The Glimmerglass Festival is excited to announce two new offerings in the 2023 season line-up. On July 30, 2023, award-winning, multi-platinum-selling American singer-songwriter and producer Natalie Merchant and Glimmerglass Artist-in-Residence Anthony Roth Costanzo will join forces for a world-premiere concert experience, CANTICO. CANTICO explores music from Merchant’s 40-year catalog along with never-before-heard work and reimagined pieces, drawing on the imagery of Catskill-based visual artist Portia Munson as a backdrop to the experience. CANTICO is an unprecedented opportunity to experience these voices together. Then, on August 15, Jamie Bernstein will host a conversation exploring the life and legacy of her father, Leonard Bernstein, composer of Candide, featuring performances of his music by Glimmerglass Young Artists. These two new events explore and enhance the themes of love, loss, and life that are seen across the 2023 season productions. 

“It’s such an honor to be invited to participate in the Glimmerglass Festival this year and to have the opportunity to collaborate with Anthony Roth Costanzo. I expect this to be one of the most unique evenings of music I have ever helped to create,” shared Merchant.

Glimmerglass Artist-in-Residence Anthony Roth Costanzo has appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. In 2022, the countertenor was awarded a GRAMMY, an Honorary Doctorate from Manhattan School of Music, a visiting fellowship from Oxford University, and the History Makers Award from the New York Historical Society. Costanzo has developed his own unique model of artistic entrepreneurship, bringing artists together across genres, mediums, and modes of expression like this new collaboration with Merchant. 

“Natalie’s voice, music, and words have spoken powerfully to so many generations, and I am no different! I recently got the chance to meet her and fan-girl when we were both in London, and as we talked, I think we both sensed a unique opportunity for an artistic synthesis. I was so honored when she accepted my invitation to collaborate and I can’t imagine a better place than the Glimmerglass stage to find the interweaving of our vocal approaches, and the tessellation of our collective spirits,” said Costanzo.

Also coming to the 2023 Glimmerglass Festival for the first time since 2018 is Jamie Bernstein. Inheriting her father’s passion for sharing and teaching, Jamie has devised several ways of communicating her own excitement about classical music. In addition to “The Bernstein Beat,” a family concert about her father modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts, Jamie has also written and narrated concerts for audiences of all ages about Mozart, Copland, and Stravinsky, among others. 

Artistic & General Director Rob Ainsley had this to say about these new additions to the 2023 season:

“One of my goals for the Festival has been to give our artists license to drive programming. Having Anthony Roth Costanzo in that driving seat inevitably leads to extraordinary results, and this new collaboration with Natalie Merchant, one of America’s great songsmiths, is not to be missed. Our season celebrates another great American melodist, Leonard Bernstein, with our production of Candide. We are honored to welcome his daughter Jamie back to Glimmerglass for her intimate perspective on her father’s life and legacy.”   

CANTICO will be held on Sunday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alice Busch Opera Theater and the 2023 Pavilion event, “A Candid Conversation with Jamie Bernstein,” will be held on Tuesday, August 15 at 11 a.m.

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 rounds 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, Glimmerglass is proud to present the world premiere of Ben Morris and Laura Fuentes’s The Rip Van Winkles, featuring community youth 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.

About The Glimmerglass Festival — The Glimmerglass Festival is a professional non-profit summer opera. Rob Ainsley was appointed Artistic & General Director in 2022, and the 2023 season is his first with Glimmerglass. The company continues its tradition of four fully staged productions, now including three operas and one work of American musical theater, performed with full orchestra and large casts. These four productions are supplemented by special performances, cabarets, concerts, lectures and symposiums throughout the season. The company continues to attract an international audience to the scenic Cooperstown area, where the talent of singers, directors, designers, and staff from around the world converges in the Alice Busch Opera Theater to produce world-class opera and musical theater.

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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