“The composer Jeanine Tesori, best known for her Tony Award-winning musical ‘Fun Home,’ and the librettist-director Tazewell Thompson tell the story of a striving black family in Harlem with a rebellious teenage son who’s incensed over police intimidation of young black men.
SCREENING – 6:30 p.m. See Oneonta’s Ninja Warrior compete in Baltimore City Finals on the big screen. Features door prizes, mini obstacles, refreshments. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-431-2080 or visit foothillspac.org
COOPERSTOWN – Described as “the greatest essayist on race in America since James Baldwin,” Ta-Nehisi Coates did not mince words as he replied to pre-submitted questions read aloud by moderator Teresa Miller, SUNY system’s chief diversity officer, at The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater yesterday.
“A majority of Americans have deeply misunderstood how deep white supremacy runs in America,” he told the packed theater. “We have never fully accepted black people; we don’t see them as more than second-class citizens.” Coates said that lack of acceptance allowed us to see four Congresswomen of color and Baltimore as not truly American when President Donald Trump attacked them, “a tactical move I compare to what Hitler did.”
COOPERSTOWN – Best-selling author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose influential 2014 article in the Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations” was revisited last month in a New Yorker interview, will speak at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater.
The discussion will be moderated by Teresa Miller, the SUNY system’s chief diversity officer. A Q&A session follows the discussion.
Coates, national correspondent for the Atlantic magazine until earlier this summer, is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
COOPERSTOWN – Since Francesca Zambello became general & music director at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2011, one show has been in the back of her mind.
“I’ve always wanted to do ‘Show Boat’,” she said. “It’s one that I’ve always had on our docket.”
The Oscar Hammerstein-penned musical, which deals with family and racism in post-Reconstruction Mississippi, is set to open the festival season this Saturday, July 6, in a season that includes “La Traviata,” “The Ghosts of Versailles” and the world premier of “Blue,” a new opera by Tony Award winning composer Jeanine Tesori, whose credits include “Fun Home” and “Shrek The Musical.”
“Blue,” commissioned by the Festival, tells the story of a black Harlem police officer and his wife as they deal with the loss of their teenage son in a police-involved shooting.
“It’s an interesting arc from ‘Show Boat’ to ‘Blue,’” said Zambello. “They both deal with issues of race in America, with one written in 1927 and the other in 2019. There’s a thematic connection.”
For her, bringing a musical to the festival was part of bringing in a wider audience. “The musical is America’s opera, and it’s never been fully embraced,” she said. “When we changed the name to the Glimmerglass Festival, I thought a classic musical would encourage new audiences.”
That season, the Festival presented “Annie Get Your Gun,” (1947) starring soprano Deborah Voigt. “It’s a classic American musical,” she said.
Since then, the Festival has staged “Camelot,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma,” “The Music Man” and
“West Side Story.”
“‘West Side Story’ was the most tickets we’ve ever sold,” she said. “We added three shows. It’s in people’s DNA.”
The Festival’s production of “West Side Story” just finished in Chicago and is headed to Italy. “Our ‘Porgy and Bess’ played in Cincinnati, and after this season, ‘Ghost of Versailles’ will be performed at Versailles, and ‘Blue’ will head to Chicago and Washington D.C.” said Zambello. “These productions carry our brand and our way of thinking all over the world.”
And the Festival’s unique space lends itself well to the traditional musical. “So many of them were written without major amplification,” she said. “They were written for big voices and a big orchestra. When ‘Show Boat’ was first performed, it was likely performed by people who had opera training.”
“When you see a Broadway show,” she continued, “or a revival on tour, if you hear 22 musicians it’s a miracle. You’re basically having an acoustic experience.”
The musicals also serve as a bridge for the Festival’s Young Artists and musical theater interns. “There’s a cross-pollination there,” she said. “And four of our Young Artists are doing musical theater on Broadway right now.”
In addition to performances at the Festival, “Show Boat” will also be performed at Attica Correctional Facility as part of the Festival’s commitment to outreach and social justice.
“The Constitution says ‘We The People,’” she said. “We think about that a lot here.”
So far, Zambello said, tickets have been selling well, with several shows already sold out. “We don’t want you to be disappointed that you can’t get tickets,” she said. “And last year, we had a lot of disappointed people.”
COOPERSTOWN – “The Sound of Music” and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” will lead the 2020 season of the Glimmerglass Festival, the opera company announced today.
The festival, which starts July 11, 2020, will also include Wagner’s Die Feen (The Fairies) and Handel’s Rinaldo. Selections for the season serve as a survey for the development of these famed creators, with the slate featuring formative operas from Wagner and Handel, as well as masterworks from Mozart and Rodgers & Hammerstein.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – 9 a.m. Learn about the historic events in 1939 while celebrating the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 80th birthday. Baseball Hall of Fame, 25 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.baseballhall.org/, 607-547-7200.
COOPERSTOWN – Tickets for The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2019 season are now on sale.
The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2019 season mainstage productions include Kern’s “Show Boat,” Verdi’s “La traviata,” Corigliano’s “The Ghosts of Versailles” and the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s “Blue.”
COOPERSTOWN – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will once again be on hand to speak about her passion for opera and her perspective on law in the arts at The Glimmerglass Festival next July.
This is Justice Ginsburg’s sixth time presenting at The Glimmerglass Festival. She last appeared in 2017, when she spoke following a performance of Derrick Wang’s opera Scalia/Ginsburg. Her talk will also feature members of the Glimmerglass Young Artists Program enacting selected scenes that deal with law and justice.
CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Start performance season with award winning Violinist William Hagen performing Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn with Catskill Symphony Orchestra. Ballroom, Hunt College Union, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-2670 or visit catskillsymphony.net/news-events/upcoming-events.html
TRACTOR FEST – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Explore world of tractors, from through exhibits, demonstrations, activities for young and old, more. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Tractor-Fest
HARVEST FESTIVAL – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Event features music, performances, activities, workshops, meet the animals, learn about old-time trades, participate in the harvest. Entry, $12/adult. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Harvest-Festival
HARVEST FESTIVAL – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the season with vendors, live music, demos, meet & greet with artisans, a tour of Beekman farm, a beer garden, food trucks, more at family friendly events. Sharon Springs. 888-801-1802 or visit beekman1802.com/events/harvest-festival/
COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 6:30 p.m. Learn how the baseball card game began with Hall of Fame librarian Jim Gates in “The Origins of Trading Cards.” Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-0600, ext. 101 or visit www.facebook.com/Woodside.Hall/
OPERA – 7:30 p.m. Mezzo soprano Samantha Malk perform’s Leo Hoiby’s Bon Appetit!, one woman opera show based on Julia Child’s cooking show, while baking a cake. Ticket’s, $25/adult. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 800-838-3006 or visit www.cooperstownmusicfest.org
PHOTOGRAPHY – 6 – 8 a.m. Sunrise on Glimmerglass Photo Excursions. Walk behind Fenimore Art Museum with photographer Kevin Gray, capture sunrise over Otsego Lake. Cost, $17/non-member. Lawn, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/calendar-a