Pensacola Opera season opens Wednesday at Saenger with COVID-19 protocols

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola Opera will open up its 38th season at the Saenger Theatre in downtown Pensacola on Wednesday — its first performance indoors since the pandemic began.

The opera will open its season with performances of Carmen, “a passionate tale of a seductress whose heart leads to her demise,” according to a media release.

“In the ABCs of Opera, C stands for Carmen,” said Pensacola Opera’s artistic director Jerry Shannon.

There will be performances Jan. 20, 22, and 24.

Due to the pandemic, new protocols are in place to ensure the cast and crew avoid contracting COVID-19 and the show goes on.

Shannon said Monday singers and instrumentalists have isolated themselves, been regularly tested for the virus, and have had temperature checks daily.

Capacity at the Saenger has also been cut from 1,500 to 388 so patrons can socially distance themselves. Masks will be required inside the theatre at all times.

After a long and unusual rehearsal schedule through Zoom and other methods, Shannon said performing again on stage and in front of a crowd will be emotional for many members of the crew.

“The artists came in on Saturday and it was very emotional,” Shannon said. “They have not been in a theatre in 10 months. They have not been able to sing for a live audience or anybody else.”

Single tickets are now available with limited seating. There are also tickets available for the opera’s new streaming performance option.

Tickets for both in-person and the streaming performances start at $25.

To purchase tickets, call 850-433-6737 or purchase streaming tickets online at pensacolaopera.com

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