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kbarber

Fall 2020 cancellations

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5 minutes ago, YouOverThere said:

Any idea how long before a production a company has to make financial commitments?

That's an interesting question, but I don't think there's a single answer.  Some companies (co)-own or have shares in the theater and others rent.  And from whom a company rents can make a big difference.  For example, Seattle Opera owns at least part of McCaw Hall, while PNB rents.  But if it's a government-owned theater (or stadium), or university-affiliated, there can be a different kind of flexibility than if it's a commercial, privately owned venue. Plus there's the issue of whether the front-of-house staff is unionized and/or contracted to the theater, and, similarly, if there are exclusive concessions contracts. 

There also may be different answers, if the company tours or performs in multiple venues (big and small/studio theaters) or performs in multiple cities (LA Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Alberta Ballet).

They'd also have to bring back in the performers with enough time to rehearse, and there are significant differences in contracts. We've also seen concessions by unions to allow all of the free streams across all art forms, and each company would need to negotiate the terms of return for dancers and, if we're lucky, musicians. 

It also may make a difference that the arts are primarily non-profit charitable organizations.  Commercial ventures might be insured for cancellation by the government, and might wait until the last minute to cancel after they've put down the deposits.  Or, if they're not insured, they may wait until they have to put down substantial money before making the decision.  (For many professional organizations, a single huge conference per year is their Nutcracker.)  So I don't know if they provide any clues.

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Houston Grand Opera has canceled its season through February 2021:

 

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FYI:  I said nothing about masking but here's my view:  I live in a state that has a state-wide "face coverings" mandate. I obey laws.  So I obey that law and my employer requires it as well.  I live in an area with less than 2% infection rate.  I don't believe they are needed. But I obey that law.  Mostly, however, I don't shop inside stores or go to resturants. 

Health care settings and settings that civilians work in are very different.  N95 masks are actually carefully fit in hospital settings. I have a friend who is an RN and fits employees. 

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Posted (edited)

Atlanta Ballet has just announced it is cancelling its Fall season and doesn't expect to return to the stage for regular "series" performances until February. I remain a little confused as to whether they are still hoping to have a Nutcracker season: 

https://www.atlantaballet.com/news/2020-2021-season-update

For now, I am in an increasingly "hot" hot spot and very much wish there were a state-wide "face coverings" mandate here. There is not. Mostly I work from home but it's proving not always possible...Tomorrow I have to go into my workplace because of a computer problem. Not happy about that--and I don't think the tech person I'm meeting with is all that happy either....(We will both be masked.)

Edited by Drew

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7 hours ago, Drew said:

For now, I am in an increasingly "hot" hot spot and very much wish there were a state-wide "face coverings" mandate here. There is not. 

The sad truth is we need an effective national policy and surely won't get one in 2020. I once thought a trip to Miami next year would be worth considering to see the Ratmansky reconstruction of the Petipa Swan Lake. I'd love to see Ib Anderson's company in Phoenix, especially their Balanchine rep. I've never seen the Houston Ballet but had them on my "to-do" list depending on rep they announced. Now, I can't imagine visiting any of those states next year as I watch the irresponsible behavior of their politicians and citizens. I'm sure their local business and cultural leaders are painfully aware of the impact this is having on their tourist trade. 

Colorado has done a good job trying to get a grip on this pandemic and our governor has been terrific in leading the way. But we keep suffering from invasions of tourists from neighboring (red) states that are quite irresponsible. Last February tourists apparently brought COVID to Aspen and Vail, so we had some of the earliest outbreaks. Now they're bringing it to their summer homes in the Rocky mountains. I hope we are back to "normal" in 2021 (whatever that is), but I'm not optimistic. And I wonder how long these companies can sustain themselves financially -- and sustain us with video streaming. 

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Vancouver Opera, which recently has performed one opera each in Fall and winter and two during a spring festival, has cancelled its entire 2020-21 season and has rescheduled the productions and moved all subscriptions to the 2021-22 season.

I received this via email just now.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/25/2020 at 11:37 AM, balletforme said:

I live in an area with less than 2% infection rate.  I don't believe they are needed. But I obey that law. 

The entire point of wearing the masks, washing hands, wearing gloves, etc. is to keep the spread rate way down. Waiting for high infection rates to occur in your locality and then reacting to it by donning masks only helps slow the spread - finally, but all the people already infected will just be out-of-luck. And unfortunately the testing in the US has been rather haphazard - so we can't possibly know on a weekly basis how each individual is doing, and who is a current carrier and how many people have they been in close contact with, yada yada. There are scientific models that help estimate things, but these are of course are only estimations based on piecemeal data.

from The Economist:
"The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. Some 10m people are known to have been infected...

The worst is to come. Based on research in 84 countries, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reckons that, for each recorded case, 12 go unrecorded and that for every two covid-19 deaths counted, a third is misattributed to other causes. Without a medical breakthrough, it says, the total number of cases will climb to 200m-600m by spring 2021. At that point, between 1.4m and 3.7m people will have died. Even then, well over 90% of the world’s population will still be vulnerable to infection—more if immunity turns out to be transient."
 

On 7/1/2020 at 11:56 PM, Drew said:

Atlanta Ballet has just announced it is cancelling its Fall season and doesn't expect to return to the stage for regular "series" performances until February. I remain a little confused as to whether they are still hoping to have a Nutcracker season: 

https://www.atlantaballet.com/news/2020-2021-season-update

For now, I am in an increasingly "hot" hot spot and very much wish there were a state-wide "face coverings" mandate here. There is not. Mostly I work from home but it's proving not always possible...Tomorrow I have to go into my workplace because of a computer problem. Not happy about that--and I don't think the tech person I'm meeting with is all that happy either....(We will both be masked.)

I hope your trip into the office was uneventful, Drew.

I recommend that all ballet companies raise funds to film performances in empty theaters. And then offer online subscriptions to these digital performances. It's the only way to get money coming in for performances, and expand the audience at the same time, that doesn't involve seating 3000 people in a theater. This approach would be good for p.r. and marketing of the company as well. To make that happen though, will require some things:

1) Medical/healthcare staff to monitor everyone involved in productions. The medical staff would likely need to keep track of who is participating, and when they enter/leave the premises.
2) Special funds for employing a professional video team - a video team that is willing to be checked by medical staff each day, and wear effective masks and gloves while they are around the dance company.
3) Company staff, artists and musicians will have to submit to close monitoring, and obviously have to follow the local regulations regarding group gatherings during the pandemic.

It would likely be a situation in which participants in the productions are either at home, or they are at the studio and theater with the same group of people, wearing masks and washing hands as necessary, but removing masks for filming the performances (musicians may have to change to face shields rather than masks depending on their instruments). And company staff will be asked to spend as little time as possible at other venues (restaurants, gyms, any place where the public gathers) while preparing for performances and filming the performances, or else there's no easy way to track where infections are originating. It's going to be a cloistered world for the artists, and many of the rest of us.

Edited by pherank

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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2020 at 11:31 AM, California said:

City and state governments in the US are in desperate straits financially. Expect many more cuts in programs considered "expendable." The NEA/NEH funding is so miniscule, we hope they survive but they don't have the resources to bail out arts and higher education. 

New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs budget  for the coming fiscal year has been reduced by just under 11% to $189 million. (It was $212 million last year.) Frankly, I'm surprised the cuts weren't more drastic given the city's current and anticipated revenue shortfall and the need to re-direct funding to help those communities that have been hardest hit by covid-19.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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