for Iolanthe, don’t worry. We’ll make sure your tickets are transferred to the Fall.) Then in February, we’re presenting Giuseppe Verdi’s all-time great opera, Un ballo in maschera, or The Masked Ball in the beautiful Pantages Theater. It is one of Verdi’s best operas, right up there with La traviata and Rigoletto. It’s a Tacoma Opera premiere and the first time it’s been performed in the area since 2002! Then to cap off the season in the Spring, we’ll be presenting one of the most important operas ever written, Christof Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, or Orpheus and Euridice. Why is this such an important historical opera? Because it was a game changer. By the time this opera premiered in 1762, opera had become a mechanical and stale artform. Orfeo changed all that and led the way to Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini and all the fabulous operas of the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s a great opera and a great way to end a great season!
Tacoma Opera is being proactive during the pandemic and we’re not just sitting on our hands and waiting for the pandemic to end. We have a wonderful video library of past productions that we will be posting on YouTube – operas like The Magic Flute, The Threepenny Opera, H.M.S Pinafore and more. We’re also going to be posting on YouTube some mini recitals with some of our favorite local artists and doing interviews with some of the people behind the scenes in opera. Finally, one of our Board members has devised a fantastic online coloring challenge for kids, which will give them something fun to do while the schools are closed. It’s about an opera loving Octopus family and believe me, it’s a hoot! We’ll be sending out more details in the coming weeks as our plans evolve, so stay tuned. In the meantime, stay safe, take care of yourselves and practice social distancing!
Noel Koran General Director Tacoma Opera