In response to the ongoing COVID pandemic, and its highly transmissible Omicron variant currently overwhelming our hospitals and endangering our neighbors, we have come to the extremely difficult decision to postpone all performances of Missing scheduled for Feb 11, 12 & 13, 2022 in the Sydney Laurence Theatre at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. With rehearsals set to begin in less than a week we cannot in good conscience add fuel to the fire running rampant among us. Many factors have driven this decision. Missing, which gives voice to the current tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), is a USA premiere, making it impossible to replace a cast or orchestra member should they fall ill, or have to quarantine due to an exposure, during what is an already tight rehearsal schedule. A multitude of community projects surrounding the opera are also in the works. Voth Hall was to serve as a space for opera attendees to view exhibits and informational tables from partner organizations, including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Native Movement, Data for Indigenous Justice, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Alaska Native Justice Center, and Native Peoples Action. Pre-performance traditional ceremonies and post-performance Talking Circles meant to connect the audience with Alaska Native culture and with the cast and artistic team of Missing were planned. Partnering with Alaska Airlines, Elders, survivors, and families of MMIWG from across Alaska were to be flown from regions across our state to attend a private performance with on-site grief counselors present. These projects, meant to raise awareness of the MMIWG crisis and promote healing for our Indigenous communities, now run the risk of endangering the health of all participants. “It would be the absolute worst irony if this Western European art form, telling their story, brought sickness or death to them” Timothy Long (of Muscogee, Thlopthlocco, and Choctaw descent), Conductor for Anchorage Opera’s Missing.
We are deeply saddened that we are unable to bring this powerful opera, hailed as an “extraordinarily moving and thought-provoking work…a milestone for the opera world…a healing journey in a magnificent mélange of singing, acting and music”, to our community as planned, but are working diligently to reschedule the production, hopefully with the same stellar artists, designers, and technical team.
As you may imagine, the postponement of this production impacts our company financially and the longer we wait to hit the brakes on it the more it would do so, with a high probability of having to postpone anyway, as COVID cases in our cast and team, necessitating quarantines of all exposed, and extending beyond the performance dates are very likely. We also feel we owe it to our Artists, Orchestra Musicians, Stage Directors, Conductor, Designers and Technical Team to compensate them in part. All of them cleared their schedules to perform with us, sometimes turning down other work, and all have already invested a great deal of time and effort in their preparations. They are our family, and we cannot leave them in the lurch. But this was not in our budget and these payments are in addition to their compensation when we reschedule our production. Our contractual rental obligations with the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts for the rehearsal period and performance dates must also be fulfilled.
As we work together to overcome this challenge, we’re humbled and grateful in the knowledge that our strongest asset is the continuing support of our community. We must do everything in our power to protect each other and honor our deep commitment to “Enrich. Inspire. Educate. Collaborate. Build Community, one note at a time”. You are part of our Anchorage Opera family, and we can’t wait to bring you the continuation of our 2021-22 Season of Healing, after this “intermission”, when it is safe to do so.
What are your options as a ticket holder?
- Hold on to your ticket – it will be valid for the rescheduled production
- Get a refund for your ticket – Contact CenterTix at 907-263-ARTS or centertix.com and they will gladly help both Season Subscription and single ticket holders Please submit your refund request here>>>
- Donate your ticket back to Anchorage Opera – your generosity helps us make magic onstage…and off
Please submit your ticket donation here>>>
If you are able, please consider an additional donation to help Anchorage Opera support our artists who continue to struggle with their livelihoods during the pandemic. Opera with all its ‘moving parts’, and opera singers in particular have proven to be one of the most efficient means of spreading the virus. Thank you for helping our artists survive to perform with us again. To learn more about the dedicated Artist Fund we’ve established for this purpose, please CLICK HERE>>>
We thank you for your understanding, empathy, ongoing patience, and support as we continue to weather the storm of this pandemic.
The Staff and Board of Anchorage Opera