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Bach event canceled, Fredonia Opera House run moved

Pictured is Grant Cooper, the conductor for recent Bach & Beyond events.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center announced the impact of the continued COVID crisis on two annual events – the 1891 Run and the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival.

The 1891 Run, a 5K Walk/Run usually held in late April, has been rescheduled for July 18-31. The Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival has been canceled for 2021, according to Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis.

The 1891 Run, which serves as an annual fundraiser for the Opera House, will be held in a virtual format again this year. “This means that race registrants will have the option of running the race on their own schedule during the two-week run period and running either the official race course or one of their own design.”

More information on registering for the race is forthcoming. “Our biggest challenge in presenting the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival,” says Davis, “is housing and feeding our musicians. We rely on the generosity of our supporters to host nightly dinners for all the musicians; and those musicians who come from out of town spend the week living in the homes of supporters.” It’s the only way the Opera House can affordably present the Festival, he adds.

Davis says that although the number of people in our area who have been vaccinated is steadily rising, people are not yet comfortable opening up their homes to boarders. Similarly, some of the musicians expressed resistance to this type of housing arrangement.

A recent informal survey of Opera House patrons also identified a reluctance to attend in-theater events in the near-term. “More than a quarter of survey respondents say they would not return to the theater until fall, with another third indicating it would be mid- to late summer for them,” says Davis.

“We explored other options such as postponing the festival until later in the summer, using all local musicians, and even presenting a smaller festival. But each presented its own list of additional challenges.” All of this led Davis and Festival Director and Conductor Grant Cooper to conclude that the best course of action would be to cancel this year’s festival. The entire program planned for what would have been the 25th Festival will become the program for 2022, which will be held on June 10-12, 2022.

Anyone with questions about these or any future Opera House events may contact the Opera House Administration Office at 679-0891. Patrons also can keep abreast of news and announcements by visiting the Opera House web site, and following it on Facebook, Instagram 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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