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UPDATE: July 30 The Orillia Opera House will reopen to audiences beginning Aug. 19

Posted on Thursday July 30, 2020

As the City of Orillia continues to adapt services and facilities to the new normal as part of Stage 3 of the province’s reopening, the Orillia Opera House will start welcoming guests in August with safety and laughter as its top priorities.

“We are pleased to reopen the Orillia Opera House to audiences in a new format that will allow for all the necessary COVID-19 precautions to be adhered to,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “While there will certainly be a focus on ensuring a great theatre performance, the City’s top priority continues to be the health and safety of our staff, community and visitors. Orillia Opera House staff will be following very specific health and safety protocols in order to operate.” 

The following safety protocols will be in place:

  • Limited audience of 50 people distanced within the 700-seat Gordon Lightfoot Auditorium.
  • New entry and exit protocols to limit crowding and adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Face coverings will be required within the theatre. 

The Orillia Opera House will kick-off the season with a Norm Foster comedy, On a First Name Basis, starring Orillia Opera House favourites, Viviana Zarrillo, and Artistic Director, Jesse Collins. This story of a novelist suffering from writer's block discovering how little he knows about his housekeeper of 28 years is Norm Foster at his comedic best. Full of insight about the nature of the relationships we have with those closest to us, it will have you laughing in the theatre once again. 

“We're glad to be back and to reopen to audiences. We ask our patrons to please bring their patience and good humour as we embark on this new format for live theatre together,” said Wendy Fairbairn, General Manager of the Orillia Opera House. 

Tickets for On a First Name Basis are on sale now. Tickets will be limited to 50 people per performance and seating will be set up in household clusters. Each cluster will be situated two metres apart or more. The following dates and times are available for purchase:

Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

To order your tickets visit or call 705-326-8011.


Wendy Fairbairn         
General Manager, Orillia Opera House

Jennifer Ruff
Director of Business Development and Communications