Wheeler cancels ‘Choir of Man’ and weekend events | AspenTimes.com

Wheeler cancels ‘Choir of Man’ and weekend events

Citing staff illness, the Wheeler Opera House has canceled its Thursday night performance of “The Choir of Man” and Friday night’s Wintersköl program of “Aspen History 101” and “Aspen Extreme.”

Wheeler executive director Lisa Rigsby Peterson said a staffer on the city-owned theater’s team of 14 called in sick on Thursday morning, prompting the cancellations.

“We have such a small staff that if we have one person who’s not able to work due to illness, we can’t successfully or safely execute performances,” Rigsby Peterson explained. “Particularly one as large as ‘Choir of Man.’”

She said she is working to reschedule a performance from the popular touring musical, as early as this spring.

The cancellation news came two days after the Aspen City Council instated more robust COVID-19 protocols for the Wheeler, in response to the record levels of local coronavirus infection due to the fast-spreading omicron variant of the virus. The Wheeler will soon require proof of a negative test taken the same day as an event. It had previously required results from within 72 hours. Additionally, the Wheeler may limit capacity and input social distancing measures at future events.

As the omicron outbreak hit Aspen in December, the Wheeler also canceled three events between Christmas and New Year’s Eve — traditionally among the busiest programming times there.

The theater is expected to resume normal operations next week. Its next Wheeler-produced event is an Aspen Gay Ski Week event with Bob the Drag Queen on Thursday, Jan. 20.

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