Glimmerglass Festival Theater

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — As The Glimmerglass Festival prepares to open its 2018 season, the Cooperstown-based opera and musical theater company has announced programming for 2019.

The 2019 Glimmerglass Festival will include mainstage productions of Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat, Verdi and Piave’s La traviata and Corigliano and Hoffman’s The Ghosts of Versailles. The season will also include the world premiere of Blue, a new opera by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson.

Additionally, the Festival will present Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, in a special adaptation combining the text from Pushkin’s short story with highlights from Tchaikovsky’s score. The Queen of Spades will be presented with piano accompaniment in the Pavilion. The Festival will also present a new production of Benjamin Britten’s youth opera Noah’s Flood. The operatic adaptation of a 15th-century mystery play about Noah’s Ark will feature the Glimmerglass Youth Chorus performing alongside members of the company’s Young Artists Program with piano accompaniment.

The season will run July 6 through August 24, 2019.

“Since 2011, Glimmerglass has focused on creating seasons intended to spark conversations about today’s world,” Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello said. “In 2019, we offer works that span more than 100 years that offer opportunities to explore social issues.”

The 2019 Festival will open with Hammerstein’s Show Boat, directed by Francesca Zambello and E. Loren Meeker and conducted by James Lowe with choreography by Eric Sean Fogel. Revolutionary for its exploration of serious themes such as racism, Show Boat blends humanity and humor with well-known songs including “Ol’ Man River,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “Make Believe.” The production is sponsored by Beth and Gary Glynn.

La traviata returns to the stage of the Alice Busch Opera Theater after 10 years in a new co-production with Washington National Opera directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Joseph Colaneri. The production is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Dudley D. Johnson.

Jay Lesenger directs a new production of The Ghosts of Versailles in a co-production with Royal Opera of Versailles. In the comedic nod to The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, the ghost of Marie Antoinette is upset about her untimely ending, so her favorite playwright, Beaumarchais, attempts to cheer her with a new work. He produces an opera within an opera starring Figaro, Count Almaviva and Susanna, who try to save the queen from her beheading. Joseph Colaneri conducts, and Eric Sean Fogel choreographs. The production is sponsored by Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard.

The opera Blue by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson offers an intimate look at the reality of an unimaginable loss. With a cast of 10, the opera focuses on a black family in Harlem: the father, a police officer; the mother, loving and fearful for her child; and their son, a politically active teenager.

“I approached Jeanine and Tazewell almost two years ago about writing an opera tackling the subject of race in America,” Zambello said. “The result will be a tender, beautiful production offering audience members the opportunity to reflect, question, and continue the conversation. Blue brings the discussion on race to the forefront of modern opera.”

Tazewell Thompson directs, and John DeMain conducts the new opera.

The commissioning of Blue has been recognized by numerous foundations as an important addition to the American repertoire. The Festival has received the following major grants in support of this world premiere:

The commissioning of Jeanine Tesori for Blue received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

The development of Blue received major support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The production of Blue received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund, with additional support from The Amphion Foundation.

Blue is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York State Council on the Arts, Rockefeller Brothers Fund & Anonymous.

Breaking Glass, a series of national forums and a related podcast with Blue composer and librettist, Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson, is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (forums) and an OPERA America Innovation Grant, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation (podcast).

Casting, events, concerts and guest appearances for 2019 will be announced in the coming months.

The 2018 Festival, which opens July 7,  features new productions of Bernstein’s West Side Story, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Silent Night.


For photos of The Glimmerglass Festival, click here.

Brittany Lesavoy

Director of Communications

The Glimmerglass Festival

(607) 547-0700 ext. 206


Caitlyn Syman

Communications Coordinator

The Glimmerglass Festival

(607) 547-0700 ext. 205

3 Thoughts on “The Glimmerglass Festival Announces 2019 Season”

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    1. All tickets go on sale January 28, 2019. Subscriptions are on sale now. Tickets range from $26 to $149.

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