Jane Glover Hit Author With ‘Handel In London’
By LIBBY CUDMORE
CHERRY VALLEY – Fixing up a guest house in Cherry Valley, Graham Humes was worried what his summer tenant, Jane Glover, in town to conduct “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” at the 1994 Glimmerglass Festival, might think.
“I was afraid she wouldn’t like it!” he said. “But we got a piano in there for her, and she was very happy.”
So happy, in fact, that she returned for the next five years to conduct at the festival, often having dinner with Humes or spending an evening at the Rose and Kettle. “She was a charming woman who loved Cherry Valley,” said Humes.
Glover, a renown conductor of Baroque music, has recently released her second book, “Handel in London: The Making of a Genius” with MacMillian. The book has receive a starred review from Kirkus and praise from the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
“I thought the book was wonderful,” said Francesca Zambello, Festival general & artistic director. “She’s a wonderful collaborator, very connected to the drama, while also having an eye to the conventions of the baroque pieces.”
Paul Kellogg, director when Glover was here, once again brought her up for “Tamerlano” in 1995. “I hired her without meeting her because of her reputation,” he said. “After that, I hired her several more times.”
Glover was one of the first female conductors in baroque music and has conducted for The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, New York Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Australia, Opera Theatre of St Louis. She also hosting the BBC television series “Orchestra with Jane Glover” and “Mozart –
His Life with Music.”
“It was wonderful to watch her up there on the podium,” said Kellogg. “You really got a sense of her deep musical involvement; she did a lot of research into what instruments were being used when the piece was written, tracing the composition back to find the composer’s ideas about the piece. She absolutely knows what she’s doing.”
At Glimmerglass, she also conducted “La Calisto”
in 1996, “Iphigenie en Tauride” in 1997 and “Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria” in 1999.
“She always wore these sparkly tops, and because she was conducting baroque pieces, she had to be slightly more elevated in the pit to be above taller instruments like the theorbo,” said Joan Desens, Director of Institutional Advancement. “One afternoon, a man sitting directly behind her tapped her on the shoulder while she was conducting – he told her to put her arm down!”
And while she was with the Festival, she spent her summers in Cherry Valley. “She always wanted to be with people,” said Humes. “She was charming and fun to be with. She really wanted to be your friend.”
Even after she left the Festival, Glover and Humes stayed in touch; while he was living in St. Petersburg, Russia, she put a friend of hers from the BBC in touch with him for an interview about Americans running businesses in Russia. “It tells me she kept my phone number,” he said.
These days, she is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and was appointed to the new role of Felix Mendelssohn Emeritus Professor of Music in July 2016.
Zambello is hoping to get her to return to the festival, either as a conductor or to speak about her book.