With The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2019 season underway, the Cooperstown-based opera and musical theater company has announced programming for 2020, as well as the 2020 festival’s pair of Artists in Residence.
The 2020 Glimmerglass Festival’s mainstage productions will include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Wagner’s “Die Feen (The Fairies)” and Handel’s “Rinaldo.”
The festival will also feature the world premiere of the youth opera “The Jungle Book” by Kamala Sankaram and Kelley Rourke, as well as a new adaptation of Mozart’s “Così fan tutte.” A compact, contemporary take on Mozart’s opera, “Così?” will “upend the classic battle of the sexes, exposing and examining all manner of gender stereotypes,” presenters said in a media release. “Così?” will be presented with piano accompaniment in the Pavilion.
“The Glimmerglass Festival celebrates the ideals of ‘artistic citizenship,’” Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello said in the release. “I believe the arts can help us forge new connections and serve as a catalyst for dialogue. For the past decade we have focused on casting our shows in a way that reflects America today — with talented performers of all backgrounds. And in 2020, we also look forward to continuing our tradition of empowering female voices, with women directing all four shows and conducting two.”
The festival will welcome Grammy Award-winner Isabel Leonard and William Burden as artists in residence for the 2020 season. Both will star in “The Sound of Music,” as well as provide mentorship for the Young Artists Program.
The season will run July 11 through Aug. 25, 2020.
The 2020 Festival will open with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” in a new co-production with Houston Grand Opera directed by Zambello, associate directed and choreographed by Eric Sean Fogel and conducted by Music Director Joseph Colaneri. Leonard and Burden will headline the production as Maria and Captain von Trapp. Leonard will make her Glimmerglass debut, and Burden will return to Glimmerglass after serving as the 2017 Artist in Residence and appearing as Andrew Carnes in “Oklahoma!” and Justice Antonin Scalia in “Scalia/Ginsburg.” The production will run from July 11 to Aug. 25, 2020.
“Don Giovanni” will return to the stage of the Alice Busch Opera Theater in a new co-production with Seattle Opera, directed by Brenna Corner and conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya, music director of the Chicago Opera Theater. An alumna of Glimmerglass’ Young Artists Program, Corner’s collaborative efforts with the festival continue after serving as the director of “Scalia/Ginsburg” and the youth operas “The Odyssey” and “Noah’s Flood.” Shea serves as the artistic director of the Fraser Lyric Opera and the Manitoba Underground Opera in Winnipeg, Canada. Yankovskaya will make her Glimmerglass debut. After emigrating from Russia as a child, she attended high school just 45 minutes from the festival campus. Now, Yankovskaya is the music director at the Chicago Opera Theater, and is the only woman to hold that title in a multimillion-dollar opera company in the United States. She also founded the Refugee Orchestra Project, which promotes the cultural and societal relevance of refugees through music. The production will run July 17 to Aug. 24, 2020.
Louisa Proske will direct and Erina Yashima conduct a new production of Handel’s “Rinaldo.” “Rinaldo” will be the ninth Handel opera presented in the company’s 45-year history. Proske is a co-founding artistic director of Heartbeat Opera in New York City, and earned a 2018 Princess Grace Foundation Award for her work with the company. Yashima was recently appointed as an assistant conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra following a three-year apprenticeship at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The production will runs July 12 through Aug. 18, 2020.
Wagner’s rarely performed “Die Feen” will round out the season’s mainstage roster in a new production directed by Zambello and conducted by Colaneri. The production will run July 16 through Aug. 21, 2020.
While audiences may be familiar with the story of an endangered human cub who seeks refuge with a pack of wolves, Sankaram and Rourke’s retelling of “The Jungle Book” casts a girl in the central role of Mowgli, alongside Baloo and Shere Khan. “The Jungle Book” will feature the Glimmerglass Youth Chorus, joined by members of the company’s Young Artists Program, with piano accompaniment.
Casting, events, concerts and guest appearances for 2020 will be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit www.glimmerglass.org.