Overture Center for the Arts suspending performances through end of November

Resident companies announce changes, alternatives to fall season
Overture Center
Photo by Overture Center

MADISON, Wis. — To help save costs, Overture Center for the Arts is suspending performance series and in-person programs through the end of November.

According to a release, the financial impact of the pandemic will be in the millions. Leadership evaluated options aimed at financial preservation.

“The uncertainty of this pandemic means that we need to consider several short- and long-term scenarios as we make our plans. We need to be nimble, yet we must be positioned for success. We are doing everything we can to secure a positive future for Overture and our employees,” Overture Center Board Chair, Betty Harris Custer, said.

Last week, Overture announced they have reduced staff by 60% for the summer.

The release said many touring shows are not traveling around the country this fall, so Overture will not have a season this fall. There will be no performances through the end of November, the release said. Information about Overture’s resident companies’ plans for the fall are listed below.

Organizers are looking at the possibility of holiday programming in December, following city, state and national guidelines.

To also save costs, Overture Center has suspended the search for a new CEO and reduced or eliminated overhead expenses whenever possible.

“We are very grateful to our employees, our patrons and subscribers for their support to weather the past three months,” said Chris Vogel, COO of Overture Center. “We know that more support will be needed moving forward, and fundraising will continue to be essential during the Intermission to meet our responsibilities and mission to the community.”

Ticketholders will be contacted regarding individual performances and options for shows that change.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra said in a statement that they support Overture Center’s decision to suspend performances and in-person programs. WCO will be changing some of their programming for fall 2020. Some of those changes include postponing the December Messiah performance to December 2021 and not holding the Madison Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at the Overture. There is a possibility for alternative performances of “The Nutcracker.” The Nov. 20 Masterworks concert will move to April 2022.

Madison Opera

The performance of Verdi’s “Trovatore” will not take place in early November. They will be hosting a fall season from September through December through digital content and live performances at the Margaret C. Winston Madison Opera Center. The company is preparing for its digital “Opera in the Park” performance, which will be available starting July 25.

Kanopy Dance

Kanopy is delaying the 2020-2021 season, including the winter show, Winter Fantasia, until spring 2021. Kanopy has also migrated the Kanopy Dance Academy’s classes to a digital format.

Madison Symphony Orchestra

All Madison Symphony Orchestra and Overture Concert Organ performances will be canceled through January 2021. They will be looking at alternative programming opportunities. If there is an opportunity to restore any of the concerts to the schedule, the MSO is hoping to do so.