Resident Professional Company of the College of Wooster

31 March 2020

The flowers that bloom in the spring … we welcome the hope that they bring! The Mikado


In coordination with the College of Wooster and Ohio Light Opera’s Board of Directors, we have been monitoring for several weeks the spread of COVID-19 and, in response, are heeding the recommendations of the State of Ohio, health organizations, and civil authorities.  With heavy hearts, but blooming optimism for the future, Ohio Light Opera (OLO) announces the postponement of its 2020 summer festival season scheduled for June 13–August 8.  Next summer, between June and August of 2021, we plan to present the full 2020 schedule of repertoire and performances.

For 41 years, on the College of Wooster campus in Wooster, Ohio, OLO has embraced the very best of the lyric theater tradition.  With almost 150 show titles, over 300 fully-staged productions, and more than 750,000 patrons, the Ohio Light Opera has become the forerunner in promoting both the established masterpieces and neglected gems of operetta and classic musical theater. The company’s contribution to the preservation and promotion of this genre has received recognition in prominent national and international publications, and its work is frequently cited by leading scholars.

This decision to postpone the season is unprecedented in our company’s history.  OLO is unlike many summer companies. With close to 20,000 patrons each year, ticket sales account for the significant majority of the company’s operating budget, one reason that we present so many performances (57) each summer.   The season repertoire and total number of performances are delicately balanced to optimize ticket revenue while supporting OLO’s mission.  The present disruption is putting tremendous pressure on our ability to forecast ticket demand.  Added to this reality is our deep concern for those longtime patrons who travel from around the world to attend our festival.  Right now, they are reluctant to plan their summer through advance ticket purchasing.  The difficult choice to postpone the 2020 summer season provides more stability for our company and patrons, thus ensuring our unique mission for the next 40-plus years.    

Please be assured that this postponement will only add anticipated excitement to the 2021 summer festival season.  OLO has weathered many storms.   We carry with us 41 years of support from the College of Wooster, the City of Wooster and Wayne County, and all of our committed local business partners.  We all look forward to welcoming our devoted audiences to our community as we anticipate the first 2021 performance on the Freedlander Theatre stage.  

Our dedicated administrative staff will be fielding your calls and emails moving forward.  Ticket holders may choose to donate the value of their tickets to the company as a tax-deductible gift to the Ohio Light Opera (College of Wooster), receive credit for tickets for the 2021 season, or elect to receive a full refund.  You will be receiving another email in the next several days with details.  Please note that the entire OLO staff is operating remotely, and there may be slight delays in response time as we work to address all messages received. We ask for your continued patience as our team navigates this process and implements next steps.

As always, we are immensely grateful for your unparalleled commitment to Ohio Light Opera. You have embraced our mission and for that we thank you.  Like many other performance companies, we need your support, understanding, and generosity, now and throughout the coming year.  Please seriously consider donating your tickets.  We wish you and yours good health as we all navigate these uncertain times.   

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