What to Expect at Seattle Opera In-Person Events
In the spring and summer of 2021, we began to hold our first in-person events since the start of the COVID pandemic. Audience safety is a critical part of our reopening plan and we know it's very important to you too. Throughout the pandemic, safety of our artists and staff has been our first priority. In our 2020/21 digital season, our artists and crew worked more than 150 days in person with no workplace transmissions. We will approach our audience safety plans with that same care.
It is difficult to predict today what every safety procedure may look like over the course of the next year. At a minimum, we will always follow guidelines outlined by the CDC, state and local public health officials and we are likely to have protocols that exceed what is required. If you are concerned about how these protocols will affect your subscription tickets please carefully review the frequently asked questions below.
Safety protocols will change and evolve regularly. Please check this page before you come to an event. As of September 8, 2021, here is what you can expect at our events.
- Audience members will be required to be vaccinated for the 2021/22 season for all performances and public events held indoors beginning September 1. Seattle Opera will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or proof of a negative COVID-19 test for exempted persons) for audience members at all public events at McCaw Hall and the Opera Center (see more details below).
- Masks will be required at all Seattle Opera events for the entire 2021/22 season regardless of vaccine status.
- Seattle Opera employees are required to be vaccinated.
- Masks are required at all times for the entire 2021/22 season regardless of vaccination status except while eating or drinking in designated areas.
- Audience members will be required to be vaccinated for the 2021/22 season for all performances and public events held indoors. Beginning September 1, Seattle Opera will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or proof of a negative COVID-19 test for exempted persons) for audience members at all public events at McCaw Hall and the Opera Center.
- Children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 12 hours of the performance start time.
- Opera Center programs designed for youth will not require vaccination.
- The following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination (for persons over the age of 12):
- Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date last dose administered).
- A printed photo of the attendee’s vaccination card.
- A photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device.
- Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider electronic health record or state Immunization Information System record.
- Fully vaccinated means that your final vaccination was more than 14 days prior to the date of your performance.
Self-reported vaccination records that are not verified by a health care provider cannot be accepted.
- The following are acceptable as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (for children under 12 and those with religious or medical exemptions):
- Printed document (from the test provider or laboratory). The information provided should include name of person tested, type of test performed, and date of negative test result. The date of the test must be within 72 hours of the performance start time for PCR tests, or within 12 hours of the performance start time for an antigen test.
- An email or text message displayed on a phone or electronic device from the test provider or laboratory. The information provided should include name of person tested, type of test performed, and date of negative test result. The date of the test must be within 48 hours of the performance start time for PCR tests, or within 12 hours of the performance start time for an antigen test.
Self-reported negative test results that are not from a test provider, a laboratory, or a health care provider cannot be accepted.
- Seating for McCaw Hall performances is in the standard configuration and you will be seated next to other ticketholders. We are not required by public health to have socially distanced seating in place at McCaw Hall.
- McCaw Hall features include:
- For the foreseeable future, McCaw Hall will be circulating 100% fresh air for all events.
- Fresh air into the auditorium is served from hundreds of vent caps in the floor and then is fed out through vents in the ceiling. This provides for the best incoming fresh-air and exhaust exchange possible.
- All air filters in the building have been replaced and upgraded to MERV 13. This level of air filtration is used in medical facilities.
- Large restrooms on every floor, allow for audiences to give space to each other and get through the line.
- Multiple access points to enter the building, as well as large lobby spaces, will allow for physical distancing.
- Our concessionaire partner Spectra is already designing Covid-safe food and beverage options.
- Food and beverage may only be consumed in designated lobby areas. No beverages may be taken into the auditorium.
- There may be capacity restrictions in place at the time of your performance. If so, it is possible that you and all of our ticket-holders will be reseated. If this is required, we will seat you as close as possible to your current seats and/or at seats of similar value. We appreciate your patience and flexibility.
- Opera Center programs designed for youth participants will not require vaccination.
- Following CDC guidelines, we request our audience members do not attend Seattle Opera events if you have COVID, are experiencing any COVID-related symptoms before the event begins, or if you have been exposed to COVID.
Subscriber Frequently Asked Questions
The safety of our artists, staff, and audience is our first priority. Safety protocols will follow public health guidelines for large venues in place at the time of your performance. With this in mind, our season will look different and we have prepared a list of questions and answers below to help you navigate your renewal from safety, to subscriber benefits and seating changes.
Please review the questions below carefully and if you do not see the answer to your question contact Audience Services via email or call at 206.389.7676 10 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday.
What are the safety protocols that will be in place?
The 2021/22 season will be our first in-person season since the COVID pandemic. The safety of our artists, staff, and audience is our first priority. Since the beginning of our virtual recordings, our artists and crew have worked more than 140 days in person with no workplace transmissions. We will approach our audience safety plans with that same care. It is difficult to predict today what every safety procedure may look like over the course of the next year. However, masks will be required for attending any Seattle Opera performance in our 2021/22 season regardless of vaccination status.
We will communicate safety procedures to you over email in advance of your performance and on our website. Please sign up for our email list so you can be sure to have the latest information. By subscribing to our 2021/22 season you agree to abide by the COVID safety procedures in place at McCaw Hall and the Opera Center at the time of your performances.
will my seat location change BECAUSE OF COVID?
It is conceivable that we will have to reseat our subscribers in order to comply with capacity restrictions or social distancing for performances in the 2021/22 season. If this is required, we will seat you as close as possible to your current seats and/or at seats of similar value. We appreciate your patience and flexibility.
Will you offer streaming options if I want to watch from home?
This is something we are looking into for our subscribers for the fall and we will get back to you when we know more.
What happened to the Preferred Seating program?
Seattle Opera is committed to accessibility in opera. We’ve decided to change our subscription ticket pricing for the 2021/22 season and will no longer have a required preferred seating gift associated with premium seats. We believe this will help make subscribing to Seattle Opera more accessible as we reopen for in-person performances. You may want to take this opportunity to look at premium seats that you haven’t thought about moving into previously.
When/how will I receive my tickets?
Tickets will be distributed differently this year due to the pandemic and may arrive on a show-by-show basis. Unless specified otherwise when ordered, subscription tickets will be delivered via Print at home ticketing. Thank you for your understanding.
What if I need to cancel?
Due to the COVID pandemic, we will have a more flexible cancellation policy in place for subscribers until December 31, 2021. As a subscriber, you may cancel an opera in your package up to one week prior to your performance date and receive a refund or have the value of the tickets held on your Seattle Opera account to use in the future. Seattle Opera will retain the $15 order fee. Notice of cancellation must be received in writing. No refunds will be issued after December 31, 2021.
What if I requested a seat or series change? When will I hear more?
If you requested a seat or series change, you will receive a confirmation notice by email later in the summer which includes your new seating location. Depending on your selection, payment in full or your first installment of your payment plan will be charged upon receipt of your order.
When will I be able to exchange my tickets this season if I need to?
Exchanges begin during the subscriber presale week starting August 24, 2021.
Will I still have access to Subscriber Benefits such as ticket discounts like Bring-a-Friend and single ticket discounts?
Our concern for the safety of our staff, artists, and audience is our first priority. Therefore all benefits we offer are dependent on capacity and safety guidelines set by Seattle Opera and King County Public Health. Please contact Audience Services at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.