Just received (apologies of this has been posted on another thread)
A very warm welcome from me, Alex Beard, to this week’s Supporters' e-newsletter.
I do hope that you, your families and your friends are well and keeping safe.
These are such difficult times for so many. The health emergency, the profound economic impacts, and the suspension of our shared cultural life is a huge challenge across all society.
For the ROH community, we have been doing what we can to lift spirits on social media, share our work online, support parents and carers at home through Create and Learn, and donate PPE to front line carers, including the costume team busily making scrubs for the NHS at home. These are small gestures in the face of such a crisis, but we must all do our bit.
Your messages of support since we closed in March have been an inspiration to the staff and artists, and they mean a very great deal to us all. Thank you so much.
The current situation is probably the most serious threat that the ROH has ever faced. Your safety and that of all those who work with us is paramount, so of course it was the right thing to suspend performances. And it seems clear that we will not be able to return to the full and exciting schedule we had planned, for as long as social distancing is required to keep the virus at bay.
The challenge of sustaining our community of staff and artists through this is immense, with more than £3 out of every £5 in our income no longer there. But we are determined to get through it using all our collective imagination and determination.
We are managing the financial impacts as best we can. We are using the Government’s furlough scheme and 80% of the staff are now on it. We simply wouldn’t have been able to survive until now otherwise. In addition, everyone has taken a pay cut of 20% whether furloughed or continuing to work, other than those earning £30,000 or less whose pay has been protected, with bigger cuts from Music Director of The Royal Opera, Antonio Pappano, and myself. We are also saving every penny across all our budgets to eke out our limited reserves for as long as possible. Nonetheless, the costs of caring for a grade one listed building and our production facilities in Thurrock and Aberdare are significant and unavoidable. So, thank you all so much for your continuing generosity and commitment. It is more important now than ever.
This is the time when you should be going through the Season Guide and Magazine and making ticket choices for the autumn – deciding which ballets and operas you were going to see and whether your favourite seats were available on your chosen dates. I am deeply sorry that you cannot do so for the time being.
But I can assure you that we are working on plans to reopen in whatever capacity we can, as soon as it is safe to do so. We are exploring ideas about what we can present and how we can operate in a socially-distanced world, and what changes to our plans may be necessary. We will be in touch as soon as we can with more details. Thank you so much for your patience in the meantime.
Until you can return to our beautiful theatre, we will continue to present work through our new #OurHouseToYourHouse programme, with its weekly Friday streaming premieres, Antonio Pappano’s Saturday House Music series and so much more besides. Our Create and Learn programme for all those home schooling is inspiring thousands of families to be creative together. The public response has been overwhelming with well over 4m views so far, and heart-warming messages of thanks and encouragement including from so many of you.
Once more, thank you so very much indeed for staying with us, and I very much look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we safely can. Until then, stay safe and well.
All best wishes,
Alex Beard CBE
Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House
Keep reading to discover what's happening over the next week...
22 May 2020, 7pm BST
Next Friday, the much loved fairy tale Cinderella is brought to life in Massenet's Cendrillon. This magical opera stars Joyce DiDonato and will be available to watch for 14 days on Facebook and YouTube.
With warm thanks to
Season Principal Mrs Aline Foriel - Destezet,
the Royal Opera House Endowment, Susan and John Singer and all the supporters of The Royal Opera.
Create & Learn
For this week's Challenge of the Week, we are showing you how to make your own miniature snow machine, like the ones we use on our stage!
Find our more here.
Six new activities have just been released on our Create and Learn Platform. Check them out now!
Friday 29 May, 7pm BST
Cathy Marston's acclaimed production The Cellist will be streamed in two weeks time. If you missed its premiere in February then this is the perfect opportunity to see the inspiring story of Jacqueline du Pré told through the art of ballet.
5 June, 7pm BST
A collection of three one-act operas conducted by Antonio Pappano alongside an acclaimed cast, including Eva-Maria Westbroek and Ermonela Jaho.
La Fille mal gardée
12 June, 7pm BST
Frederick Ashton’s final full-length ballet, inspired by his love for the Suffolk countryside, stars Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez
The Magic Flute
19 June, 7pm BST
The Royal Opera’s spell-binding production of Mozart’s glorious opera features a wonderful cast including Roderick Williams as Papageno.