Glimmerglass Festival

Glimmerglass Festival

Thursday, Aug 5, 2021 at 11:00am

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The Glimmerglass Festival, the summer opera and musical theater festival in Cooperstown, New York, has announced plans for the summer of 2021 in the wake of its 2020 season cancelation due to COVID-19.

The Festival, which typically performs in its intimate, 915-seat theater, will bring its performances outdoors to a new stage built on the Festival grounds.

“We have re-imagined the Glimmerglass experience for the 2021 season,” said Francesca Zambello, Festival Artistic & General Director. “While this move outdoors is primarily for the health and safety of our company members, audience members and community, it is in harmony with what people love about Glimmerglass — innovative art and performances in a beautiful location. We are extremely grateful to Andrew Martin-Weber for making this outdoor stage possible, and we look forward to bringing amazing performances to you from the Andrew J. Martin-Weber Lawn Stage.”

“There’s an expression I find evocative, ‘water from the moon,’ meaning that which is unattainable, the impossible,” Martin-Weber said. “For me, this beautiful outdoor stage and the entire 2021 Festival is ‘water from the moon,’ and I am grateful to the Glimmerglass staff and all of our supporters for helping to make this a reality. It’s an impossible dream come true that I am part of this festival where we come together to build the future of opera.”

On a stage designed by Peter J. Davison inspired by Cooperstown’s surroundings, the Festival will offer 90-minute re-imagined performances of opera and musical theater starring guest artists Raehann Bryce-Davis, William Burden, Amanda Castro, Denyce Graves, Ian Koziara, Gregory Kunde, Isabel Leonard, Latonia Moore, Eric Owens, Michael Mayes and Alexandria Shiner, complemented by a 2021 roster of Young Artists, performers in the company’s apprentice program. Burden, Leonard and Owens also serve as the Festival’s 2021 Artists in Residence. In addition to their performances this summer, they serve as mentors to the 2021 Young Artists.

The 2021 season will run July 15 through August 17 and offers performances of new productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Offenbach’s Songbird (La Périchole), and the world premiere of The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson, a new work about the founder of the National Negro Opera Company, the longest-running all-Black opera company in the United States. The season will also feature Gods and Mortals, an event featuring works of Wagner, and To the World, a concert of musical theater favorites.

The 2021 season marks the beginning of Common Ground, a three-year initiative that will unveil six new pieces that tell stories of life in America.  

Schedule:

11.00 am MCD

The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson is a new play with music, by Sandra Seaton, celebrating the founder of the historic and groundbreaking National Negro Opera Company and starring acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in the title role. The work includes selections from the repertory of the National Negro Opera Company, as well as original music by Carlos Simon to a text by playwright Sandra Seaton.

“Madame Dawson was an arts pioneer, a woman of many firsts, whose remarkable story had been all but forgotten until recently,” Graves said. “Mary Cardwell Dawson broke through incredible barriers to give voice to singers of color, creating opportunities that eventually brought them to major American opera house stages for the first time. It is an honor to champion her story - and that of the National Negro Opera Company she founded in 1941.”

Graves will make her Festival debut in The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson. She is known internationally for her iconic portrayals of Carmen and Dalila, roles that have brought her accolades from around the world. In addition to singing classic repertoire at all the major opera houses, such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), she has also premiered important works, from Margaret Garner to Doubt, and was in rehearsal for Champion with Michigan Opera Theatre when the pandemic shut down live performances in the United States.

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