ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — A difficult decision has been made to postpone the opera “Missing.” The opera about a missing and murdered woman is a play designed to bring healing to Indigenous communities, but now runs the risk of endangering the health of participants due to the omicron variant of COVID-19.
The Anchorage Opera announced last month that the decision had been made to postpone all performances of “Missing,” which were scheduled to begin later this week.
“It would be the absolute worst irony if this Western European art form, telling their story, brought them sickness or death,” said bandleader Timothy Long, who is of Muscogee, Thlopthlocco and Choctaw, in the press release.
The Sydney Laurence Theater typically seats 340 patrons. Now the theater will remain empty. Other theaters in the area require guests to show proof of vaccinations and wear masks for the duration of shows, but this decision was made in the best interest of the performers. Many performers have to be flown in, making it impossible to replace a cast or orchestra member if they fall ill or need to be quarantined due to exposure, according to the statement.
Voth Hall was also going to have exhibits and information tables from partner organizations, according to the press release. Elders, survivors, and families of missing and murdered Native women from across Alaska were to be flown in from areas of our state to attend a private performance with bereavement counselors present.
To make the decision even more difficult, the Anchorage Opera was contractually obligated to pay the performers and rental space from the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, which meant they had to spend $100,000 in cash. unbudgeted, said Judy Berry, marketing and development. director of Anchorage Opera.
Those who have already purchased a ticket can use it when the new dates are chosen, get a full refund, or donate the ticket to the Anchorage Opera House.
Berry said the organization will reschedule the performances.
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