Fall Cancellation FAQs

Why are you cancelling the fall season?

Over the past months, we have been carefully reviewing our options for the fall season, studying government mandates, tracking research on the safety of performing, and evaluating our audience’s comfort level with returning to the opera house. Government mandates in San Francisco are such that live performance with audiences will not be permitted until a therapeutic drug is in circulation, and we know that over 60% of our audience does not plan to return to the Opera House until there is a medical solution. After reviewing the interplay of these factors, the management and board of the Opera have made the very difficult determination that we must cancel the fall season.

What performances and events are being cancelled?

We are cancelling all performances of Fidelio, Rigoletto, Così fan tutte, The Handmaid’s Tale, and La Bohème scheduled to be performed September 12–December 6, 2020. Additional events canceled include the Opening Night Celebration concert, Adler Fellows’ showcase The Future Is Now, and Opera in the Park. San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Guild’s benefit events celebrating the opening of the Company’s 98th Season — Opera Ball, Opera Supper, and BRAVO! CLUB Gala — have also been canceled. The Opera and the Guild are currently in discussions about finding alternate, virtual ways to celebrate the traditional opening weekend and will announce further information later this summer.

Will you bring any of the Fall 2020 Season productions scheduled back in another period?

We hope to find homes for our new productions of Fidelio, Così fan tutte, and The Handmaid’s Tale in future seasons — they are all operas that speak to the creative potential of San Francisco Opera.

Will you reschedule Opening Weekend events including Opera Ball, Opera Supper, and BRAVO! Gala?

San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Opera Guild, co-producers of Opera Ball, are currently in discussions about finding alternate, virtual ways to celebrate the traditional opening weekend and will announce further information later this summer.

Will you reschedule Opera in the Park?

The Company is committed to returning to live music as soon as possible, in whatever way is safe for our artists and audiences. We are evaluating various scenarios, including the feasibility of outdoor concerts, and will share more information as it becomes available.

I have tickets to the fall season. What are my available options?

Fall 2020 Season ticketholders may go here to contribute the value of their tickets as a tax-deductible donation, receive a gift certificate for the value of their tickets, or obtain a full refund. Donations are particularly helpful to San Francisco Opera during this difficult time. The Company extends its gratitude to all its patrons for their understanding and ongoing support.

Will this be tax-deductible and will the value count towards membership benefits?

Yes, your donation will be processed as a tax-deductible gift to the San Francisco Opera Annual Fund, and a tax acknowledgment will be mailed to you. Any value you donate will be counted toward our fall fundraising efforts and will be eligible for membership benefits.

If I choose to turn my funds into a gift certificate, what can I apply it towards?

You can use your gift certificate to purchase performance tickets, subscriptions, or memberships. Gift certificates can also be used towards donations. Gift certificates never expire and can be redeemed online or over the phone.

When and how will I receive my gift certificate?

Your gift certificate will be emailed to your email address associated with your primary account within 60 days of making your selection. If you do not have an active email address, you will receive a hard copy in the mail.

Can I receive a refund from the Opera for my tickets?

We are happy to offer ticketholders a refund if that is the option that works best for them. To receive a refund, please indicate your choice online here. The Box Office will call you to confirm a valid payment method to receive the refund before processing.

When will I receive my refund and how?

If you made your selection before July 15, 2020 you will receive it by August 15, 2020. If you make your choice after July 15, 2020, you will receive your refund within 60 days.

Am I able to donate part of my tickets and apply the rest towards a gift certificate or receive a refund?

Yes, you can indicate how you want to split your funds online here. Any amount that you are able to donate is truly appreciated.

By when do I have to make a decision about my ticket funds?

You have until May 16, 2021 to decide how you would like to use your funds. If we do not hear from you by May 16, 2021, we will automatically process a refund check and mail it to you.

I purchased parking for the fall season through San Francisco Opera for the Performing Arts Garage or UC Hastings Garage. What are my available options?

If you purchased parking through the Opera, you may opt to donate your parking funds or receive a refund. If no request has been made by May 16, 2021, we will refund you. Please note this does not apply if you received complimentary parking as a Medallion Society member.

I have tickets to Opera Ball. What are my ticket options?

Patrons who have purchased tickets to Opening Night events including Opera Ball will be able to make a donation or receive a full refund. Ticket holders will be contacted soon for how to indicate their choice.

Who can I talk to if I have questions about my tickets, subscription, and/or donations?

Our dedicated Box Office and Development teams are currently working regular hours remotely. The Box Office team is available to assist patrons by phone at (415) 864-3330, Monday 10am–5pm and Tuesday–Saturday 10am–6pm. Please note we anticipate extremely high call volume and ask that you make your selection online at sfopera.com/fall2020 rather than over the phone if possible. You may also email [email protected].

Please note, the Box Office windows located at 301 Van Ness Avenue remain closed in accordance with the public closure of the War Memorial Opera House & Performing Arts Center.

The Development Office can be reached at (415) 565-3212 to make contributions by phone. For questions about membership levels and benefits, contact [email protected] or (415) 565-6416.

When will the Company resume performances?

San Francisco Opera expects to return to the War Memorial Opera House stage for the Spring 2021 Season as planned. Opening on April 25 and running through May 16, the season includes Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, the Company premiere of Alexander Zemlinsky’s rarely performed Der Zwerg, and three concerts starring Lianna Haroutounian and Iréne Theorin with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. We are also exploring other scenarios to return to live music as soon as possible, in whatever way is safe for our artists and audiences.

Are single tickets on sale for the operas and concerts in April and May 2021?

Tickets for The Barber of Seville, Der Zwerg, and concerts starring Lianna Haroutounian and Iréne Theorin with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra are currently available on subscription only. Single (non-subscription) tickets will go on sale in the fall.

I am a subscriber to the 2020–21 Season and as part of my subscription have tickets to the performances in April and May 2021. When will I find out about my seating assignment?

Current Spring 2021 Season ticket holders will be contacted later this summer regarding their seating locations.

What is San Francisco Opera doing to make the Opera House safer when performances resume?

The War Memorial Performing Arts Center has convened a committee of representatives from San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and San Francisco Symphony to formulate plans and preparations for a safe return to the Opera House in line with government regulations and emerging thinking across entertainment venues. Additionally, the Company has been collaborating with a team of healthcare experts from UCSF on COVID-19 related safety issues. As we get closer to re-opening the Opera House we will be in touch to share specific steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety.

How can I help the Company?

Donations are deeply appreciated and needed at this time as we work to sustain the Opera through this crisis. Gifts can be made at sfopera.com/donate or by calling (415) 565-3212.

Donations of the value of fall tickets are also tremendously helpful to the Company and can be made on our website at sfopera.com/fall2020 or by calling the Box Office at (415) 864-3330.

What kind of alternate programming are you going to offer?

The Company is dedicated to doing everything we can to bring opera to life in other contexts, whether digitally or live in other venues, as government mandates and critical issues of safety allow. We will share more with you as those projects take shape.

Are you continuing to stream?

Yes! We will continue to stream archive productions with free access to the public Saturday through Sunday through July 2020. Subscribers and donors will continue to receive access to the streamed titles after their window of public access. View the upcoming schedule and learn more about stream.

What kind of digital content is San Francisco Opera creating?

Virtual events and new digital content will continue to be featured through the Company’s Opera is ON platform, launched in April 2020 to foster continued connections with the San Francisco Opera community and share great artistry worldwide. A digital venue for engagement with opera featuring streamed productions from the Company’s archives, Spotify playlists, regularly refreshed content including articles and blog posts, and new musical performances, Opera is ON is a resource that will continue to expand over the coming months.

What kind of digital educational content is being created?

The Company’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Community (DEC) has moved many of its education and community programs online. Click here to see upcoming programs including the weekly lecture series Opera Aficionado.

San Francisco Opera Guild has also moved many of its award-winning education programs online to continue serving its constituents. Click here to see upcoming programs.

Is the seat replacement project still taking place?

Due to the current situation, which caused the cancellation of all performances in the War Memorial Opera House from March 7 to the present time, the Opera, San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco War Memorial have agreed to reschedule the final phase of the War Memorial Opera House seat replacement installation previously scheduled for May–August 2021. The rescheduling will allow for the possibility to keep as much performance activity as possible in the Opera House once it is safe to re-open to the public. Click here to read about the seat replacement project.