COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (January 9, 2018) – As a complement to its summer Festival, The Glimmerglass Festival has announced “Breaking Glass,” a series of national forums and a five-episode podcast sparking discussions about how opera and the arts respond to present-day issues.

“Breaking Glass” is inspired by Glimmerglass Festival repertory and its recent and upcoming productions that highlight social issues like race, resettlement and homeland.

The national forums, touring in eight cities throughout the United States, explore the evolution of opera and the arts in a changing world.

In partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), the inaugural forum will take place at GPB studios on Saturday, January 13, at 2 p.m. in Atlanta. The forum will be moderated by GPB’s “On Second Thought” host, Celeste Headlee, bringing to light a discussion on the role of art in conversations about race and discrimination in the United States. The panel will feature composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson, whose new opera Blue, an exploration into the impact of prejudice on an American family, will premiere at Glimmerglass in 2019; composer Victor Simonson and librettist Paige Hernandez, who premiered the hip-hopera Stomping Grounds at Glimmerglass in 2017; and music scholar Matthew Morrison of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, who will discuss his work about racial identity relating to the sound of American popular music. The national forums are made possible by a grant to The Glimmerglass Festival from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The inaugural forum offers an interactive livestream of the panel to those outside of Atlanta interested in joining the conversation. To register for the free event, visit Further forum dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

The discussion continues this summer with a five-episode podcast hosted by Paige Hernandez with Tazewell Thompson, co-produced with the WFMT Radio Network in Chicago. The “Breaking Glass” podcast is made possible by an OPERA America Innovation Grant supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

More information and access for the “Breaking Glass” podcast will be available at


Brittany Lesavoy
Director of Public Relations
The Glimmerglass Festival
(607) 547-0700 ext. 206

The Glimmerglass Festival:

Based in Cooperstown, New York, The Glimmerglass Festival presents new productions of opera and musical theater, concerts, lectures, guest appearances and a youth opera every July and August. In 2018, Glimmerglass presents new mainstage productions of Bernstein’s West Side Story, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and Mark Campbell and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night.  Mainstage events also include appearances by Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Hampson, Eric Owens and more. For more information, visit

Stomping Grounds:

Stories of refugees, immigrants and natives converge at a coffee shop in the hip-hopera by Paige Hernandez and Victor Simonson which premiered at The Glimmerglass Festival in 2017. Written entirely in verse, Stomping Grounds’ story emerges from a neighborhood, the disruption of sacred land and the fracturing of tradition and history by contemporary realities. The development of Stomping Grounds and related public programs was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Composed by Jeanine Tesori (Violet, Caroline, or Change, Fun Home, A Blizzard On Marblehead Neck) with a libretto by Emmy-nominated director, playwright, and author Tazewell Thompson. Blue dives into the emotional epicenter of a black couple who are coming to terms with the tragic death of their teenage son. Blue will premiere in 2019 at The Glimmerglass Festival. Blue is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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