Portland Opera Updates Its Attendance and Ticketing Policies in Advance of In-Person Performances During the Pandemic

The company will require full proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry.

Performance J2J Songs for African Violet SINGING VIOLET: Leah Hawkins performs in Songs for the African Violet, a song cycle in Portland Opera’s new streaming concert. (Photo courtesy of Portland Opera)

If you plan on attending a Portland Opera production during the 2021-2022 season, prepare to be carded.

The company has updated its attendance and ticketing policies in order to try to enhance the safety of in-person performances during the pandemic. That means ticket holders will be required to show full proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for entry into the three theaters used for shows over the next several months.

Portland Opera also plans to accept negative results from a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR), also known as a molecular test, which detects the presence of the virus’s genetic material. Those tests must be taken within 72 hours of performance time.

Once inside, attendees are required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking in permitted areas.

While the list of requirements may sound as arduous as making it through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, the company says it’s necessary in order to even attempt to host live, in-the-flesh performances again while remaining committed to safety.

“Our patrons have stood by us through so many heartbreaking cancellations, postponements and changes as we navigate COVID-19,” Sue Dixon, Portland Opera’s general director, stated in a press release. “We care deeply about the wellbeing of our entire community. This policy update is a reflection of that care, and this decision is rooted in love for our community in crisis.”

For now, children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to attend performances since they cannot yet be vaccinated. Portland Opera says it plans on working with families and educators to improve access to digital content in the meantime.

In addition to the new regulations, the company is rolling out flexible policies for ticket exchanges and refunds for anyone who purchased seats prior to the COVID updates, or those who may test positive in the future.

This season’s first performance—Puccini’s Tosca—is scheduled for Oct. 29 and will run through Nov. 6.

But if that feels like too long of a wait for a goosebump-inducing libretto, Portland Opera will take part in the Oregon Symphony’s upcoming Waterfront Concert and Festival. After a four-year hiatus, now might be the best time to revive the popular open-air event, given the hunger for gatherings combined with the ongoing risk of cramming people indoors.

On Sept. 4, the community is invited to watch the entire Oregon Symphony play a range of music—from the Star Wars score to Beethoven’s second movement from Symphony No. 7. Oregon Ballet Theatre will perform the Grand Pas De Deux from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. Portland Opera will offer a selection of songs from Showboat, vocals courtesy of members. The event is free to attend.

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