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With so many performances canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s easy to imagine the distress of our local arts organizations. But it may be harder to imagine the distress of all the individual craftspeople, stage crew, stage managers, scenic designers, directors, singers, actors, dancers, musicians, etc. whose ability to work has also evaporated.

Technical Director Todd Jared shares his thoughts on how Opera Santa Barbara is providing an example for arts management during difficult times.

By the time Opera Santa Barbara made the decision to cancel their upcoming opera Romeo & Juliet–which was scheduled to start rehearsals Monday and open on the Lobero stage at the end of this month–a large group of such craftspeople and artists had already spent months on preparation with plans to receive a paycheck on opening night. And cancellation means no rehearsals, no performances … and no paychecks.

Bucking the trend of so many other arts organizations, OSB will be partially compensating all their contract artists, which is a very generous move by a small company. Thank you Kostis Protopapas and Opera Santa Barbara not only for recognizing the impact these cancellations have on people’s lives, but doing something about it.

This kind of generosity, mutual respect and cooperation in times of great distress is what makes the arts such a rewarding career for me and countless other creative people.

And thanks to a generous agreement with union stage crew to waive broadcast fees, OSB has plans to stream their most recent Lobero productions: Il Postino, The Crucible, and  Eugene Onegin on consecutive Tuesdays this month, making these performances available to a whole new audience.

Enjoy Opera on Tuesday nights from the comfort of your own home!