Summer Cancellation FAQs

We are devastated to have to cancel our Summer 2020 Season (June 7–July 3, 2020) due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. 


Below is a list of frequently asked questions around the cancellation. If you have any additional questions, please call the Box Office at (415) 864-3330.

What performances are being cancelled?
We are cancelling all performances of Ernani, Partenope, and The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs scheduled to be performed June 7–July 3, 2020.

If performances don’t begin until June, why are you cancelling now?

We have been looking closely at the health information shared at local, national, and international levels. With California curves now expected to peak in mid to late May (at the height of our rehearsal period) and the impact self-quarantine requirements would have on our artists coming to San Francisco, we have determined that it would not be possible to mount the summer season this year. The health and safety of our audience, artists, and staff is paramount. It is imperative that we do what we can to prevent the spread of the virus.

Producing an opera season is a complex interplay of many facets that all need to be prepared in advance – costumes and wigs need to be built, scenery needs to be adapted, large groups of artists and musicians must come together from various locations across the globe, and dressers and singers must work in close proximity to each other. These are just a few of the situations that would be impossible under the current restrictions. After reviewing the interplay of the health situation, the logistical needs of mounting an opera season, and the very likely slow rebuilding of public gatherings, the management and board of the Opera have made the very difficult determination that we must cancel the summer season.  


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

We currently do not have plans to reschedule these three productions in a future season, but we are thinking flexibly and creatively about the future as we learn more about the world that we’ll be emerging into. We’re looking at all scenarios, and it’s not impossible that one or more of these titles might play a role in the future. At the moment, however, it is too early to say.  


What kind of digital content is San Francisco Opera creating? 

Opera is ON is designed to bring comfort, joy, and music to our audiences during the COVID-19 crisis. This new online initiative was launched on April 1, 2020 and features new and archival content for the public to explore and engage with opera during the shelter-in-place. New content includes our “Odes to Joy” series, daily videos featuring San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows (and eventually, other San Francisco Opera artists) performing short songs and arias. Other content includes Spotify playlists, posts on the Company’s blog, curated videos and music clips from our digital archives, and more. While features will be added in the days and weeks ahead, current Opera is ON highlights include:


  • “Odes to Joy” musical performances by the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows, with personal dedications. #odestojoy.


  • Spotify playlists curated by the Company’s leadership, including General Director Matthew Shilvock, Music Director Designate Eun Sun Kim, and Managing Director: Artistic, Gregory Henkel.


  • Blog articles contributed by members of the Orchestra, Chorus, production artists, and administration.


What kind of digital educational content is being created?

Faced with school closures and restrictions on gatherings, the Company’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Community (DEC) is moving its education and outreach efforts online. Its professional development training sessions for teaching artists and classroom teachers are streamed live on Facebook and will be available on-demand to educators. Additional online programs and DEC content for Opera is ON will be announced at a later date. 


San Francisco Opera Guild has also moved many of its award-winning education programs online to continue serving its constituents. Teaching artists and students are meeting and collaborating in the digital space for Book to Bravo!, Voices for Social Justice, Sing a Story, and Opera Scouts and Madrigals programs. The Summer Conservatory Opera Camp, currently scheduled to begin July 6, is preparing for online programing if current social distancing measures are extended.


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

Summer Season ticketholders may go here or contact the San Francisco Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330 to contribute the value of their tickets as a tax-deductible donation, exchange the value of their tickets for a currently scheduled future mainstage performance, place the ticket value on account for future mainstage ticket purchases, 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.


Ticketholders have until May 16, 2021 to decide how they would like to use their funds. Any remaining on-account balance after this date will be automatically processed as a refund check and mailed. 


I purchased tickets through TodayTix or another affliated third party. How can I receive a refund?

If you purchased tickets through TodayTix or another affiliated third party, please contact that organization to receive a refund.


I would like to donate the value of my tickets to San Francisco Opera. 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 towards 2020–21 Season membership benefits.


If I choose to keep my ticket money on account, what can I apply it towards?

You can use your on-account funds to purchase a subscription or individual tickets to the 2020–21 Season or donate the funds to San Francisco Opera as a tax-deductible gift. You can also use the funds to upgrade a current subscription order for the 2020–21 Season or hold your funds until 2021 to purchase a subscription to the 2021–22 Season.


On-account funds are held through May 16, 2021. Any remaining on-account balance after this date will be automatically processed as a refund check and mailed to you. 


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 you. To receive a refund, please call the Box Office at (415) 864-3330, open Monday 10am–5pm and Tuesday–Saturday 10am–6pm.


Am I able to donate part of my tickets and leave the rest on account or receive a refund?

Yes, you may call the Box Office at (415) 864-3330 Monday 10am–5pm and Tuesday–Saturday 10am–6pm to distribute your ticket value as you wish.


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

If you purchased parking, please call the Box Office at (415) 864-3330, Monday 10am–5pm and Tuesday–Saturday 10am–6pm, to receive a refund or donate the funds to the Opera. Please note this does not apply if you received complimentary parking as a Medallion Society member. 


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. 


Whom 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. Ticketholders may also go here to select their preferred ticketed option, or email [email protected]. Please note, the Box Office windows located at 301 Van Ness Avenue remain closed in accordance with the amended shelter-in-place order through at least May 3, 2020.


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.


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, and, thanks to a generous grant from Ann and Gordon Getty, all new and increased gifts are currently being matched dollar-for-dollar. Gifts can be made here or by calling (415) 565-3212.


Donations of the value of summer tickets are also tremendously helpful to the Company and can be made here or by calling the Box Office at (415) 864-3330.


Subscribing to the 2020–21 Season is one of the best ways you can support the Company, and you can elect to use the value of your ticket funds from the summer cancellation to purchase a subscription.


Does this impact the 2020–21 Season?

As with many other entertainment organizations, we are grappling with questions of when we will be able to get back into our venue and of how comfortable audiences will feel gathering once we are allowed to return. 


On June 16, 2020, General Director Matthew Shilvock announced with a heavy heart that we have cancelled our fall 2020 season. For more information, please visit 2020.


Although we plan seasons years in advance, we have a company of extraordinary professionals who routinely solve complex, intractable problems as we work to bring opera to life. We are very confident that, once we know the parameters within which we are able to work, we will adapt accordingly and do everything possible to bring beautiful opera back to our community as quickly as possible.  


Does Royal Danish Opera’s cancellation of The Handmaid’s Tale, which was slated to premiere May 1, impact the Opera’s fall presentation of the work?

The fall 2020 season has been cancelled and we are looking into options for this production, but we do not have additional details at this time.