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In light of COVID cases, Pacific Opera's Carmen, Victoria Beer Week postponed

Theatre lights will go dim and beer taps will go dry with the postponement of a presentation of the opera Carmen and Victoria Beer Week in the face of high COVID-19 cases.
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Kristen Sands, lead props builder for Pacific Opera, works on some prop guns on Thursday. Pacific Opera has postponed its production of Carmen due to COVID-19. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Theatre lights will go dim and beer taps will go dry with the postponement of a presentation of the opera Carmen and Victoria Beer Week in the face of high COVID-19 cases.

Pacific Opera Victoria on Thursday announced the postponement of its upcoming live performances of Carmen — which had already been postponed from the 2019-2020 season — after provincial health authorities urged vigilance and caution for the next few weeks.

“The February performances of Carmen were sold out with subscriptions and pre-sales, and a waiting list taken should capacity limits be eased,” said Ian Rye, CEO of Pacific Opera.

The opera, which was set to run Feb. 23 to March 1, had a cast of more than 100 artists, many of whom would have had to travel to Victoria to rehearse and perform.

“A big part of the decision to postpone came down to safeguarding the health of our artists,” said Nicole Malcolm, director of marketing and communications at Pacific Opera Victoria. “We decided that we couldn’t morally put them in that position and instead must do our part to protect our community.”

A new date for the production will be announced in the coming months. At this time all other Pacific Opera 2022 events will proceed as scheduled.

Holders of Carmen tickets can exchange them for upcoming screenings of The Garden of Alice, For a Look or a Touch or the double-bill live performance of Bon Appetit! and The Italian Lesson.

There are also options to donate the tickets for a tax receipt, exchange them for a gift certificate, or request a refund.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni, scheduled for April 20 through 26, is currently sold out to subscribers and interested ticket buyers are encouraged to sign up to be on a wait-list.

Meanwhile, disappointed opera lovers won’t even be able to cry into their craft beer, as Victoria Beer Society has postponed the Victoria Beer Week event, originally scheduled to be held in March, until April 1.

“We know people have been waiting patiently for the return of Beer Week but with the advent of the Omicron variant, the Victoria Beer Society feelt that postponing the event for a month is in the best interests of vendors, volunteers and participants,” said Joe Wiebe, beer director of the event.

Current tickets will still be valid for the April event. Ticketholders who are unable to attend on the new date can get a refund.

Wiebe says that interest has been high and the event will probably see close to 50 craft breweries represented. A full schedule will be confirmed again in the coming weeks, with the popular Beer School program released alongside the updated dates.

The event will see the return of some fan favourites like Clay Potter’s Homebrewing Workshop and Beer and Coffee with Discovery Coffee’s Brittany Davies.

parrais@timescolonist.com