Savonlinna Opera Festival Postponed to 2021
Following the Finnish government's ruling regarding events in summer 2020, this year's Savonlinna Opera Festival has been postponed until 2021 to help control the coronavirus epidemic. The programme scheduled for 2020 will be performed in Olavinlinna next year instead. Any tickets already bought or reserved will automatically be valid for summer 2021 performances. The decision means considerable financial losses to the festival. What's more, the festival team is concerned about the livelihoods of artists and staff as well as the entrepreneurs of the Savonlinna region, for whom the Opera Festival has represented a crucial source of income. "Nonetheless, we have to put the health of our audience, staff, and local residents first," says the festival's General Director Jan Strandholm.
"The government ruling regarding summer events couldn't be clearer, and the Opera Festival board made its decision accordingly. As painful as this feels, it was the right thing to do. The festival is an iconic summer event that brings nearly 70,000 music lovers to Savonlinna every year. During the festival, we employ 1200 people," says Chairman Petteri Walldén.
Tickets already bought or reserved for summer 2020 will be moved to summer 2021, and they will guarantee seats for next year's performances. The new performance dates will be announced soon on the Savonlinna Opera Festival website, with all ticket holders also contacted directly. The festival programme will be moved to next summer in its entirety, though some changes to the performances and cast are likely. The Opera Festival will announce such changes separately, once further details are available.
"We will look after our customers and aim to minimise any inconvenience to them. Right now the best advice we can give is to follow the latest instructions on our website, operafestival.fi/en. If the new date in summer 2021 isn't suitable, we will find another solution. Our entire festival team is truly sorry about the postponement. The festival programme for summer 2020 would have been fabulous, and the audience had already shown great interest towards it. We will do our utmost to ensure a wonderful operatic summer for 2021," says General Director Jan Strandholm.
It's estimated that postponing the festival by a year results in up to 2 million euro in lost revenue for the festival.
"The Opera Festival plays also a key role in the economy of the entire Savonlinna region, bringing in 40 million euro every year. Moving the festival is a terrible financial blow, which leaves both the festival and its wider stakeholders in need of state aid. I'd like to make a plea to decision makers to help ensure the continuation of the Opera Festival," Walldén says. The Opera Festival management have already been in touch with various parties to secure our future."
The Opera Festival has been organised every summer since 1967. "Now more than ever, we need to pull together as a community," Jan Strandholm continues. "I wish that, if government recommendations allow, our friends will still take a holiday in the Savonlinna region this summer, even though we can't celebrate the Opera Festival. That would be important to local restaurants, cafes, shops and other services. I hope they can make it through and create holistic opera experiences with us next year, too."