COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (April 27, 2017) – As part of its 2017 season, The Glimmerglass Festival will present the world-premiere hip-hop opera Stomping Grounds, a show written entirely in verse blending hip-hop, spoken word and opera. In May, the production will travel to 11 regional community venues throughout New York State and three in New York City, in performance workshops and discussions hosted by librettist, director and choreographer Paige Hernandez, an acclaimed performer, director, and playwright known for her effective fusion of theater, hip-hop, dance and education.

Written by Hernandez and composed by Victor Simonson, Stomping Grounds offers positive affirmation about cultural identity, diversity, and connection to home in an hour-long piece.

“This partnership with Glimmerglass will be innovative in its fusion of hip-hop and opera and the inclusion of artists of color throughout the entire process,” Hernandez said. “Stomping Grounds aims to honor each art form in ways that are modern, inventive and authentic.”

The story of Stomping Grounds emerges from the gentrification of a neighborhood, the disruption of sacred land and the fracturing of tradition and history by contemporary realities.

Stomping Grounds seeks to bridge the gap between hip-hop and opera by creating a new art form that will speak profoundly to both the opera and hip-hop communities,” composer Simonson said. “By combining both genres seamlessly, we hope to attract new audiences who have not experienced the power of opera. Likewise, opera lovers will have the opportunity to experience the power and passion of hip-hop music.”

The workshops taking place across the state will include conversations about the issues brought forth in the story, as well as discussions about the creative process and the synthesis of opera and hip-hop. Following the tour, Stomping Grounds will have three performances on August 1, 3 and 7 at the 2017 Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown.

Monday, May 8

SUNY Oneonta, Center for Multicultural Experiences
7 p.m. Performance and Workshop
Free; No tickets required

Wednesday, May 10
Cooperstown Farmers Market
7 p.m. Performance and Workshop
Free; No tickets required

Tuesday, May 16
The Phelps Mansion Museum, Binghamton
7 p.m. Performance and Workshop
Free; Suggested $10 donation at the door

Additionally, Stomping Grounds will travel to many schools in the region and New York City. These schools include Danforth Middle School and Frazer Middle School in Syracuse, Mannes School of Music in Manhattan, the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, Central Valley High School in Ilion, Mount Markham Middle School in West Winfield, Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, Cooperstown Central School, and Oneonta Middle School.

The development of Stomping Grounds and related public programs were made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


To view a video from the first reading, click here.

The Glimmerglass Festival is a one-of-a-kind summer destination. The scenic campus lies on the shore of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill mountains. Each season, the company presents new productions of opera and musical theater, concerts, lectures, guest appearances and a youth opera. In 2017, Glimmerglass presents new mainstage productions of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, Donizetti’s The Siege of Calais and Handel’s Xerxes. Mainstage events also include appearances by Stephen Schwartz and David Sedaris, as well as performances of Derrick Wang’s one-act comic opera, Scalia/Ginsburg, starring William Burden. The Festival is completed by additional concerts, a film screening, cabarets and two world-premieres – Ben Moore and Kelley Rourke’s youth opera Robin Hood and Victor Simonson and Paige Hernandez’s hip-hopera Stomping Grounds. For more information, visit

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