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Opera House to close for 30 days

Rescheduled events announced

The front entrance into the theatre of the Fredonia Opera House. Submitted Photo.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center announced Tuesday it will close effective immediately through April 17, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes a day after NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people and mandates closure of movie theatres, restaurants and bars to any public attendance, and after Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek’s declaration closing the Village Hall building to the public for the next 30 days.

“We had hoped to continue to hold events by limiting attendance to 50% of our capacity in keeping with the Governor’s mandate of just a few days ago,” notes Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. “But we recognize the very fluid nature of the response to this pandemic, and agree that the health and safety of our employees and patrons is paramount, as is compliance with state and local mandates.”

All events and screenings scheduled between now and April 17 are either cancelled outright or are being postponed to a later date:

The Opera House Annual Meeting of Membership scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, will be rescheduled to a date to be determined in May. This will give the board and staff the opportunity to report to members not only on last year’s financial performance and the status of the Village grant projects, but also the impact this closure has had on the Opera House finances and operations.

This Friday’s “Idol Kings — A Tribute to Journey, Tom Petty & John Mellencamp” has been postponed to Oct. 9. All currently held tickets from the previous Oct. 25 date or for March 20, will be honored for the Oct. 9 performance.

An Evening with George Winston on April 15 has been postponed to Nov. 4. All currently held tickets will be honored for the Nov. 4 performance.

Takin’ it to the Streets Doobie Brothers Tribute on April 3 is uncertain right now. “We are working to reschedule this performance,” said Davis.

All scheduled movie screenings, including tonight’s screening of 1917, are cancelled and likely will not be rescheduled.

Stage on Screen Series events, such as the Bolshoi’s Swan Lake and National Theatre’s Cyrano, will be captured via satellite if possible, and rescheduled for a future date to be announced. All currently held tickets for any Stage on Screen event will be honored at the rescheduled performance.

Art & Architecture On Screen’s Easter in Art, on April 9, will be rescheduled to a future date yet to be announced.

Davis adds that “we currently are still planning to hold the 1891 Run for the Fredonia Opera House on Sunday, April 26, as scheduled. This is one of the Opera House’s primary fund-raisers for the year; and the funding we receive from it helps to fund our operations and programming.”

He notes that the revenue generated by this event is even more important this year, given the losses anticipated from this closure. Run brochures were sent out this past week and should have now arrived in patrons’ mailboxes.

“This year, more than ever, we appreciate those who register to participate and especially those who are not runners/walkers but who choose to register as a Virtual Runner with a donation to the Opera House.”

Opera House staff will continue to work throughout this closure and will be available by phone: 716-679-0891 (Administration) and 716-679-1891 (Box Office). You also can keep abreast of news and announcements by visiting the Opera House web site, and following it on Facebook and Twitter.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of Opera House events is available at www.fredopera.org.

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