The Glimmerglass Festival last week announced the passing of Paul Kellogg, Glimmerglass artistic director emeritus.
According to a media release from the festival, Kellogg came to Cooperstown in 1975 to write, but stayed and developed "one of the premiere summer opera and music-theater festivals in the United States,. He leaves as a highly respected and well-beloved member of the greater Cooperstown community," the release said. Kellogg died on natural causes at Bassett Medical Center on April 28. He was 84.
In Cooperstown, Kellogg "met a community eager to create art," the release said. In July of that year, Glimmerglass Opera produced, in its founding season, four performances of Puccini’s "La bohème," staged in the Cooperstown High School auditorium. Kellogg became involved with the company the following season when his partner, Raymond Han, a painter and sculptor, was asked to work on sets.
In 1979, Kellogg was appointed Glimmerglass Opera’s executive manager. His title shifted over time as he expanded his duties with the company, becoming general manager in 1984, general director in 1987 and general and artistic director in 1995. Under Kellogg’s leadership, the release said, the festival season grew to include four fully staged productions each summer. In 1987, the company opened the Alice Busch Opera Theater, which remains Glimmerglass' home.
In 1988, Kellogg helped establish the company’s Young American Artists Program, now the Young Artists Program. Kellogg’s 26-year tenure saw productions of works by composers ranging from Claudio Monteverdi and Francesco Cavalli to John Philip Sousa and Benjamin Britten, as well as "innovative approaches to standard repertory" led by directors such as Martha Clarke, Mark Lamos, Jonathan Miller, Simon Callow and Leon Major, the release said.
In 1996, shortly after becoming general and artistic director of Glimmerglass Opera, Kellogg was named general and artistic director of New York City Opera. He "crafted a special partnership between the two companies," the release said, with numerous shared productions, including "Madama Butterfly," "Falstaff," "Tosca" and "The Mother of Us All." Kellogg produced 62 new operas at New York City Opera, about half of which originated in Cooperstown. In 1999 he inaugurated an annual series of new opera readings with the New York City Opera Orchestra.
His last season at Glimmerglass was in 2006, and his final year at New York City Opera was 2007.
In addition to those posts, he served on the board of OPERA America and frequently worked with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He also served on the boards of the Clark Foundation, Shen Wei Dance Arts and the New York State Historical Association.
Kellogg received the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture in 2007 and the honor of Arts Administrator of the Year from the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators. He was also the recipient of OPERA America’s Distinguished Service to the Field Award and received special citations from New York state Gov. George Pataki in 1998, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007.
"Paul Kellogg was a beloved and visionary leader in the arts," the release said. "His extraordinary artistic sensibility, his warmth and charm, and his commitment to humanistic values made him an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact."
Kellogg was predeceased by Han. There will be a celebration of life open to everyone in the summer 2021, the release said.