Like most companies, Moon River’s original plans for our 2020 season went out the window faster than you can say “pandemic” once Covid19 reared its ugly head in the states. We were reeling for months, trying to figure out how to keep our baby company afloat and, more importantly, stick to our mission of making opera fun again. Could we keep our season as planned? That seemed ill advised. Did we have to go strictly online, like most of the bigger companies were planning to do? We hoped not- one of the blessings of being such a small company with a much smaller audience than, say, your average Met production was that we might be able to work something out. So, after many careful and considerate discussions with our artistic team, our board, and physicians who know much more about this virus than we do, we came up with a happy compromise. Fewer productions than planned, with smaller crowds to comply with the city of Savannah’s acceptable gathering size, while still offering the certain sense of normalcy, access to the arts, and community feeling that we all so desperately need in today’s topsy-turvy world. But we’re not foolhardy- though we believe the show must go on, we’re making sure to take precautions!
What that means for Improv Opera II is a rethinking of how to interact with you (our most very favorite thing!) safely. We’ll be asking you all to bring your masks, let our onsite healthcare professional swipe your forehead, and spread your picnic blankets six feet apart from each other. But we’ll still be getting you in on the act in fun, new ways. And that extra space requirement for social distancing? Lead us to a marvelous new venue- the Savannah Botanical Gardens!
For our Gala Mask-erade coming this October, it meant a retheming of the entire event on top of similar protections to IO II. We’ll still be bringing you a glamorous night of drinking, noshing, socializing, silent auctions, and new compositions by local composers. Only now the dazzling mask we’ll ask you to don on top of your finery will cover your mouth instead of your eyes. (Though we won’t keep you from wearing both- plenty of us certainly will be!)
And for our production of Gianni Schicchi this December? Well, we go retro! Come see our prerecorded production from the comfort of your own car, as we share this classic piece of the opera repertoire with y’all drive in movie-style. Though we’ll be sad not to be in a theatre with you, keep an eye out for a few more surprises we’ve got coming with this not-to-be-missed production!
All of these plans- plus those for our rehearsals- have been run past a physician. It would break every last one of our hearts if even one percent of you all- or our singers- suffered a negative outcome from our performances. Savannah is our home and we want to protect it as much as we want to fill it with music. We truly believe that the guidelines we’ve set will allow for a safe, incredibly entertaining season.
With all that being said, if you still don’t feel safe coming out to play, we’ll miss you until next season! Don’t worry- you’ll be able to hear some of your favorite MRO singers, as well as heaps of amazing, new talent, in our augmented online Youtube series. But if you’re looking to stick your toes into the live-performance waters, we’ll be doing everything we can to keep you safe!