COOPERSTOWN, NY (March 22, 2017) – The Glimmerglass Festival family mourns the loss of architect Hugh Hardy, who died on Thursday, March 16.
Hardy, with Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, designed The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater. Built in 1987, Hardy’s unique opera theater design capitalized on the company’s rural surroundings while providing audience members the opportunity to experience intimate performances of opera and musical theater. Hardy served as an advisor to the company for 35 years, including 13 as a member of the Board of Trustees.
“Aside from former Artistic Director Paul Kellogg, I can think of no one who has been more essential to the development of what we now cherish as Glimmerglass than our beloved Hugh Hardy,” said Sherwin Goldman, Chair of The Glimmerglass Festival Board of Trustees.
Paul Kellogg said, “You could hardly ask for a better friend or colleague of 30 years than Hugh. He was always supportive, positive, loyal, imaginative and optimistic. He was incomparable.”
Hardy’s design for the Alice Busch Opera Theater draws from the agrarian architecture found in Central New York and incorporates unique sliding side walls that can be opened prior to performances and during intermissions. “There are some wonderful hops barns around and agricultural structures, which are the big-scale buildings of that region, and it seemed to be only natural that we would do that,” Hardy said in a 2001 interview.
“Hugh truly revolutionized theater design in the last half of the 20thcentury,” said Francesca Zambello, Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director. “He was our modern-day Andrea Palladio, melding culture and nature in ideally scaled and beautiful performance spaces. He brought theater back to a human scale, and our jewel of a theater on Otsego Lake is a prime example of that. We are proud to be part of his legacy.”
Hardy was a founding partner of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, which received more than 100 national design awards for its work. He went on to lead H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, a firm dedicated to the creation of active public spaces and a recognized leader in the planning and design of performing arts centers, theaters, museums and more. Hardy’s projects have included the Joyce Theater, Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center Theater; several projects for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the renovation of Radio City Music Hall, the restoration of the New Victory and New Amsterdam theaters in New York.
The Glimmerglass Festival staff gathered on Wednesday to share remarks and memories of Hardy, and the company dimmed its stage lights at 7:30 p.m. in his honor.