The Glimmerglass Festival, after canceling its 2020 season in light of the coronavirus pandemic, aims to return this summer with a new outdoor performance space and a lineup of 90-minute offerings.
The performances, scheduled July 15 through August 17, will take place in repertory on the Andrew J. Martin-Weber Lawn Stage, to be built on the south side of the festival’s Cooperstown, New York, campus. Instead of the organization’s 915-seat theatre, audiences will take in productions while seated in socially distanced picnic-style “Festival Squares,” to be shared by up to four people in the same party. Boxes will seat up to six people of the same party.
The lineup includes an English-language adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (directed by NJ Agwuna and featuring Eric Owens), Verdi’s Il Trovatore helmed by Glimmerglass Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello and Eric Sean Fogel, and a New Orleans-set adaptation of Offenbach’s La Périchole, titled Songbird and featuring Isabel Leonard and William Burden (also directed by Zambello and Fogel).
Also on tap is the world premiere of The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson. Denyce Graves will star as the title founder of the National Negro Opera Company, marking her Festival debut. Sandra Seaton pens the play, which features original music by Carlos Simon as well as selections featured in the repertory of the historic organization, which operated from 1941–1962; its restoration is a mission of the newly formed Denyce Graves Foundation. Tazewell Thompson (Blue) will direct.
Additionally, two concert presentations will highlight various genres of music theatre: the Wagner-focused Gods and Mortals and a Broadway-themed To the World.