Before Announcing Season, Glimmerglass Opera Replaced One Production and Retitled Another

Classic Arts News   Before Announcing Season, Glimmerglass Opera Replaced One Production and Retitled Another
Concerned about attendance, Glimmerglass Opera earlier this year replaced a rare Baroque opera on its 2006 schedule and asked the creators of a new work to change its name.

The changes, made before the company announced the 2006 summer season in September, were noted in a Glimmerglass newsletter, but were not reported publicly until a report appeared in the New York Times today.

Cavalli's Giasone, which has only been performed a few times in the United States, according to the Times, was replaced with Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance. Stephen Hartke's Boule de Suif, or The Good Whore, based on Guy de Maupassant's short story " Boule de Suif," became The Greater Good.

In a letter to patrons included in the newsletter, artistic director Paul Kellogg said that both changes were made with attendance in mind. "Over the summer," he wrote, "we faced concerns over the unfamiliarity of the repertoire for the 2006 festival season, and we revisited our programming to see how we could better balance it." The cancellation of Giasone was the result.

In the letter, Kellogg said that "operas of the Baroque period....will play an important role in future seasons."

"During these same discussions," Kellogg continued, "there was also indication that the title of Stephen Hartke and [librettist] Philip Littell's Boul de Suif, or The Good Whore might deter patrons from attending. As most of you know, Glimmergass is neither prudish nor afraid of reality, but we want to encourage the greatest possible audience to attend.... Stephen and Philip were very much in agreement."

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