Curtain closes

Opera in the Heights Bids Adieu to Fall Productions

The spring repertoire is still moving forward in the wake of furloughs and salary cuts.

By Emma Schkloven July 28, 2020

Elizabeth Baldwin as Tosca and Kenneth Stavert as Scarpia in Opera in the Heights' 2019 production of Tosca.

And we’ve lost another one—another show that is. Over the weekend, Opera in the Heights announced the cancellation of its fall productions as COVID continues to menace the Lone Star State. The change includes the cancellation of its October performance of Il Trovatore and the postponement of its 25th anniversary All-Star concert (a new date has not been announced).

Unfortunately, the opera’s weltschmerz doesn’t end there. The company also announced it has furloughed nearly half its staff and cut the salaries of its remaining employees by 25 percent. “This is the hardest part, knowing how our talented and devoted team members have poured their hearts into the company and have made it their livelihood,” Artistic and General Director Eiki Isomura, who is among those taking a pay cut, said in a statement. “We strive to bring our staff back to full force as soon as possible with the help of our supporters.” The painful news is by no means limited to Opera in the Heights; fall is quickly becoming a wash for Houston performing arts, with everyone from Houston Ballet to the Alley Theatre to the Houston Symphony announcing changes.

While the loss of its fall repertoire has made for a dour start to the company’s silver anniversary season, Opera in the Heightshopes still seem to be springing eternal. In place of its fall schedule, the company plans on presenting a series of short-format digital performances and pop-up, outdoor performances. Opera in the Heights is also planning to stage its previously announced productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and Le nozze di Figaro as open-air concerts this spring.

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