The Glimmerglass Festival Announces 2014 Season - MADAME BUTTERFLY, CAROUSEL and More!

The Glimmerglass Festival Announces 2014 Season - MADAME BUTTERFLY, CAROUSEL and More!

The Glimmerglass Festival, Central New York's opera and musical theater company, has announced its 2014 season.

The 2014 Festival focuses on 100 years of music and includes new productions of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, Strauss' Ariadne in Naxos and Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy. The productions run in repertory July 11 through August 24 in the Alice Busch Opera Theater in Cooperstown, New York.

"I wanted to remind people that the music of the last century is extremely audience friendly and that contemporary music does not have to be intimidating," Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello said. "The 2014 productions will show you how quickly we go from Puccini to Picker, all with a sense of character and story, and with inspiring melodies."

Soprano Christine Goerke serves as the company's 2014 Artist in Residence. Goerke is known for her many Strauss and Wagner roles, including Elektra, Ariadne, Brünnhilde and Senta. As Artist in Residence, Goerke will work closely with members of the Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program, the company's apprentice program for emerging artists.

"I was a Young Artist 20 years ago at Glimmerglass, and it was my first apprentice program," Goerke reminisced. "What this company does for young singers, you can't begin to know.... This program is so special; this place is so special."

MADAME BUTTERFLY (Giacomo Puccini/Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, 1904)

Madame Butterfly will open the season in a new production. Puccini's unforgettable heroine, delicate and vulnerable yet possessed of a steely resolve, risks ostracization to be with Pinkerton, a handsome American naval officer. When he proves untrue, she unflinchingly chooses the only honorable path available to her.

"Puccini is the ultimate 20th-century melodist, and the chance to see his heartbreaking work with young singers in our intimate theater is a remarkable experience," said Francesca Zambello, who will direct the production. "The story of a young mother who hopes to find a better life for herself and her son in America is still relevant today, as we continue to wrestle with issues around immigration."

Joseph Colaneri will conduct. Colaneri is conducting the Glimmerglass production of Verdi's King for a Day this summer. Colaneri has been on the conducting roster of the Metropolitan Opera for 15 seasons and has conducted across the United States and internationally with such companies as Portland, Orlando, Chautauqua and Den Norske operas, Tokyo Philharmonic and West Australian Opera, for which he currently serves as Artistic Director.

"Madame Butterfly is one of my favorite Puccini scores," Colaneri said. "The relationship of the drama, text and music is just about perfect. The opera has a magically atmospheric orchestration and Puccini's sense of dramatic pace allows the story to sweep from its exotic opening to a shattering conclusion."

Scenery will be designed by Tony Award-winner Michael Yeargan, whose designs have been seen on Broadway as well as at theMetropolitan, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco operas. His last Glimmerglass production was the world premiere of Central Parkin 1999. Robert Wierzel, who has designed more than 35 Glimmerglass productions, including the 1997 production of Madame Butterfly, will design lighting. Cio-Cio San will be sung by Yunah Lee. Lee has been praised for her portrayal of Cio-Cio San, seen in the role recently at Dallas, Central City and New York City operas. Former Glimmerglass Young Artist Aleksey Bogdanov returns for the role of Sharpless.

CAROUSEL (Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II, 1945)

In line with Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello's desire to include a great American musical each season, Glimmerglass presents a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, with full orchestra and no amplification.

Pegged as the "best musical of the 20th century" by Time magazine, Carousel tells the story of a carousel barker's struggles to rise above challenging circumstances. The musical includes such favorites as "If I Loved You," "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Doug Peck will conduct, and Charles Newell will direct. The pair is known for their work at Chicago's Court Theatre, which includes productions of Porgy and Bess; Caroline, or Change and Carousel, all of which won Joseph Jefferson Awards. The production will be choreographed by Daniel Pelzig, whose career highlights include a Boston Ballet production of The Nutcracker, a Metropolitan Opera production of Armida and the Hollywood Bowl's Carousel. Glimmerglass welcomes back costume designer Jessica Jahn, who worked on the company's 2009 production of La Cenerentola. Mark McCullough will design lighting; he made his company debut in 1995 and has designed more than 10 Glimmerglass productions, as well as many productions for opera and theater companies around the world.

ARIADNE IN NAXOS (Richard Strauss/Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 1916)

Ariadne in Naxos was last performed at Glimmerglass in 1994. This opera within an opera features both lighthearted comedy and heroic grand opera, as two different performing troupes compete for the attention of a wealthy patron.