Bay Area ferry riders already adjusted to new hygiene and security protocols on their journey into The City, will no doubt welcome the same vigilant standards set by The San Francisco Opera.
The company’s new season will be a transitional year, temporarily offering a reduction in the number of operas and performances to ensure a safe return to the stage. Rehearsals and performances for the three fall productions are scheduled in succession rather than overlapping as in a typical repertory season. This provision, along with other protocols, allows maximum flexibility as the Company and audiences navigate this early period of emergence from the pandemic shutdown. The summer of 2022 will bring the return of repertory presentations (multiple operas presented each week) and in 2022–23 the Company will celebrate its centennial with a full repertory season.
To ensure the health and safety of audiences, artists and employees, comprehensive front and back-of-house safety protocols—developed in partnership with a team of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) physicians led by epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford—will be in place.
During the initial return to the Opera House, inclusive of all Tosca performances, San Francisco Opera has enacted the following policies which the Company will continue to monitor and evolve. For complete details and updates, visit sfopera.com/safetyfirst.
- Upon entry, patrons will be required to show proof of full vaccination (defined as two weeks after final shot; paper or electronic/photo documentation).
- All patrons will be required to wear a face mask while attending performances.
- Safety protocols include enhanced cleaning practices and availability of hand sanitizer stations throughout the building. Ventilation systems in the War Memorial Opera House meet Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. All front-of-house and backstage employees will follow rigorous safety protocols including a vaccination requirement.
- The Box Office will seat one production at a time.
- Tickets must be purchased in advance either by phone or online; at this time, tickets are not available for in-person purchase.
- All ticket exchange fees are eliminated for the current season. Exchanges will be accepted up to two hours before the performance.
- For a touchless experience, tickets will be delivered digitally (print-at-home and mobile). In lieu of printed program books, a digital program will be available.
- The Opera is working with the War Memorial and Global Gourmet to offer concessions to patrons, including limited food and beverage service. Plans for pre-opera talks are being developed. More information will be available soon.
NEW SEATS, ACCESSIBLE SEATING AREAS AND IMPROVED SIGHTLINES
The completed final phase of the War Memorial Opera House seat replacement project, begun in 2013 with the Box and Balcony sections, will be unveiled when the house reopens. All seats within the Orchestra, Grand Tier and Dress Circle sections have been replaced, improving comfort and sightlines within the historic Beaux-Arts theater that serves as home to San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet. The completed project also includes new accessible seating areas, furthering the commitment of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center and its two resident organizations to maximize accessibility for all patrons.
While preserving the historic integrity, beauty and acoustics of this cultural landmark, the new custom seats replace seats that were original to the 1932 building and introduce enhancements such as greater leg room and the latest in ergonomic support. For more information, visit sfopera.com/seatupgrade.
SIMULCAST AND LIVESTREAMS
On Friday, September 10, opera lovers, baseball fans and tens of thousands of Bay Area citizens will have the opportunity to celebrate Eun Sun Kim’s arrival as music director together in Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. In partnership with the Giants, Live and In Concert: The Homecoming will be simulcast live from the Opera House to the ballpark’s 71-foot high x 153-foot wide videoboard as the Company’s 13th free Opera at the Ballpark. The Bay Area community is invited to experience this beginning to an exciting new chapter for opera in San Francisco while seated on the baseball field or in the stands at this beloved al fresco event. Registration will open later this summer. For more information, visit sfopera.com/ballpark.
Along with returning to the War Memorial stage, the Opera will share two of its fall productions from Eun Sun Kim’s inaugural season beyond the walls of the Opera House. Offered for the first time in Company history, a livestream option for select performances will enable audiences to experience San Francisco Opera from anywhere in the world. Virtual tickets are available for $25 to livestream the following performances: Fidelio on October 14, 17 and 20; and Così fan tutte on November 21, 23 and 27. For more information, visit sfopera.com/online.