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Opera North Embraces Social Distancing in Reimagined Summerfest2020, Rescheduled for August 1, 6, and 8

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Opera North Embraces Social Distancing in Reimagined Summerfest2020, Rescheduled for August 1, 6, and 8

Over the last ten weeks, Opera North's board and leadership have worked to assess how to salvage their Summerfest 2020 season, its 38th, while protecting the health and safety of the company, artists, musicians and the community.

The solution they reached is that Opera North will produce two family-friendly, outdoor concerts at their Blow-Me-Down Farm location (in partnership with the National Park Service) in Cornish, NH. The musicians, spaced at least six feet apart, will perform from a 60'x40' stage under a bandshell tent to an open-air audience who are sitting on the lawn in "patron pods" or in their cars. Both programs are designed to appeal to all audiences. Thanks to generous donors, admission to these performances in August will be free:

· Bluegrass and Broadway on Saturday, August 1, featuring Opera North General Director Evans Haile (pianist) 2 singers, and local bluegrass performers.

· Mozart's The Magic Flute on Thursday, August 6, and Saturday, August 8. Presented in a concert format, the performance will be sung in English and feature a cast of 10 singers with a 24-piece orchestra conducted by Louis Burkot, Opera North Artistic Director

All performances will start at 6pm and last approximately 90 minutes (with no intermission). Capacity at Blow-Me-Down Farm for each performance will be limited to allow for maximum physical distancing. The company will adhere to New Hampshire's Universal Guidelines for all Employers and Employees. All patrons and staff will be asked to wear face coverings. Performers will wear face coverings when feasible.

"Considering all possible options for Summerfest this year meant determining what Opera North's audience and advocates expected," said Evans Haile, Opera North General Director."Board members personally called every 2020 season ticket buyer to ask them directly," Resoundingly, we heard them express a hunger for live music and the fervent desire to come together as a community, with a new emphasis on outdoors performances and appropriate physical distancing."

Tickets are available at Opera North has been in frequent communication with elected officials and is an active member of the arts sub-working group of the New Hampshire Task Force on Reopening the Economy as the Governor's Reopening Task Force worked to create guidelines for different sectors of the economy. Governor Sununu announced on June 11th that performing arts venues will were permitted to open, in accordance with physical distancing guidelines, starting on June 29.

"Opera North will likely be one of the few companies in the U.S. actually producing live opera with orchestra this summer, thanks to our unique outdoor venue at Blow-Me-Down Farm" noted Louis Burkot, Opera North Artistic Director. "The healing power of Mozart's music will be especially poignant and meaningful this summer for both performers and audiences alike."

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