Francesca Zambello Will Direct New Production of Candide at Glimmerglass; Festival Lineup Announced

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08 Jul 2014

The Glimmerglass Festival has announced the lineup for its 2015 season of operas and musical theatre, presented at Alice Busch Opera Theater in Cooperstown, N.Y.



The season, which marks the festival's 40th anniversary, will feature Mozart's The Magic Flute, Verdi's Macbeth, Vivaldi's Cato in Utica and Bernstein's Candide. Performances begin July 10 and continue through Aug. 23. 

"A beautiful garden has both unity and variety," artistic and general director Francesca Zambello said in a statement. "In planning our 40th anniversary season, I wanted to employ those same ideas. Our season will feature singular works from four centuries of operatic history, unified by strong musical values and intensely intimate theatrical experiences in the Alice Busch Opera Theater. Along with many important debuts, the season will see the return of some of our most beloved artists from past seasons."

The season will open with a new adaptation of Mozart's The Magic Flute, which will take its inspiration from Native American folklore and the magical qualities of an unspoiled natural landscape. Madeline Sayet will make her company debut directing the opera.

"As a Mohegan and descendant of Chief Uncas, I am honored to have the opportunity to direct in a town and festival so closely associated with the words of James Fenimore Cooper, who famously fictionalized Uncas as the last," Sayet said in a statement. "What other lasts might be undone by removing the artificial barriers of myth and reality? Our Magic Flute is not a journey to a fantastical other world, but a way of looking more deeply into the real place we live in, the woods around Glimmerglass, if you only open your eyes wide enough."

Returning artist-in-residence Eric Owens will play the title character in Macbeth, co-starring with Melody Moore, who plays Lady Macbeth. SITI Company artistic director Anne Bogart will direct the new production of Macbeth, with choreography by fellow SITI Company member Barney O'Hanlon.

"The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of Western civilization's most iconic and powerful tales about blind ambition and hubris," Bogart said in a statement. "William Shakespeare mined the story for its dark and powerful drama, charting the psychological and political effects of evil action. Infatuated with Shakespeare's play, Giuseppe Verdi created his own operatic version, returning to it throughout his life to revise and expand. The result of Verdi's obsession is an opera that combines gripping drama and great music."

The season will continue with Catone in Utica, Vivaldi's setting of Metastasio's poetic depiction of Cato the Younger. Tazewell Thompson will direct.

"I love the early operas. The Vivaldi masterwork Catone in Utica is especially enthralling with its spectacular instrumentation that feels new and edgy and always exhilarating," Thompson said in a statement. "Complex and conflicted characters are passionately expressing their story through brilliant vocals with highly entertaining flourishes and ornamentations. Sublime."

Francesca Zambello's new period production of Bernstein's Candide will examine wars waged between nations and classes. Zambello will collaborate with conductor Joseph Colaneri in this co-production with Opéra National de Bordeaux and Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.

"Leonard Bernstein was one of the most gifted and erudite musicians of our time, and his love of literature and wry comedy are exuberantly combined in Candide," Colaneri said in a statement. "I am always touched by the life-affirming themes and lessons of this effervescent and witty score that ring true from Voltaire’s 18th century right down to the present day."

For more information on the 2015 Glimmerglass Festival and performance dates and times, call the Box Office at (607) 547-2255 or visit glimmerglass.org.