San Francisco Ballet is examining all aspects of the War Memorial Opera House experience to ensure that audiences, artists, and staff members are able to return with confidence. Leading with a focus on health and safety is our priority, and we are working in close consultation with medical and public health experts to closely follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control, the State of California, and the City and County of San Francisco.
With this ever-changing landscape, we are preparing a variety of protocols for staff, artists, and audiences that might be necessary when it is safe for us to reopen for in-person events. Updated information will be shared prior to performances.
Prior to my Performance
We are exploring the idea of digital ticketing to provide a low-to-no-touch entry experience. However, it is too early to know whether this will be the only form of ticket for the 2022 Season. We will continue to update our patrons as we approach in-person performances.
We have been thrilled by the reaction to our digital season and plan to create a digital offering that will complement a season subscriber’s in-person subscription should they not be able to attend or if they would like to have an encore digital experience.
With so many unknowns, we are committed to being flexible and have adjusted our 2022 ticket policy to more readily accommodate exchanges, credits, and refunds should you be unable to attend an event, or if an event needs to be rescheduled or cancelled.
The Experience at War Memorial Opera House
We are exploring best practices for entering the performance venue. This includes ticketless entry through verification codes or scanning of a digital ticket. However, it is too early to know what safety protocol requirements will be necessary and/or recommended, but we will continue to update our patrons as we approach in-person performances.
Current guidelines state that masks are mandatory in a public setting indoors. We expect that to change as vaccination rates rise and new guidelines are released. Separate protocols are being developed for artists that will allow them to perform safely without masks.
As long as the mask mandate is in place, a face covering would be required for entry into War Memorial Opera House and must be worn at all times. Face masks must completely cover both nose and mouth and have ear loops or something similar to hold them in place. Gaiters and bandannas are not acceptable. It is too early to say for certain what our safety protocols will be when San Francisco Ballet returns to live performances, but we will continue to update our patrons as we approach in-person performances and will remain in line with CDC, state, and local guidelines as well as similar guidelines by our peer organizations.
We are in continual dialogue with our peer arts organizations, medical officers, and with our city leaders to ensure that the return to in-person performances will happen with your and our artists’ safety at the forefront.
Ventilation and air handling systems have been tested and upgraded to comply with CDC protocols put in place during the pandemic. Below are a few of the areas we are working on to ensure that your experience is both safe and in accordance with CDC, state, and local guidelines:
- HVAC and air handling
- Sanitation and box office/customer service protocols
- Ingress and egress of attendees
- Viability of concessions and amenities
Throughout the past year, we have worked directly with SF Department of Public Health on rehearsal and performance protocols that have kept our artists safe. We will continue to do so and are currently developing performer guidelines in partnership with SFDPH. All performers and support staff will be required to show proof of vaccination and/or follow a testing protocol developed for indoor public performances.
We anticipate that the orchestra, including winds and brass, can play once the proper protocols are filed with SFDPH.
It is too early to say how concessions and coat check will operate when San Francisco Ballet returns to live performances, but we will continue to update our patrons as we approach in-person performances and will remain in line with CDC, state, and local guidelines as well as similar guidelines by our peer organizations.
We are hopeful that by the start of our season in February, there will be more flexibility with capacity and are therefore renewing subscribers into their regular seats. If this is not the case, we will be in touch with you to discuss your options. We are committed to being flexible to more readily accommodate exchanges, credits, and refunds should this be necessary.
We are currently in the planning stages and hope to hold in-person Nutcracker performances this year. To ensure the health and safety of our audience and artists, we plan to launch sales later this summer after more information is circulated around guidelines for children, families, and in-person performances set to take place this winter.