NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Metropolitan Opera announced Wednesday that is is canceling the entire 2020-21 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials said the decision was based on the advice of health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center.
"Because of the many hundreds of performers who are required to rehearse and perform in close quarters and because of the company's large audience, it was determined that it would not be safe for the Met to resume until a vaccine is widely in use, herd immunity is established, and the wearing of masks and social distancing is no longer a medical requirement," a statement read. "Health officials have said this will likely take at least five to six months after a vaccine is initially made available. We want nothing more than to get back to creating operatic magic as only the Met can, but the safety of our company and the audience we serve must come first."
The Met's 2021-22 season is set to open September 27, 2021, with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard's "Fire Shut up in my Bones," the first opera by a Black composer to be performed at the Met.
The Met also continues its commitment to bringing opera to audiences even while the stage is dark.
The free Nightly Opera Streams will continue through the entire closure, including the Met Stars Live in Concert series featuring opera's greatest stars performing live from striking locations around the globe and transmitted via satellite in HD quality.
The value of any tickets you purchased for the 2020-21 season will automatically be credited to buyers' Met Opera accounts within the next 10 days.
Any on-account credit from the 2019-20 or 2020-21 season can be donated or used to purchase tickets to the 2021-22 season, or you may request a refund at any time, including after the dates of your canceled performances.
Customers can take the following actions by calling Met Customer Care at 212-362-6000, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
--Help the Met by donating the value of your credit to help the company through this financially perilous time.
--Use your credit to purchase tickets to the 2021-22 season.
--Request a full refund to your original method of payment.
Officials warn they are currently experiencing a high volume of inquires and long wait times.
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