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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Festival Preview: Glimmerglass Opera

The Alice Busch Opera House: Cooperstown, NY
This unique opera festival, located in Cooperstown, New York on the shores of Lake Otsego, presents four opera productions for the 2010 season. This is director Michael McLeod's final year running the Glimmerglass festival. 2011 will bring a new regime and an official name change...to the "Glimmerglass Festival."

Here's the operas.

An exciting new production of the Puccini shocker replaces the company's old staging. Tosca never loses its power to stun an audience--even those who expect the flying leap at the end are often shaken by Puccini's most powerful score.
Performance Dates: July 9, 11, 16, 24, 26, 29, 31; Aug. 3, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 24

Le Nozze di Figaro
This sublime Mozart comedy is ideally suited to a nocturnal setting on the shores of the lake. One wonders if the famous sliding walls of the opera house (the on-site ventilation system) will be left open during the last act.
Performance Dates: July17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 30; Aug. 2, 6, 9, 15, 20, 22

The Tender Land
Aaron Copland's opera receives a rare staging. The Tender Land is best known for featuring the music that would later be written as the ballet score Appalachian Spring.
July 10, 13, 19, 25; Aug. 1, 5, 7, 14, 21

This opera company has a great deal of experience in baroque opera, and has been key in reviving American interest in the long-forgotten major works of Handel. Tolomeo is the composer's final opera written for the Royal Academy. These performances mark its U.S. premiere.
Performance dates: July 18, 23, 31; Aug. 8, 12, 14, 17, 23

In addition to the opera house, Cooperstown offers the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. (Avoid the weekend of July 23-26, as the baseball world descends on this sleepy lakeside town for the Hall of Fame inductions. There's good lodging, plenty of shopping in its quaint downtown areas, excellent restaurants and the nearby Ommegang Brewery. Also, be sure to check out the James Fenimore Cooper Museum and the Farmer's Museum, featuring the Cardiff Giant.
Photo: Peyton Lea/Glimmerglass Opera.
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.