Glimmerglass Festival unveils the last season of its leader

Next summer the Festival of Lights Opera and Musical Theater in Cooperstown, NY, will return indoors in full force for the farewell sea...


Next summer the Festival of Lights Opera and Musical Theater in Cooperstown, NY, will return indoors in full force for the farewell season of its artistic director and general manager, Francesca Zambello, the festival announced on Friday.

Zambello, 65, who is also artistic director of Washington National Opera and a freelance director, will have directed Glimmerglass for 12 seasons upon his departure. In an interview, she said it was a good time “for a turn of the page”, and that for less time that she has been with the Washington company, “I have decided to extend my contract and m ‘devote to it’.

“Part of my heart is super sad, but I also think I don’t want to repeat myself,” she added. “I don’t want to be one of those people. I just want new challenges.

Among the characteristics of his tenure at Glimmerglass are the addition of original operas for young people each season; an initiative at Attica Correctional Institution; an expanded repertoire that includes Broadway musicals, concert lineup and new works; and the introduction of renowned artists in residence such as Christine Goerke, Eric Owens and, for the 2022 season, Denyce Graves.

Graves is set to direct a new production of Bizet’s “Carmen” at next summer’s festival, which runs July 8 through August 21. It will be a kind of homecoming for this mezzo-soprano: Carmen was one of his iconic roles. Graves is also set to reprise her performance from the outdoor premiere last summer of “The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson,” Sandra Seaton’s play about the founder of the National Negro Opera Company, with music by Carlos Simon.

The 2022 program also includes a new production of “The Sound of Music” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, initially scheduled for 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic; the premiere of “Tenor Overboard”, a pastiche by Rossini with a book by Ken Ludwig, the Tony Award-winning playwright of “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Crazy For You”; and a double project of “Taking Up Serpents” by Kamala Sankaram and Jerre Dye and the premiere of “Holy Ground” by Damien Geter on a libretto by Lila Palmer. (Sankaram, composer-in-residence for the festival next summer, also wrote the season’s children’s opera, “The Jungle Book”.)

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Newsrust - US Top News: Glimmerglass Festival unveils the last season of its leader
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