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Glimmerglass Opera announces changes under Francesca Zambello

June 14, 2010 |  4:09 pm


One of the country's leading summer cultural festivals, Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., will welcome its new artistic director, Francesca Zambello, in September. The prolific opera and theater director  said Monday that the festival will undergo some major changes beginning with the 2011 summer season.

First, a name change. The venerated institution will change its name to the Glimmerglass Festival starting next summer to reflect a broader array of productions and events. For 2011, the festival is expanding its scope to include regular productions of Broadway musicals plus expanded offerings of concerts, cabaret and readings.

Next year's festival, which will run July 2, 2011 through Aug. 23, 2011, will feature four productions in repertory -- Bizet's "Carmen"; Cherubini's "Medea," a rarely performed opera from 1797; the Irving Berlin musical "Annie Get Your Gun"; and a double bill consisting of the new opera "A Blizzard in Marblehead Neck," written by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner, and the opera "Later the Same Evening" by John Musto.

Glimmerglass also announced that it will start a new program called the Glimmerglass Festival Artist in Residence. The festival will invite a major international artist to participate throughout the summer, with a leading role in a main-stage production among other activities.

Zambello, who succeeds Michael MacLeod, has directed operas at companies around the world and is currently working on Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle for San Francisco Opera. She has also directed the Broadway production of "The Little Mermaid" that ran from 2008-09, and the Old Globe's production of "The First Wives Club" last year.

This summer's Glimmerglass will run July 9 to Aug. 24 and will feature four new productions -- Puccini’s "Tosca"; Copland’s "The Tender Land"; Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro"; and Handel’s 1728 opera "Tolomeo."

-- David Ng

Photo: Francesca Zambello. Credit: Sean Masterson / For The Times