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San Diego Opera Plans More Adaptive Programming Following the Success of LA BOHEME

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An estimated 4,200 people attended the production throughout its run, which netted 'zero cases of COVID.'

San Diego Opera Plans More Adaptive Programming Following the Success of LA BOHEME

Riding on the success of its drive-in performance of La Boheme this past fall, The San Diego Opera is planning to continue adaptive programming to bring people together in the continued pandemic, Encinitas Advocate reports.

When the pandemic first hit, "we were struggling to try to find a way to stay connected with our audience," said David Bennett, general director of SD Opera since 2015. "We started off by doing a series of online programs so we could still remain close to each other."

Bennett was inspired by other, smaller drive-in concerts over the summer. "

Seeing that gave me an idea that that would be something we should try to explore," he said. "We knew our endeavor would have to be much larger than that."

The company then spent the following months in safety planning with the county department of public health and developed its plan to reopen with everyone's safety at the forefront.

Each singer had to be confined to their own 120 square feet of private space and they could not walk into one another's 8-by-15-foot "bubble." Everything, including rehearsals, took place outdoors, and audience members remained in their cars for the duration of the performance.

"We had a really fantastic audio designer who is very sensitive to mixing the needs of the live orchestra and all the singers," Bennett said. "It wound up being this very intimate experience inside of your car that's different from when you're inside a large theater."

An estimated 4,200 people attended the production throughout its run, which netted "zero cases of COVID," Bennett said.

He now says that SD Opera is "planning more drive-in opportunities this spring, yet to be announced."

Read more on Encinitas Advocate.


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