HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - An opera singer's ability to project their booming voice makes them a potential super spreader if they had COVID-19.
For that reason, Hawaii Opera Theatre’s general director Andrew Morgan says studies show they need a lot of precautionary space.
"They're looking at something like 500 square feet around a single opera singer for safe distancing," he said.
That threw a monkey wrench into the opera company’s plans for three big main-stage productions for its 60th season, but it’s not bringing down the curtain entirely.
“We immediately thought of digital,” Morgan said. “A lot of companies are thinking the same thing, of putting things up on our website or on digital platforms, streaming platforms.”
The new venture called HOT Digital will feature a series of professionally shot and edited one-person performances opera fans can access online. If two or more performers are needed, they’ll be taped in separated locations.
“We’re using unconventional spaces like the one we’ve built in our building, and also some places outside where it’ll be safe to socially distance and to shoot and perform,” HOT marketing director Jason Walter said.
The first opera will be a single-singer production called Bon Appetit, a musical take on famed television personality Julia Child’s cooking show.
“We’re videotaping that towards the end of this month, with the goal of getting that up on our digital platform, which will be Vimeo, by the middle of September,” Morgan said.
HOT Digital will offer an eclectic mix of free and pay-per-view material. There will also be some collaborations between local opera performers and well-known island musicians.
"We see this as an opportunity to connect with the broader base here in the islands and possibly further away," Walter said.
HOT also sees it as an opportunity to attract new fans who have never tried opera.
"Defintely! Check it out," Morgan said.
To stay up to date with Hawaii Opera Theatre’s HOT Digital productions go to its website at hawaiiopera.org.