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Arizona Opera calls off 'Ariadne auf Naxos' performance

Arizona Opera calls off 'Ariadne auf Naxos' performance

From the Tucson-area coronavirus coverage from January to March: Nearly 1,300 cases in Arizona, stay-at-home order series

It probably should come as no surprise given the events of the past week, but on Monday, Arizona Opera’s General Director Joseph Specter made it official: The company was canceling its season finale, Richard Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos.”

It would have been the first time the company, which mounts operas in Tucson and Phoenix, would have staged the work in more than 25 years.

The cancellation was in reaction to COVID-19, the highly contagious virus that has put the world in a tailspin. Pima County has four confirmed cases while the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is nearly 5,000. Eighty-seven Americans had died as of Monday.

“Our organization’s first concern is for the health and well-being of our artists, our staff, our audiences, and our community,” Specter wrote on Arizona Opera’s website. “For this reason, as painful as it is for everyone involved, we stand fully behind the guidance of the White House and the leadership of our state in order to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.”

The cancellation followed a week of cancellations including Tucson Symphony Orchestra, which called off its weekend concerts with violinist Paul Huang, and True Concord Voices & Orchestra, which postponed its March 29 performance of Bach’s B minor Mass — the first time the professional ensemble performed the masterpiece in 11 years.

“Now more than ever, we must rally together to ride out what will undoubtedly be a difficult and challenging period in our country’s – and our state’s – history,” Specter said in the statement.

Ticketholders can get a refund, but Arizona Opera, like most of its fellow nonprofit arts groups, is asking people to consider exchanging the ticket for a future performance or donating the refund back to the opera.

Arizona Opera also canceled all of its events including its fundraising Bravo Dinner that was scheduled for April 7.

For information on refunds, visit

{p style=”color: #000000; font-family: tahoma, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”}{span style=”font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 16px;”}Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch{/span}

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