Faith in the Future – How the Baltimore Concert Opera is Coping with Coronavirus

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Small businesses and non-profits are especially hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak. We get it! Baltimore Fishbowl is a small business, too. To help small businesses and non-profits, we will provide regular updates to let you know how they are coping. 

The following is an update from Julia Cooke, Artistic and General Director of Baltimore Concert Opera, on how they are adapting and coping during these times.

How have you altered your business to adapt to the quarantine?
We sadly had to fully cancel our final concert opera production of this season, and have postponed two other concerts as well as our major annual fundraising event. However, our staff must continue to work (remotely of course,) maintaining operations and focusing on how to navigate through this unprecedented time as a performing arts organization.

Are you doing something for the community or your employees that you want to share with our readers?
Absolutely — we want to stay connected to our wonderful community while our live productions are temporarily paused. We are digging into our audio archives to create “BCO Moments of Beauty” from several past productions, all with the blessing of the wonderful artists who performed those moments. We are sharing this series of clips via our social media channels, and as a collection on our website which will be added to weekly at http://www.baltimoreconcertopera.com/bco-blog

What is the status of your employees? 
Our small but mighty team is faring well so far. We have an efficient, lean staff which typically works remotely much of the time, so we were set up well to endure this sort of change operationally.  We will be here figuring things out, setting groundwork in place for the much-anticipated day when we all will come back together to enjoy live music.

How can readers help you get through the crisis?
Have faith in the future.  This time is so difficult for us all as humans, but we are all in it together, and we WILL emerge on the other side.  Even if it’s impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, we know from listening to all the amazing scientists and medical experts that it will end, eventually.  Our world is different now and the lasting impacts of the pandemic are not fully clear yet, but we as humans have an opportunity to learn new things about ourselves, about one another, and I am hopeful that we will have a newfound appreciation for that which makes us even more human: being together.

How are you coping, personally?
It’s not easy, honestly, but I know I’m not unique.  The initial shock of losing so much of our performing season is wearing off a bit, and the board of directors and I are working hard to find reasonable next steps. The reality of leading a thriving, successful performing arts organization through a global pandemic is indeed challenging on its own, and to that I add the common refrain of being a parent working from home while simultaneously supervising my children’s remote schooling.  My husband is the general director of a different opera company, so at least we’re in the same business and have plenty to talk about! We’re all just figuring it out one day at a time.  I’m so thankful to have a wonderful family who I enjoy being with, even in these challenging times, and we have the added bonus of our adorable 7-month old puppy, Kevin Bacon the mutt, which helps a whole lot. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Baltimore is an incredible, resilient, artistic, creative, brave community. We have been through a lot, and we will get through this, together.

To learn more about the Baltimore Concert Opera, visit their website, check out their blog and Facebook Page. As Julia shared, though this time may be difficult for us all, have faith in the future. We are all in it together, and we WILL emerge on the other side. Until then, take some time and enjoy “BCO Moments of Beauty” from several past productions.


If you represent a local small business or non-profit and would like to share your update with our readers, contact Nicole Allen at [email protected]. During the crisis, we will offer these sponsored posts for free as a service to the community.

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