Campus, Coronavirus, News

‘Così fan tutte’ opera cancels final performances due to COVID-19

BU Opera performance canceled, covid
A sign announcing the cancellation of Boston University Opera’s performance of “Così fan tutte” this past weekend. The opera’s final two performances were canceled April 22 after a wind player tested positive for COVID-19. COURTESY OF ADITHYA IYER

The final two performances of  “Così fan tutte” — a two-act opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — were canceled Saturday morning after a wind player tested positive for COVID-19.

“With an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, we decided we have to cancel because of the close contact protocols that the University has in place,” said Oshin Gregorian, managing director of the College of Fine Arts Opera Institute.

“Così fan tutte” debuted April 21 at the Tsai Performance Center and was scheduled to close Sunday night. The opera included 23 students in the cast and chorus, 13 on the production team and a 37-student chamber orchestra.

Following the positive COVID-19 test, both the Sunday and Saturday performances were canceled.

However, the Thursday and Friday performances were as “smooth as we could have hoped for,” Gregorian said, adding the shows received standing ovations.

“It was everything you could ask for. The students were happy, faculty was happy all week,” Gregorian said.

In order to include as many students as possible, the opera was double-casted — meaning each role was filled by two students alternating on Thursday and Friday.

“That’s the silver lining,” Gregorian said. “We’re so thankful that our students got to each have a performance.”

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise recently with the University recording 198 positive cases last Wednesday — the highest single-day number since the omicron surge in January.

Olivia Schurke, a first-year master’s student in CFA who sang the role of Dorabella, said she was disappointed with the cancellations but understood the precautions taken.

“I feel lucky that we even got to do one performance because we are still in COVID times and all the singers were unmasked,”  Schurke said. “I feel lucky that we were able to stay healthy during this and to even have one performance is truly a blessing.” 

The Saturday and Sunday shows were replaced with a livestream “encore” performance. The first encore aired Sunday and the second is set to air Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” is the second performance from the Opera Institute this spring. The first, titled “If I Were You,” took place in the Joan & Edgar Booth Theater Feb. 24 through 27. 

Schurke said she was “very happy” with how Friday night’s performance went.

“Everyone just had such high energy. It was so tight musically, and everyone put in 110%,” Schurke said.

Web Chair Molly Farrar, Senior Newswriter Anna Vidergar and Contributing Newswriter Ruhika Ponda worked in the opera. They were not involved in the reporting nor editing of this article.

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