Glimmerglass Fest to return to theater

FileClockwise from left, Francesca Zambello, Eric Owens and Joseph Colaneri discuss the role of the arts industry in social justice movements during a virtual town hall sponsored by The Glimmerglass Festival on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

The Glimmerglass Festival will return to its theater for its 2022 season after presenting last summer’s performances outdoors, and the season will be the last for Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello.

Zambello has announced the 2022 festival will be her 12th and final season according to a media release from the festival.

“My years with The Glimmerglass Festival have been the best of my life,” Zambello said in the release. “I got married and built a home here with Faith and our son, Jackson, and the Cooperstown community has become an integral part of our lives. I am so proud of this company and all we have accomplished over the last decade. This is not goodbye; it is a time of transition and excitement for this company I adore. I am excited to witness and support the beginning for the next era of the ever-evolving Glimmerglass Festival.”

“Francesca has revolutionized Glimmerglass by creating a Festival like none other,” said Robert Nelson, chair of the board of trustees. “The Board of Trustees remains forever grateful for her vision, planning, artistic and financial leadership.”

Zambello will continue her role as artistic director at Washington National Opera and as an independent opera and theater director, the release said.

The 2022 festival will feature productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music”; Bizet’s “Carmen,” directed by 2022 Artist in Residence Denyce Graves; and the new work “Tenor Overboard,” which combines some of Rossini’s music in a new comic opera with a book by playwright Ken Ludwig.

The next installment of “Common Ground,” the festival’s multi-year initiative of new, commissioned works, is a double bill of Kamala Sankaram and Jerre Dye’s “Taking Up Serpents,” paired with the world premiere one-act “Holy Ground,” by Damien Geter and Lila Palmer, the release said.

Sankaram will serve as the festival’s 2022 composer in residence. In addition to “Taking Up Serpents,” the festival will produce a new production of the youth opera “The Jungle Book,” featuring a libretto by Kelley Rourke, the release said. “The Jungle Book” was originally set to premiere during the 2020 festival.

Denyce Graves will reprise her role in an extended version of “The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson” in a two-night-only presentation in August. The play premiered in 2021 at Glimmerglass on the Grass.

The festival’s 2022 season will run July 8 through Aug. 21 in the Alice Busch Opera Theater in Springfield Center, and will be preceded by the releases of the festival’s first two commissioned works on film: “The Knock,” by Aleksandra Vrebalov and Deborah Brevoort, which takes viewers into the world of military wives; and “On Trac I<\,” a dance piece, composed by Nicolas Lell Benavides and choreographed and performed by Amanda Castro, which looks at the intersection of human and machine in rural America, the release said.

Glimmerglass Festival 2020 package buyers will have the first opportunity to purchase their 2022 ticket package beginning Oct. 25. Ticket packages will be available to the general public Nov. 15. All tickets go on sale Jan. 24, 2022. For more information, visit

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