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August 22, 2013

See Young Artists master their craft

Cooperstown Crier

---- — The Glimmerglass Festival season is winding down to an end, but it is not too late to catch a special performance put together by the organization’s Young Artists.

Every summer, emerging young artists come to The Glimmerglass Festival to be coached, trained and mentored in hopes of launching their careers. Although they are able to participate in the mainstage shows, this performance is unique because they will make up the entire cast.

The Young Artists have been given the opportunity to perform one of four productions for the season each summer since 2011 when Francesca Zambello became director of the Festival. The Opera Guild sponsors the performance making it less expensive for people to attend. Tickets range from $10 to $25.

This year’s group of Young Artists will be performing “Camelot.” The matinee will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Participants of the program said those who have already seen “Camelot” this season should still come see this performance because it will not be a “carbon copy” because they will put their own spin on the characters. If nothing more, go show your support for those still in the beginning stages of trying to make their dreams come true.

This marks the 25th anniversary of the company’s Young Artists Program and this year’s group has been working with Julie and Nathan Gunn, who joined the company as artists-in-residence. Each year an artist in residence joins the company for the entire summer and is fully integrated into the Festival, serving as a coach and mentor to the Young Artists, as well as performing in a mainstage production and concert.

The Festival has really blossomed under Zambello’s leadership. She’s focusing on the apprentice program and finding ways to expand it. She’s maintaining a children’s chorus every year to give young people a chance to experience opera firsthand. And she is creating a group of artists with allegiances to the company, bringing in big names to serve as artists-in-residence every year and inviting them back.

Zambello has transformed the Festival into a place where artists gather, experiment with different kinds of performances, and learn from and train each other and the audience.