American opera has suffered enormous hardships since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced an immediate termination of live performances and normal operations. Nonetheless, artists and organizations responded to the crisis with extraordinary ingenuity, devising new ways of presenting opera and using the field’s extraordinary resources to keep the art form alive.
New Venues, New Ideas
Forced out of their traditional performing venues, companies came up with innovative solutions for producing opera in unexpected places, generating a new kind of excitement in their stagings of live opera.
Lights, Camera, Action!
With the mounting of live opera out of reach, a number of organizations set their sights on the digital realm, initiating projects that took their creative teams into previously unexplored territory.
Artists at the Forefront
Facing an imposed hiatus from normal performing activities, some of the field’s most prominent singers launched online projects, directly bringing their activities and their ideas to computers, tablets, and smartphones worldwide.
Streams of Consciousness
Preexisting filmed performances became a valuable resource during the pandemic. A number of companies dipped into their archives to offer streamed opera, maintaining their connection to their established audience, widening their geographical reach, and forging bonds with new followers.