Oglethorpe’s expansive Hermance Stadium will welcome the Atlanta Opera for a limited run of two operas. The Atlanta Opera will open its fall 2020 season in an innovative new open-air venue that celebrates a return to the stage, while prioritizing the health and safety of its audiences, performers, backstage personnel, and the campus community.
The Opera’s Molly Blank Big Tent Series will present Leoncavallo’s iconic Pagliacci performed in repertory with The Kaiser of Atlantis. Each production will have nine performances, alternating nightly, for a total of 18 performances. Both productions will be performed in Oglethorpe’s Hermance Stadium, beginning Oct. 22 and closing on Nov. 14.
The Big Tent Series will be performed in a custom-made tent without walls, allowing fresh air to move through the venue at all times while still providing audiences with protection from the weather. The venue will have capacity for up to 240 audience members, with socially distanced seating and masks required.
In addition to social distancing precautions, Opera patrons will be limited to the side of campus adjacent to the baseball field, significantly distanced from student housing, and will not have access to any campus buildings or additional campus grounds. Parking will be limited to the Schmidt/Dorough lot and only portable restroom facilities will be available to patrons.
Health and safety protocols and procedures were paramount and developed by a Health & Safety Advisory Task Force of epidemiologists, public health specialists, and doctors assembled to advise the Opera. The task force includes Dr. Carlos del Rio, distinguished professor of medicine at Emory University, and John Haupert, president and CEO of Atlanta’s Grady Health System and vice chair of Georgia’s Department of Public Health.
“I am thrilled we are able to provide a suitable venue to support a return of the performing arts, while maintaining our commitment to the health and safety of the campus community,” said Oglethorpe President Nick Ladany. “The planning and precautions set in place by the Opera are impressive.”
The beauty of fall brings pleasant temperatures to Atlanta and along with the autumn breeze, opera will be in the air. The Atlanta Opera will perform their reimagined 2020-21 season in an outdoor venue on the grounds of Oglethorpe University.