Opera Australia has cancelled its winter season in Sydney amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
The announcement was made on Friday following an earlier hint by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that restrictions could be tightened further as scores of daily coronavirus cases continued to be recorded.
The performing arts company stated that it is unable to proceed with the remainder of its winter season because restrictions prevent adequate preparation.
As a result, 36 performances by Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House have been cancelled.
"It's incredibly disappointing that we're not able to continue, when so much hard work and preparation had been done by all our talented staff and performers," artistic director Lyndon Terracini said.
"We'd like to reassure everyone that all this hard work will not go to waste and we are endeavouring to reschedule all the productions into future seasons."
A spokesperson for Opera Australia confirmed ticket-holders would be emailed with three options: they can convert tickets to a gift voucher for future use; donate the value of their tickets to Opera Australia; or be issued a full refund.
The four-production season was to include three Verdi operas - Aida, Attila and Otello - alongside Offenbach favourite The Tales of Hoffmann and a series of concerts.
But following the opening night performance of Aida on June 22, Sydney's second major lockdown came into effect.
Opera Australia confirmed it will ensure all cast and crew, along with permanent and casual staff, are paid during the lockdown period to the end of the month.
Earlier in the week Sydney's annual Vivid lights festival was postponed by a month until mid-September due to the COVID lockdown.
Australian Associated Press