News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Glimmerglass Festival

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JULY 17
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JULY 17

Discussing Art

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ARTIST TALK – 5:30 p.m. Music Director Joseph Colaneri and this years Artist in Residence William Burden who sings Justice Scalia in the opera ‘Scalia/Ginsburg’ will discuss Burden’s very successful career and his roles and the importance of the Artist in Residence Program. Reception will follow. Admission, free to members, non-members $5. Pavilion, Glimmerglass Festival Campus, Cooperstown. Reservation, Winnie Olsen @ (570)685-7204 or Rita Emanuel @ (607)286-9288 by 7/15

MEDIUMSHIP DEMONSTRATION – 6-8 p.m. Bring Questions, Learn to connect with Loved Ones. All Welcome, $25 admission. 404 Ed Herman Rd., Westford. RSVP storyducey@gmail.com call Rev. Story Lucile (607)638-5111 or visit www.darlinghillfarmretreat.com

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2018 Opera Schedule Announced

Opera Schedule Announced!

The Glimmerglass Festival has announced the schedule for their 2018 season. Including great artists like Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaids Tale,” Eric Owens, Rosanne Cash, and more the festival will once again be exploring themes of home and country.

To view the anouncement CLICK HERE! 

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 29
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 29

Lucia & Levi In Neahwa Park

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SUMMER CONCERT SERIES – 7 p.m. Presenting “Lucia & Levi” for the first performance at the Bandstand, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. www.oneonta.ny.us/departments/parks-and-recreation/summer-concert-series/

MAMMOVAN VISIT – 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Get free mammograms, clinical breast exams, pap tests, and pelvic exams for no cost at Bassett Healthcares Mammovan. Walk-ins welcome. Family Planning of South Central New York, 37 Dietz St., Oneonta. www.facebook.com/pg/FPSCNY/events/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JUNE 12
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JUNE 12

Oneonta Outlaws Home Game

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HOME GAME – 7 p.m. The Oneonta Outlaws vs. Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs. Damaschke Field, Oneonta. Info, www.oneontaoutlaws.com/teams/default.asp?u=ONEONTAOUTLAWS&s=baseball&p=home

TALKING OPERA – 7 p.m. Kevin Miller, a Glimmerglass Festival Principal Coach/Accompanist, will lead a program focusing on the great American opera “Porgy and Bess.” Christ Church Parish Hall, 69 Fair St., Cooperstown.

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Glimmerglass Festival Brings ‘Stomping Grounds’ To Town

Glimmerglass Fest Premieres

‘Stomping Grounds’ In County

Victor Simonson, Aidan Kahl, Rachel Duval and Jawan Jenkins go through the first reading of “Stomping Grounds” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The show will be premiered in Otsego County, beginning this coming Monday at SUNY Oneonta. (Lucas Godlewski photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Warming up for its summer season, The Glimmerglass Festival is bring a world-premiere hip-hop opera, “Stomping Grounds,” to Otsego County and Upstate New York over the next few weeks, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, May 8, at SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Multi-Cultural Experiences.

Another local performance will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at the Cooperstown Farmers Market.  No tickets are required for either show.   Performances are also planned at Cherry Valley-Springfield and Cooperstown central schools, and Oneonta Middle School.

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Justice Ginsburg: Fear Not, Constitution Getting Better
BIG DRAW AT GLIMMERGLASS

Justice Ginsburg: Fear Not,

Constitution Getting Better

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is surrounded by the Glimmerglass Festival's Young Artists after addressing a near-capacity crowd at the Alice Busch Opera Theatre Friday.  (Karli Cadel/Glimmerglass Festival)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is surrounded by the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young Artists after addressing a near-capacity crowd at the Alice Busch Opera Theatre Friday. (Karli Cadel/Glimmerglass Festival)

By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Don’t despair, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reassured her fellow Americans in an almost full 914-seat Alice Busch Opera Theatre this afternoon:  Today’s dissents are often tomorrow’s majorities.

“Our Constitution has not changed, but our interpretation of it has become more perfect,” said the dean of the high court, an opera fan who has spoken to fellow fans at an annual fundraiser for five years now.  The 5-foot-1 jurist – arguably, she has now spent more time in Otsego County than any justice since Cooperstown’s Samuel Nelson – was greeted with a standing ovation, wild applause and cheers; the audience gave an encore at the end.

Ginsburg’s remarks on the Constitution came during a Q&A following a 90-minute “matinee” featuring nine opera selections that related to the law, ranging Bizet’s “Carmen” to Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” to “Stay, Frederic, Stay,” from “The Pirates of Penzance,” with observations by the justice in between.

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Great Score Overcomes Bland ‘Sweeney’ Setting
NIGHT AT THE OPERA

 Great Score Overcomes

Bland ‘Sweeney’ Setting

By PAT THORPE • Review for www.AllOTSEGO.com

A flat set disappointed some opera-goers, by Greer Grimsley's performance as "Sweeney" and Sondheim score offers compensation. (Karli Cadel/Glimmerglass Opera)
A flat set disappointed some opera-goers, by Greer Grimsley’s performance as “Sweeney” and Sondheim score offers compensation. (Karli Cadel/Glimmerglass Opera)

COOPERSTOWN – Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” has been described as “operatic” since its debut in 1979 and it didn’t take long for this musical thriller to move to the opera house.

John DeMain conducted Sweeney’s operatic debut in 1984 and has probably led more performances than anyone on Earth – very good reasons the Glimmerglass Festival orchestra sails with confidence and power through Sondheim’s complex rhythms and unexpected harmonies under his baton.

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NY’s Attorney General In County This Weekend

NY’s Attorney General

In County This Weekend

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is in the Cooperstown area this weekend, posing here last evening at the annual county Democratic Dinner at Village Trustee Richard Sternberg's Westridge Road home.  From left are county Chairman Richard Abbate, Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, Schneiderman, Dr. Sternberg and Zephyr Teachout, Democratic candidate for the 19th Congressional District.  This afternoon at 4, Schneiderman will appear at a Glimmerglass Festival forum, discusses the current applications of "The Crucible."  The operatic adaption of Arthur Miller's play is part of the festival's 2016 season.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is in the Cooperstown area this weekend, posing here last evening at the annual county Democratic Dinner at Village Trustee Richard Sternberg’s Westridge Road home.  From left are county Chairman Richard Abbate, Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, Schneiderman, Dr. Sternberg and Zephyr Teachout, Democratic candidate for the 19th Congressional District.  This afternoon at 4, Schneiderman will appear at a Glimmerglass Festival forum, discussing the current applications of “The Crucible.”  The operatic adaption of Arthur Miller’s play is part of the festival’s 2016 season.
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OPERA WEEKEND ARRIVES

OPERA WEEKEND ARRIVES

‘Flute,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘Cato,’ ‘Candide’ Performed Lakeside

Sean Panikkar is Tamino in The Glimmerglass Festival's 2015 production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," which is transported to the woods of the Northeastern U.S.   The performance is director by Madeline Sayet, a Mohican princess. Dory Schultz/The Glimmerglass Festival)
Sean Panikkar is Tamino in The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2015 production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” which is transported to the woods of the Northeastern U.S. The performance is directed by Madeline Sayet, a Mohican princess. (Dory Schultz/The Glimmerglass Festival)

This is one of two summer weekends when all four of the Glimmerglass Festival’s productions are performed in the Alice Busch Opera Theatre on Otsego Lake.  Below are reviews of this year’s productions by Pat Thorpe for The Freeman’s Journal (Cooperstown’s newspaper) and Hometown Oneonta, allotsego.com’s sister publications.

New Mozart ‘Flute’ ‘Completely Magical’

Big Choruses Bolster Leads In ‘Macbeth’

‘Cato’ Buoys Reputation For Baroque

‘Candide’ Overcomes ‘Relentless Tinkering’

Check for the SCHEDULE and BOX OFFICE

PROFILE: ‘Fearless Francesca Zambello’ Directs Glimmerglass

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‘Candide’ Overcomes ‘Relentless Tinkering’

‘Candide’ Overcomes ‘Relentless Tinkering’

Review By PAT THORPE for www.allotsego.com

The Glimmerglass Festival's 2015 production of Bernstein's "Candide." (Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival)
The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2015 production of Bernstein’s “Candide.” (Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival)

The musical “Candide,” now in a glittering production at the Glimmerglass Festival, is one of Broadway’s favorite death and resurrection stories. When it opened in 1956, it boasted a roster of bold-face talent: Tyrone Guthrie; Leonard Bernstein; Dorothy Parker; Richard Wilbur; Lillian Hellman. In spite of irresistible music and some of the wittiest lyrics ever to reach the stage, “Candide” closed after 73 performances.

In 1974, with a rewritten book by Huge Wheeler and more witty lyrics by Steven Sondheim, the flop flipped and ran for 2 years. In 1982, Hal Prince convinced New York City Opera that “Candide” was actually an operetta, so more music and witty lyrics were written. In 1989, Bernstein created a concert version with less text, more music and more philosophy, optimistically titled the Final Revised Version; far from final, it is performed by symphony orchestras around the world. Revisions continue up to the Glimmerglass “Candide.” At each stage, musical numbers are moved, lyrics reworked, libretto updated.
All the relentless tinkering points to the central problem of “Candide.”

Voltaire’s slender satire from 1759 sends its hero sailing across the globe in search of love and truth, but mostly to furnish targets for Voltaire’s outrage: Greed and corruption in politics; abuse by religious orders; the futility of war; the horrors of slavery and colonialism, all attacked with suave wit and evenhanded vitriol. The characters are insubstantial as cartoons, and like cartoons they die and return to life repeatedly. Motion is a substitute for plot and the result can be travel fatigue.

However, the Glimmerglass “Candide” is so entertaining that occasional narrative let-downs might not be noticed. Kathryn Lewek as Cunegonde is the leading gem of the cast, with a superb soprano for the considerable demands of the role; she brings surprising depth of feeling and charm to a self-infatuated Material Girl. Helping her to survive is Marietta Simpson, a delight as the outrageous Old Woman.
Andrew Stenson has a sweet tenor and guileless face for the optimistic “Candide,” but is a little too bland to keep our attention, especially next to sidekicks like the pessimistic Martin, played to furious perfection by Matthew Scollin. David Garrison thoroughly fulfills our vision of Voltaire as he narrates the action and gracefully doubles as Dr. Pangloss.

Bernstein ransacked European musical history to create a pastiche of Old World dances like the mazurka, schottische and gavotte; those familiar rhythms are draped in dazzling lyrics and tunes you can’t stop humming. It is thrilling to hear this music beautifully played by a full orchestra, conducted with verve by Joseph Colaneri. The cavernous and versatile wharf-side warehouse set by James Noone sums up the endless cycle of travel endured by our characters. Jennifer Moeller has designed luxurious 18th century-style costumes for the principle characters, while the large ensemble resembles a half-dressed commedia dell’arte troupe.

In the finale, Bernstein abandons Voltaire entirely. Setting Richard Wilbur’s translation of the famous last line, he creates a soaring anthem of hope in everything we love and live for.

“We’ll build our house,
“And chop our wood,
“And make our garden grow.”

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103