The Glimmerglass Festival is a one-of-a-kind summer destination. The scenic campus lies on the shore of sparkling Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill mountains. Each season, the company presents new productions of opera and musical theater, accompanied by myriad concerts, lectures, master classes, a world-premiere youth opera and more.
The 2016 Glimmerglass Festival offers romance, revenge, comedy and tragedy, plus a wide range of musical and visual styles. In 2016, the company presents new productions of Puccini’s La bohème, and three Glimmerglass premieres: Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, or La gazza ladra, and Robert Ward’s The Crucible.
Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd makes its debut on The Glimmerglass Festival stage in a new production conducted by John DeMain and directed by Christopher Alden. Noted bass-baritone Greer Grimsley sings the title role of Fleet Street’s quick-handed barber. His accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, is sung by his real-life wife, mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee. Patricia Schuman, who returns to Glimmerglass for her third season, performs the pivotal role of the Beggar Woman. Judge Turpin is sung by Peter Volpe, who sang the role of Daland in both the Glimmerglass and Washington National Opera productions of The Flying Dutchman. Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists complete the cast, with Harry Greenleaf as Anthony Hope; Emily Pegorelc as Johanna, Nicholas Nestorak as Tobias Ragg, Christopher Bozeka as Adolfo Pirelli and Bille Bruley as Beadle Bamford.
Rossini’s dark comedy, The Thieving Magpie, boasts a dazzling score and sensational situations. Glimmerglass Festival Music Director Joseph Colaneri leads the rarely-seen work, and Peter Kazaras directs. Acclaimed coloratura soprano Rachele Gilmore, last seen as Zerbinetta in Glimmerglass’ 2014 Ariadne in Naxos, returns as the heroine, Ninetta. The rest of the headliners make their Glimmerglass debuts. Musa Ngqungwana joins the cast as Gottardo, the shady Mayor. Known for his work in comedic roles, Dale Travis portrays Ninetta’s father, and Michele Angelini sings the role of Giannetto. Dancer Meg Gillentine performs as the Magpie.
The mainstage features the Glimmerglass premiere of Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, The Crucible. Based on Arthur Miller’s play of the same name, and sung in English, The Crucible is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials, and an allegory of McCarthyism, when Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House of Un-American Activities Committee publicly accused thousands of Americans of Communism. The Glimmerglass premiere of The Crucible is conducted by Nicole Paiement and directed by Glimmerglass Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello and features an all-star cast. Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award, sings the role of Elizabeth Proctor. Acclaimed baritone Brian Mulligan plays the doomed John Proctor. 2016 Glimmerglass Artist in Residence Jay Hunter Morris returns to Glimmerglass to take on the role of the merciless Judge Danforth. Glimmerglass veteran David Pittsinger – who most recently appeared as Arthur in Glimmerglass’ Camelot – sings the role of the level-headed Reverend Hale.
This program is a part of the American Opera Series, a series designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts to fill out the year with great Opera content. The series begins in May and lasts until November (exact dates are published in the first quarter of the year).