The Glimmerglass Festival announced details for its 2023 Festival, the first for new Artistic and General Director Rob Ainsley. Repertory for the 2023 season embraces this moment of transition for Glimmerglass, honoring the Festival’s past with exhilarating revivals, exploring the infinite variety of the art form with reimaginings of beloved classics, and shaping opera’s future with a world premiere. 

The 2023 Festival will open with revivals of Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, celebrating the success of the company’s past decade. New takes on Charles Gounod’s masterwork Romeo and Juliet and G.F. Handel’s groundbreaking Rinaldo round out the Festival’s mainstage offerings. The season continues the company’s tradition of staging three operas and one work of American musical theater, performed with full orchestra and no sound amplification.

In addition to the four mainstage productions, Glimmerglass is proud to present the world premiere of Ben Morris and Laura FuentesThe Rip Van Winkles, featuring the Glimmerglass Youth Chorus performing alongside members of the company’s Young Artists Program. Throughout the season, the company will also host a slate of events, including concerts conceptualized and performed by 2023 Artist-in-Residence, Anthony Roth Costanzo. These events expand upon the themes of the mainstage productions, offering the chance for dialogue and conversation in engaging venues and formats.

“I approach my first season leading this great company full of hopes, aspirations, curiosity, and passion–all feelings shared by the characters whose stories are told so vividly in our 2023 productions,” said Ainsley. “Romeo and Juliet is a stunning showcase for its two young stars, Rinaldo opens a conversation about how we interpret the complex legacy of the Crusades in the 21st century, Candide and La bohème offer the opportunity for joy and celebration, and our world premiere youth opera, The Rip Van Winkles, is a modern story about connectivity and the impact of technology on our daily lives. We are delighted to present a season that spans the entire history of opera, engaging audiences in the power of story and music as cultural forces with the means to create concrete change.”



The 2023 Glimmerglass Festival will run from July 7 – August 20, 2023. Every mainstage production will be accompanied by the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra and is staged in the Alice Busch Opera Theater. Nestled on the northern banks of Lake Otsego in Upstate New York, the 918-seat theater is an integral part of the Glimmerglass experience. Its casual elegance, beautiful surroundings, and excellent acoustics provide an intimate, one-of-a-kind operatic encounter.

Glimmerglass holds to its longstanding commitment to community and accessibility, offering free events throughout the season, including preview talks before each mainstage production, backstage tours, changeover talks, and a lunchtime concert series sponsored by Oxalis, held in some of Otsego County’s most beautiful venues (dates and locations to be announced in the spring). In 2023, Glimmerglass will once again present a youth opera, The Rip Van Winkles, free of charge to all children under 12 years of age, with the support of the Zambello Gay Tribute Fund. The Festival offers Assistive Listening Devices and projected English supertitles for all mainstage performances.

Ticket packages for the 2023 Festival are available now, with single tickets on sale on January 30. To learn more about the season, or to purchase tickets visit or call the Glimmerglass Festival Box Office at (607) 547-2255.


La bohème

Giacomo Puccini
13 Performances — July 7, 9, 14, 18, 24, 29; August 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 19, 2023
La bohème is generously sponsored by Nellie and Robert Gipson.

Conductor: Nader Abbassi
Director: E. Loren Meeker
Choreographer: Eric Sean Fogel
Set Designer: Kevin Depinet
Costume Designer: Erik Teague
Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel
Hair & Makeup Designer: Tom Watson

Rodolfo: Joshua Blue^
Mimì: Teresa Perrotta
Marcello: Darren Drone^
Musetta: Emilie Kealani*^
Benoit/Alcindoro: Stefano de Peppo

Christmas Eve, Paris, an attic garret…that first touch of cold hands in the dark as the music swells. Against the backdrop of 19th century Paris, the hopes and dreams of a group of young bohemians collide with the realities of poverty and disease. 

Whether it is your first or your hundredth experience, La bohème never fails to cast its spell. Packed with some of opera’s most cherished moments, this tale of tragic young love became the basis for the popular musicals Moulin Rouge and Rent. With a ravishing score that brought

Puccini international fame, this is the perfect opera for first-timers and aficionados alike.

Soprano Teresa Perrotta praised by Opera Magazine – UK as “…show[ing] total command musically and dramatically…”, will return to Glimmerglass this summer to make her role debut as Mimì. An exciting newcomer to Glimmerglass, tenor Joshua Blue will reprise the role of Rodolfo after performing it with Opera Philadelphia this spring. Baritone Darren Drone will perform the role of Marcello, and Glimmerglass Young Artist soprano Emilie Kealani will make her debut as Musetta. After a splendid 2022 season with the company, bass-baritone Stefano de Peppo returns as Benoit/Alcindoro.



Leonard Bernstein/Hugh Wheeler, after Voltaire
12 Performances — July 8, 10, 16, 25, 27, 29; August 5, 7, 13, 15, 18, 20, 2023
Candide is generously sponsored by Andrew J. Martin-Weber.

Conductor: Joseph Colaneri
Original Production Director: Francesca Zambello
Director: Eric Sean Fogel
Choreographer: Eric Sean Fogel
Set Designer: James Noone
Costume Designer: Jennifer Moeller
Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough
Hair & Makeup Designer: Tom Watson
Sound Effects Designer: Joel Morain

Candide: Brian Vu
Cunegonde: Katrina Galka
Old Lady: Meredith Arwady
Paquette: Lisa Marie Rogali*
Maximilian: Schyler Vargas*

Leonard Bernstein’s Candide returns to the Glimmerglass stage this season, honoring Francesca Zambello’s fantastic original production. Based on Voltaire’s novel of the same name, Candide follows the lives of Candide and Cunegonde as they navigate their calamitous travels and asks the question; what’s the use of optimism when the odds seem stacked against you?

Described by the New York Times as having “…an ample and pleasing tone…”, tenor Brian Vu returns to Glimmerglass for his role debut as Candide. Soprano Katrina Galka will also return this season in the role of Cunegonde. GRAMMY-winning contralto Meredith Arwady performs the Old Lady, and Young Artists Lisa Marie Rogali and Schyler Vargas will perform Paquette and Maximilian respectively. 


Romeo and Juliet

Charles Gounod
8 Performances — July 15, 17, 30; August 4, 8, 10, 12, 19, 2023
Romeo and Juliet is a co-production with Washington National Opera.
The production is generously sponsored by Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard and Jacqueline B. Mars.

Conductor: Joseph Colaneri
Director: Simon Godwin^
Choreographer: Jonathan Goddard^
Set Designer: Dan Soule
Costume Designer: Loren Shaw
Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel
Hair & Makeup Designer: Tom Watson

Romeo: Duke Kim^
Juliet: Magdalena Kuźma^
Mercutio: Olivier Zerouali*^
Friar Laurence: Sergio Martinez*
Count Capulet: Stefano de Peppo
Gertrude: Meredith Arwady

Shakespeare’s plays form the basis of some of the greatest operas, and Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet is no exception. The world’s greatest love story is told in unforgettable duets, radiant melodies, and powerful choruses. While Gounod is best known for Faust, his setting of Shakespeare’s “most excellent tragedy” is a stunning showcase for its two young stars. With a stellar cast and a contemporary production from Simon Godwin, the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, this is an exciting new take on a classic.

A graduate of the Washington National Opera Cafritz Young Artist Program, tenor Duke Kim will make his Glimmerglass debut as Romeo, having performed the role with The Florentine Opera and Opera San Antonio. Soprano Magdalena Kuźma, a current member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, will also make her company and role debut as Juliet. Young Artists baritone Olivier Zerouali and bass-baritone Sergio Martinez will perform Mercutio and Friar Laurent respectively. Guest artists Stefano de Peppo and Meredith Arwady return to the stage as Count Capulet and Gertrude. 



George Frideric Handel
6 Performances — July 28, 31; August 6,12,15,17, 2023
Rinaldo is generously sponsored by Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard and Jacqueline B. Mars.

Conductor: Emily Senturia^
Director: Louisa Proske^
Choreographer: Jorrell Lawyer-Jefferson*
Set Designer: Matt Saunders
Costume Designer: Montana Levi Blanco
Lighting Designer: Amith A. Chandrashaker
Hair & Makeup Designer: Tom Watson
Projections Designer: Jorge Cousineau

Rinaldo: Anthony Roth Costanzo
Almirena: Jasmine Habersham
Armida: Keely Futterer*
Goffredo: Kyle Sanchez Tingzon*^
Argante: Korin Thomas-Smith*^

A child’s imagination gives rise to knights, sorcerers, monsters, and magic in this new take on the most fantastical of Handel’s operas. With hit tunes, coloratura showstoppers, and battling countertenors, Rinaldo has something for everyone. Beethoven called Handel “the greatest composer that ever lived,” and works like the “Hallelujah Chorus” have cemented his place in history. But his dramatic genius was never more on display than in his over 40 operas, of which Rinaldo ranks as one of the greatest. 

Glimmerglass Festival 2023 Artist-in-Residence, Anthony Roth Constanzo, a GRAMMY-winning artist and internationally acclaimed countertenor, will lead this production in the title role of Rinaldo. After a brilliant 2022 season, soprano Jasmine Habersham returns to Glimmerglass in the role of Almirena. Glimmerglass Young Artist Keely Futterer also returns to the stage as Armida, while countertenor Kyle Sanchez Tingzon and baritone Korin Thomas-Smith make their Glimmerglass debuts, also as Young Artists. 


The Rip Van Winkles

Ben Morris/Laura Fuentes
World Premiere
3 Performances – August 7, 13,18
Youth tickets (12 and under) are free, made possible by the Zambello Gay Tribute Fund. 

Callista: Amanda Sheriff*^
Audrey: Taylor-Alexis Dupont*
Frank: Hayden Smith*^
Milo: Grant Jackson*^
Chorus: The Glimmerglass Festival Children’s Chorus

Glimmerglass is proud to present our annual youth opera in the Alice Busch Opera Theater again this season. This year’s youth opera, The Rip Van Winkles, is a world premiere composed by Ben Morris with libretto by Laura Fuentes. This one-hour opera is set in a secluded upstate town away from all the hustle and bustle, but suspiciously short on cell reception. What will happen when a New York City transplant points out what the kids have been missing? 

The production will feature members of the Glimmerglass Young Artists Program, local youth performers, and members of The Glimmerglass Festival Children’s Chorus. 


In the Pavilion Events

The Glimmerglass Festival is proud to bring back our “In the Pavilion” events for the 2023 season. Artist-in-Residence Anthony Roth Costanzo will headline two cabaret-style concerts on August 11 and 14, alongside members of the Young Artists Program. In Love & War, showing on August 3 and 17, guest artists Duke Kim, Jasmine Habersham, and Brian Vu will take you back to the early days of opera and medieval life in a reimagining of extracts from Claudio Monteverdi’s Eighth Book of Madrigals, with direction and choreography by Eric Sean Fogel and musical direction by Rob Ainsley. The Pavilion will also host several Festival Dinners in which ticket holders will enjoy dinner, drinks, and conversation with the 2023 artists, as well as Preview Brunches during which General and Artistic Director Rob Ainsley and members of the Young Artists Program will give a sneak peek of the 2024 season. 

*Member of the Glimmerglass Young Artists Program ^Glimmerglass Festival debut

The company opens its 2023 season on July 7. For tickets or more information, visit or call the box office at (607) 547-2255.


About The Glimmerglass Festival

The Glimmerglass Festival is a summer destination in Upstate New York where audiences from across the country and the world come to experience world-class opera, musical theater, and cultural events in a beautiful, relaxing setting. Attracting over 30,000 people per summer, the Festival is a professional non-profit opera company dedicated to presenting new fully staged productions, including a work of American musical theater, each year. These four productions are supplemented by special performances, cabarets, concerts, lectures, and symposiums throughout the season. The company has a longstanding commitment to creating an inclusive, equitable, and diverse experience for all, including a commitment to investing in the next generation of theater professionals.

Mission Statement
Produce new, little-known and familiar operas and musical theater in innovative productions; Provide professional training and performance opportunities for emerging artists and interns; Engage important artists who inspire the highest standards of achievement; Inspire dialogue around meaningful issues of the day through song and story; Collaborate with regional organizations, schools, and businesses to enhance life in Central New York.


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