Glimmerglass Festival loses its leader at the end of its 2022 festival season when the visionary Francesca Zambello steps down after a transformative 12-year run at the helm.
“I first came to the festival in 1997 and directed Iphigene en Tauride, she said. “I fell in love with the region and the festival. Since becoming the general and artistic director, every season has been enjoyable, I can’t pick just one as my favorite. Every year has its highlights.”
“We just keep growing richer and stronger,” she said.
Glimmerglass Film Days, a program of Otsego 2000, will present a virtual film festival, plus five in-person events Nov. 4 to 11.
Curated by Artistic Director Margaret Parsons and Programmer Joey Katz, the slate of independent documentaries and narrative features and shorts reflects the theme “Rise.”
“Rise” is a word of elastic meanings, and we were first inspired by the term at the start of 2021, hearing Amanda Gorman’s use of it in her poem, ‘The Hill We Climb,’” said Parsons. “The films in this year’s program all reflect some note of ‘rising up,’ but these notes also are beautifully whimsical.”
Based on a survey, Otsego 2000 decided to hold the full festival online for the second year in a row. However, there will be five films shown at the Grandstand Theater at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and at Templeton Hall in Cooperstown. The five films also will be online.
“The theme ‘Rise’ captures this duality, as it serves as a beacon of hope and new beginnings but also a word of warning in terms of sea levels and global temperatures,” said Ellen Pope, executive director of Otsego 2000. The films include selections from 15 different countries as well as works by indigenous filmmakers.
A Glimmerglass Pass costs $75 and provides online access to 26 feature-length films and two shorts programs, plus online filmmaker talks. All films will be able to be viewed beginning at 7 p.m., Nov. 4. Tickets to individual online films are $5. Both the Glimmerglass Pass and online film tickets are good for a household.
Tickets to the in-person screenings are $10 per person and not included with the Glimmerglass Pass. To attend in-person events, proof of vaccination (NY Excelsior Pass or CDC vaccination card) and photo ID are required. Face masks will be required while watching films.
Passes, tickets, descriptions of each film, and trailers are available at glimmerglassfilmdays.org.
On its editorial page over the past few weeks, The Freeman’s Journal has commented on, among other important issues, the fog-like haze that was smoke from the western wildfires that fell on the lake and village, leaving the air heavily dangerous for long periods of time, and the latest COVID surge that is gnawing, for the most part, on our unvaccinated and younger residents — children — as well as causing new concern among our older population. None of this was any good and all of it is sad and, no doubt to some, depressing.
However, for us here in Otsego County, this distant, remote upstate almost-forgotten (or, perhaps, not yet discovered) place, there is a special glimmer; something that can bring a smile; something to lighten our load and keep us on a happier track. Otsego Lake.
Nine miles of clear, deep water that laps endlessly on steep tree-lined shores and often reflects the changing sky and clouds and forest, the lake is a home to myriad fish and feathered wildlife, a reservoir for the village of Cooperstown and a summer and winter playground for boaters, tubers, swimmers, sailors, rowers, paddlers, divers, fishermen and water, and snow-skiers. Glacier-created during the last great Ice Age, and spring-fed as well as stream-fed, this superb natural resource is the headwaters of the Susquehanna River. In the past it has played a variety of roles in the Leatherstocking novels of James Fenimore Cooper, who called his – and our – beautiful lake The Glimmerglass.
The summer tourism season begins Memorial Day weekend, with businesses and attractions getting set for a better year now that COVID is beginning to dissipate.
After a run of team cancellations earlier in the year, the Dreams Park baseball camp announced new protocols Monday, May 24.
The baseball camp in Hartwick Seminary will open Friday, July 23, with no restrictions on social distancing or mask wearing. However, they will be requiring a vaccine for all participating children and adults.
Dreams Park said on their website that the 2021 season would be the “first step toward a full reopening in 2022.”
Todd Kenyon, director of communications at the Fenimore Art Museum, said that he was optimistic about the upcoming summer and fall seasons.
“There’s always the unknown, but I can feel that people want to get out,” Kenyon said. “I’m hopeful they visit Cooperstown.”
In an email sent Tuesday, May 25, the Franklin Stage Company announced that it is following “the lead of our friends at Glimmerglass and have decided to build an outdoor stage on our lawn — and with it a whole outdoor theater environment with lights and sound and hopefully cool breezes.”
The email said the theater will follow guidance from state and local authorities as well as the Actors’ Equity Union.
“In December we wrote that when fear, uncertainty and scarcity threaten, we will lead with hope,” the email said. “We are indeed hopeful for the future, and can’t wait to see you all again.”
Some of the planned events at the Franklin Stage Company include an art show Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4, the drums of Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng on Friday, July 9, and Saturday, July 10, “Doktor Kaboom” on Friday, July 16, through Sunday, July 18, and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, Aug. 15.
Go to www.franklinstagecompany.org for more information.
Editor’s Note: Bill Harman has led SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station on Otsego Lake since its founding.
Historically, as in all our inland lakes after the original European settlement, rowboats, canoes, and sailboats capable of carrying a few passengers dominated Otsego Lake.
Early on it provided a corridor between the waters of the Mohawk drainage and the Southern Atlantic states via the Susquehanna River and was of national importance. It was used for a diversity of commercial and military activities over that length of time.
The first dirt road was built up the east side of the lake by William Cooper in 1787. By 1818, sections of road had begun to be built along the west side of the lake between Cooperstown and Springfield, but there was no direct route until about 1917.
Those early roads did not provide access to hotels and residences along the lake since they were constructed along the ridgetops to avoid the necessity of building bridges over the many streams running to the lake.
During that period, the lake itself served for commercial as well as recreational transportation. The first steamboat was launched in 1858. The last commercial steam vessel plied the lake in 1933.
During the height of those activities in 1894, 10 steam-powered vessels were active on the lake. At least two, the “Natty Bumppo” and the “Cyclone,” could carry more than 300 passengers.
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.”
PHOTOGRAPHY – 5 – 7 p.m. Take photographs during ‘Golden Hour’ just before sunset with staff member Kevin Gray providing pointers on composition, light, shadow, more. Cost, $17/non-member. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Sunset-Farm-Photography
COMEDIAN – 9 – 10 p.m. Have a fun night out with bonafide Georgia peach (native) Mia Jackson, who has appeared on Last Comic Standing, NickMom’s Night Out, others. Water Front Room, Hunt Union, SUNY Oneonta. Visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/2644366
LUMBERFEST – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. See timbersports, enjoy activities with Hanford Mills, go on a train ride, do a project, see a demonstration, more. Free, open to public. Co. Rt. 35a, Portlandville. Visit WightmanLumber.com
ART OF ANATOMY – 2 p.m. Discover how artists and doctors have collaborated in the study of the human body over time and what they have learned from each other. Learn it all at this lecture by artist/MD Allison Hill-Edgar. Tickets, $15. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/Vanitas-Dissected
COOPERSTOWN – As the Glimmerglass Festival opens its 2016 season this weekend, it announced its 2017 season, which will include two favorite American musicals, Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”
Also, the repeated visits of Supreme Court Justic Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be honored with the production of “Scalia/Ginsburg,” based on her opera-based friendship with her ideological foe, who passed away earlier this year. It will star 2017 Artist in Residence William Burden.