We must cancel. There is nothing else we can do. Events have overtaken us, as they are overtaking the globe. The measures the government have just announced are too long-term for us to have any choice.
What next? Our first thoughts are to our generous supporters, our ticket buyers, and to the hundreds of performers and crafts-men and women who make our Festival happen. Your health, safety and well-being come first.
We want to be fair to each and every one of you. We have taken quite a lot of money for the coming Festival, but, I must add, we have also already spent a lot. This is the nature of the beast; the beast of opera, I mean. Not the other one.
As things stand, we are in a reasonable state to be able to offer you a Festival in 2021, or, heaven forbid, failing that, in 2022 and beyond. My overriding aim is for The Grange Festival to be a cultural beacon well past this crisis.
I want to assure you that we are keen to acknowledge the very valued support we have received from so many of you and we shall thus focus on how we can recognise this.
May I request a little time for us together with our Board of Trustees following this immediate cancellation? We are determined to be able to deliver a wonderful Festival in 2021. To do this, we obviously now need to tread carefully and responsibly.
One thing I can state with confidence: with imagination and generosity from all of you, we will survive. So I hereby appeal to that generosity: that commitment to our art form, indeed the high-wire act of live operatic performance which so enthralls us all, and which is so difficult, so risky, and so expensive to achieve with any degree of transformative quality.
We are still young, still relatively small, but in a stable enough condition. What is clearly an immense challenge will, I have no doubt, one day appear to have been an opportunity, to strengthen our growing family, and set us fair for the future.
You will be hearing again from me in the next days with a more detailed response. In the meantime, please stay safe and connected.
Thank you profoundly.
I send you my very best wishes for good health and a calm soul.