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Glimmerglass Opera Charity Profile
Glimmerglass Opera is a professional non-profit summer opera company dedicated to producing new productions each season. The company’s mission is to produce new, little-known and familiar operas and works of music theater in innovative productions which capitalize on the intimacy and natural setting of the Alice Busch Opera Theater; to promote an artistically-challenging work environment for young American performers; and to engage important directors, designers and conductors who provide high standards of achievement. – Glimmerglass Opera Mission Statement
Glimmerglass Opera came into being through the efforts of Cooperstown residents – musicians, artists, educators and lovers of the art form – who hoped to bring opera to their community. Led by Peter Macris, a committee of community members, including Beekman C. Cannon, Ferdinand Ermlich, Thomas Goodyear, Louis Busch Hager, Mrs. Louis C. Jones, Mary-Jo Merck and Mrs. James M. Symington, worked to lay the groundwork for this innovative opera company.
The company presented its first season in the Nicholas J. Sterling Auditorium of the Cooperstown High School in the summer of 1975. Four performances of La Bohčme were staged before a cumulative audience of 1,200 area residents. Glimmerglass has since grown to international stature and now offers four productions each season. Productions have been performed in repertory since 1990. For the first 17 seasons, all works were sung in English; since 1992, they have been performed, with few exceptions, in their original language, accompanied by projected English titles.
The company opened its Alice Busch Opera Theater in June 1987 with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. The theater is located on the shore of Otsego Lake, the “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. The theater is on 43 acres of farmland donated by the late Glimmerglass Board Chairman Emeritus Tom Goodyear and his mother, Jeanette Bissell Goodyear.
Since its opening, the Alice Busch Opera Theater has been home to more than 80 productions, many of which have been new and world premieres, including A Question of Taste, commissioned from William Schuman (1989), the first American professional staging of Mozart’s Il Re Pastore (1991) and, in 1993, the world-premiere production of David Carlson’s The Midnight Angel, co-commissioned and co-produced by Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Sacramento Opera. The 1999 Festival Season featured the world premiere of Central Park, three one-act operas performed as a single work, with scores by Robert Beaser, Deborah Drattell and Michael Torke, to librettos by Terrence McNally, Wendy Wasserstein and A.R. Gurney. The triptych was jointly commissioned by Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera and Thirteen/WNET’s Great Performances, which telecast it on PBS in January 2000. In 2004, Glimmerglass Opera presented the American professionally-staged premiere of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur. The world-premiere recording of the Glimmerglass production was made available on the Chandos label and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good received its world-premiere performances and recording in the Alice Busch Opera Theater in 2006; a recording of the production was released by Naxos in June 2007.
In 1988, the company established its Young American Artists Program, which brings exceptional singers in the first stages of their professional careers to study and perform in the creative and demanding atmosphere of Glimmerglass. These young artists are chosen annually from hundreds of applicants. The program focuses on education through performance, which comes from opportunities to cover and perform appropriate roles in all four mainstage productions. Glimmerglass Young American Artists have the opportunity to work with world-class directors, designers and conductors.
Today, Glimmerglass Opera presents four works in new productions each Festival Season and attracts an international audience to the scenic Cooperstown area, where the talent of singers, directors, designers and staff from across the world converges in the Alice Busch Opera Theater to produce world-class opera.
Glimmerglass Opera Volunteer Information
Join our corps of volunteer ushers! Glimmerglass Opera relies on its many volunteers to serve as ushers at each Festival Season performance. Glimmerglass Opera ushers take tickets, assist in seating audience members, and most importantly, welcome our audience members with smiling faces.
Glimmerglass Opera Donation Information
When you make a charitable contribution to the Glimmerglass Opera Annual Fund, you play a leading role in our success.