The Glimmerglass Festival Announces 2013 Season
The Glimmerglass Festival, the Central New York summer opera and musical theater company, has announced its 2013 season and its partnership in The Festival of American Romantics in Cooperstown, New York.
Next summer, Glimmerglass will present new productions of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman; Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot; Verdi’s King for a Day (Un giorno di regno); and Passions, a double bill of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. The productions will run in repertory July 6 through August 24 in the Alice Busch Opera Theater.
American baritone Nathan Gunn and pianist Julie Gunn will serve as the company’s 2013 Artists in Residence. The pair will work closely with members of the Young Artists Program, the acclaimed apprenticeship for young singers.
The 2013 Festival marks Francesca Zambello’s third season as Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director. After her appointment in September 2010, Zambello initiated the company’s Artist in Residence program and began to incorporate an American musical into each season. Collaborations with area organizations also expanded. In this spirit, The Glimmerglass Festival, Fenimore Art Museum and Hyde Hall, a historic house and museum set on Otsego Lake, will join forces for The Festival of American Romantics inspired by Romantic composers, painters and writers in 2013.
The Fenimore Art Museum will offer a major loan exhibition highlighting the Romantic landscape. The show is themed around the Hudson River School painters with works by Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, among others. With more than 45 works, this will be the largest single exhibit on this topic ever presented by the Fenimore. Also on exhibit will be a 30-painting loan exhibition featuring the works of the Wyeth family including Andrew, Jamie, N.C. and his two daughters Henriette and Carolyn.
“The ideals and ideas of the Romantics underscore our 2013 season repertory,” said Francesca Zambello, Artistic & General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival. “We are excited to collaborate with a museum and historic site to highlight the connection of the art, music and literature of the Romantics in our pastoral setting.”
Glimmerglass will begin a new collaboration with Hyde Hall, where literary works of the American Romantics will be explored in the historic home during the 2013 Festival. Authors such as James Fenimore Cooper, Emily Dickinson, Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman will be presented in readings by writers and actors, complemented by musical performances.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (Richard Wagner, 1843)
The Flying Dutchman is the second opera by Richard Wagner to be produced by Glimmerglass, following the company’s 2008 production of Das Liebesverbot. Inspired in part by a harrowing ocean voyage, Wagner based his fourth opera on the story of a ghostly vessel doomed to traverse the seas for eternity. In The Flying Dutchman the ship’s captain finds redemption when a young woman proves her love by abandoning her life for him.
Glimmerglass’s new production, directed by Francesca Zambello, will celebrate the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth and be inspired by the Hudson River School’s romantic vision of the majestic natural landscape that continues to be associated with Central New York. The opera will be conducted by John Keenan. Keenan conducted Götterdämmerung with Deborah Voigt and Stefan Gould in Robert Lepage’s recent Ring cycle at the Metropolitan Opera and previously conducted the Met’s Das Rheingold with James Morris and Rene Papé. Jay Hunter Morris will sing the role of the huntsman Erik, fresh off of his performances as Siegfried in the Met’s 2013 Ring cycle. Melody Moore, recently seen in San Francisco Opera’s world premiere of Heart of a Soldier and as Mimì in English National Opera’s La bohème, will perform the role of Senta. Ryan McKinny will sing the role of The Dutchman. This winter he will perform the role of Melot in Tristan und Isolde with Canadian Opera Company and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with Houston Grand Opera. Peter Volpe will sing the role of Daland. Volpe has recently performed with the Met, as well as Vancouver and Arizona operas.
The production will be presented in German with English projected text.
This production is made possible by a generous gift from Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.
Lerner and Loewe’s musical version of The Once and Future King follows King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot as they strive to pursue their passions and embody chivalric ideals. The tuneful, popular score includes such favorites as “If Ever I Would Leave You.” The musical will be presented with full orchestra and no amplification. Nathan Gunn will sing the role of Lancelot. Nathan Gunn made his Glimmerglass debut in Francesca Zambello’s production of Iphigénie en Tauride in 1997. He has appeared with internationally renowned companies such as the Met, as well as San Francisco, Seattle, Houston Grand, Paris and Glyndebourne operas.
"The role of Lancelot is a joy to sing because it gives me the opportunity to take a man who is a caricature of a hero and turn him into a human being,” Nathan Gunn said. “It's a wonderful challenge as an actor."
David Pittsinger returns to Glimmerglass to perform the role of King Arthur. Pittsinger was seen last summer in the world premiere of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s A Blizzard On Marblehead Neck. He previously performed the role of Emile de Becque in Lincoln Center’s South Pacific. Andriana Churchman sings the role of Guenevere. Churchman has performed with Michigan Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Spoleto Festival USA and Chicago Opera Theater and makes her Canadian Opera Company debut this season.
Kevin Stites, who has served as music director for almost a dozen Broadway productions including A Tale of Two Cities, Les Misérables and Fiddler on the Roof, will conduct. Gary Griffin will direct. Griffin directed Broadway’s revivals of The Apple Tree and The Color Purple, which received 11 Tony Award nominations. He is the associate artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and is the recipient of an Olivier Award and eight Joseph Jefferson Awards for directing.
KING FOR A DAY (Giuseppe Verdi/Felice Romani, 1840)
The Glimmerglass Festival will celebrate Giuseppe Verdi’s 200th birthday with a new production of his seldom seen comic opera, King for a Day. Verdi’s second opera centers on a royal replacement who, in addition to serving as a decoy for the king, effects the happy coupling of two young lovers and secures a pretty widow as his own bride.
The production will be directed by Christian Räth and conducted by Joseph Colaneri. Räth’s productions have been seen at Washington National, Santa Fe and Houston Grand Operas, as well as the Met, La Scala and Bregenz FestivaL. Colaneri made his Glimmerglass debut in 2009 with La Cenerentola. He has been a member of the conducting roster of the Met since 1998 and serves as the Artistic Director of Opera at Mannes College The New School for Music. Jason Hardy will sing the Baron Kelbar. He has performed with New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Madison Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic and more.
The production will be presented in a new English adaptation by Kelley Rourke, with projected text above the stage. Rourke’s recent adaptation of The Elixir of Love for English National Opera was highly acclaimed; for Glimmerglass, in addition to numerous supertitle translations, she wrote a new English version of Orpheus in the Underworld in 2007.
This production is generously underwritten by Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard.
PASSIONS: David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater
Love and loss echo through two one-act operas in a unique juxtaposition of 18th and 21st-century musical masterpieces. The company will premiere a new version of the work that took the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music, Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion, with an 18th-century masterpiece, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.
In this pairing, the company presents the pain and catharsis of two deaths – that of an anonymous, impoverished little girl and that of a controversial prophet, as seen through the eyes of his grieving mother.
This production is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Little Match Girl Passion (David Lang, 2007)
David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning one-act The Little Match Girl Passion is based on a fable by Hans Christian Andersen, with a libretto by Lang that is influenced by the format and journey of Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. It employs an ensemble of four singers and percussion to tell the story of a poor, young girl who, despite great adversity, retains her purity of spirit. Glimmerglass will present a revised version of the score by David Lang, incorporating a children’s chorus.
“I got very excited when Francesca Zambello asked if she could stage the piece with a new version of the musical score that incorporated children's voices,” David Lang said. “So much of the power of the story for adults comes from our projecting ourselves into the suffering of this one child. Children's voices will make that projection so much more powerful.”
Zambello will direct the one-act.
“I am very passionate about involving as many children in our productions as possible,” Zambello said. “What better way to learn about the theater, than to participate in it? David’s revised orchestration will allow for such great opportunities for children in the Cooperstown area, and I could not be more pleased.”
The 2013 Festival marks the 25th anniversary of the company’s Young Artists Program. The Little Match Girl Passion will be cast with Young Artists to celebrate this benchmark.
Stabat Mater (Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, 1736)
Since Glimmerglass presented Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in 1994, the company has presented more than a dozen productions of operas from the 17th and 18th centuries, building a reputation for new and innovative productions of early operas. The company will present Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, starring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and soprano Nadine Sierra. Costanzo is a former Glimmerglass Young Artist and returned as a guest artist to great acclaim in the title role of Tolomeo in 2010. He is a Grand Finals Winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a first prize winner of this year’s Operalia competition. Costanzo created the role of Ferdinand in the Met’s production of The Enchanted Island and, later in the run, stepped into the lead role of Prospero. Sierra, also a 2009 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, recently performed at San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier and made her Florida Grand Opera debut as Gilda in Rigoletto.
Speranza Scappucci will conduct. Scappucci recently conducted a successful production of Così fan tutte at Yale Opera, and has been an assistant conductor at the Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival, New York City Opera and Rome Opera.
Rising choreographer Jessica Lang will direct and choreograph. Lang has created more than 75 works with companies including Birmingham Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ailey II, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2 and New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, among many others.
"I am extremely excited to work at Glimmerglass next season directing and choreographing Pergolesi's Stabat Mater,” Jessica Lang said. “This profound music, which I find emotionally engaging, has always captivated me and I am thrilled to get this opportunity to create a work that incorporates the singers directly into a dance."
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
American baritone Nathan Gunn and pianist and accompanist Julie Gunn will serve as the company’s 2013 Artists in Residence. In addition to working with members of the Young Artists Program, the Gunns will perform an evening of lieder in a special concert performance during the Festival.
"It's been 12 years since my last summer at Glimmerglass, which is far too long,” Nathan Gunn said. “Coming back as a co-Artist in Residence with my wife and collaborator, Dr. Julie Gunn, is a great honor. I'm looking forward to seeing many familiar and friendly faces in the audience as well as sharing all I've learned from the world of opera, recital and musical theater with the Festival's talented Young Artists. It's going to be a great summer."
Julie Gunn has performed with Carnegie Hall Pure Voice Series, Lincoln Center Great Performers, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Brussels Theatre de la Monnaie, and at Manhattan’s Café Carlyle. Both are on the faculty of University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana’s music department.
"I have long been a fan of Glimmerglass's commitment to artistic excellence and community involvement,” Julie Gunn said. “Francesca Zambello's ability to bring out the best in artists, whether it be in a Wagner opera or Lerner and Loewe musical, is inspiring. I hope to share my passion for a wide variety of songs, from German lieder to American standards, with the Glimmerglass audiences, and also to engage the excellent Young Artists as much as I can, both in opera and in song."
The 2013 Festival will run July 6 through August 24. The company will announce concert and supplementary programming, such as its Meet Me at the Pavilion and ShowTalk series later this year.
Subscriptions renewals go on sale July 7, 2012. For more information on the 2013 Glimmerglass Festival and performance dates and times, call the Box Office at (607) 547-2255. For more information on The Glimmerglass Festival, visit www.glimmerglass.org.