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The Glimmerglass Festival

Cooperstown, NY            

The internationally-acclaimed Glimmerglass Festival, located in Cooperstown, NY, runs for eight weeks during July and August each year, with programming extended through off-season education and outreach programs and new media initiatives. Festival visitors hail from throughout the U.S. and typically ten foreign countries for 40-plus performances of four innovative productions of rare and familiar works of opera and classic musical theater on the main stage, plus 80 concerts, lectures by distinguished historians and cultural figures, musical revues, second-stage one-act presentations, talk-backs with artists, and an opera performed by and for youth. The company’s renowned Young Artists training program — for up-and-coming singers, stage directors, dancers and pianists — attracts 1000-plus applicants annually for 50-plus slots, a testimony to its value and reputation. Young Artists work alongside seasoned professionals to gain performance experience and receive coachings and career guidance from an annually-appointed Artist in Residence and distinguished guest mentors. Professional education efforts also include the Festival’s Summer Internship Program, which each year trains 60 production and arts administration apprentices under the tutelage of prominent respected experts.

Although Glimmerglass offers a wide range of music each season, the production and presentation of new work is an anchor of the company’s programming. With 2018, Glimmerglass will have produced 12 world premieres by American composers, and 27 of the company’s 44 seasons will have included productions of 49 American offerings, in addition to a focus on American music within the Festival’s speakers’ series, concerts and second stage programs. In 2017 alone, 55 of the 72 musical programs were by American composers, representing 76% of the Festival’s offerings.

Since 2011, Glimmerglass has progressively focused on creating seasons intended to spark important conversations about today’s world. The counterpoint of mainstage repertory and Festival events — lectures, concerts and second stage performances — is, each year, thoughtfully designed to braid together artistic expression with topical subjects. The recent launch of new community engagement initiatives takes this philosophy further, into the local, regional and world-wide community with projects like Glimmerglass’ Attica Correctional Facility outreach program and Breaking Glass: Hyper-Linking Opera & Issues, a podcast series and national forums launched in 2018, inspired by contemporaneous Glimmerglass repertory that explores common issues we face as a society. From creative trends to current human concerns, we are asking the question: What social responsibility does an arts organization have beyond its artistic mission?

Five opera companies, seven universities and two broadcasters (Georgia Public Broadcasting and WFMT in Chicago) from throughout the East and Midwest have joined Glimmerglass as forum hosts, and WFMT is co-producing the podcast series. Among the conversational anchors for Breaking Glass are three contemporary operas, two of which are Glimmerglass commissions: Stomping Grounds, a one-act hip-hopera by Paige Hernandez, Victor Simonson and Annastasia Victory,which Glimmerglass commissioned, toured and premiered in 2017; Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, produced by Glimmerglass for the 2018 season; and Blue, a Glimmerglass commission about race in America by composer Jeanine Tesori with a libretto by Tazewell Thompson, which will premiere at the 2019 Festival.

Glimmerglass has commissioned composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson to write a new opera, Blue, for the 2019 Festival. This is the second opera Tesori has done for Glimmerglass—the first, A Blizzard On Marblehead Neck, with Tony Kushner, in 2011.

Spotlight on A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck

In 2011 The Glimmerglass Festival presented a double bill of new works: the professional premiere of LATER THE SAME EVENING and the world premiere of A BLIZZARD ON MARBLEHEAD NECK. This video is a spotlight on A BLIZZARD ON MARBLEHEAD NECK by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tony Kushner. Directed by Francesca Zambello; David Pittsinger as Eugene O’Neill, Patricia Schuman as Carlotta Monterey and Lindsay Russell as Young Woman with The Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra. Set designs by Erhard Rom; costume designs by Court Watson.

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