Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My final Glimmerglass post of the season

Actually there will be one more after this--an interview with a special Glimmerglass Festival artist.

I have found my calling!
This is where I post some thoughts and events from my visit to Glimmerglass that might not fit in full reviews. But first, let me thank lovely PR Manager Kelly and her able intern Kevin for their consideration in providing me access to Glimmerglass artists and shows.

Second, let me spread the word that, even though the coming weekend is Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Cooperstown, it's still a great time to go to Glimmerglass. It's not unheard of for people to be interested in both opera and baseball (I know—I was surprised, too!), but that's certainly not a requirement. Ticket discounts are available, and area lodging is still available, too.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and 2014 Glimmerglass Young Artists
Photo:  Karli Cadel, Glimmerglass Festival
On Saturday afternoon I was privileged to be in the audience for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's program. It thrills me to report that Justice Ginsburg was given a hearty standing ovation the moment she walked on stage. Then began the program of operatic scenes and arias related to the law, presented by the Glimmerglass Young Artists, each introduced by Justice Ginsburg, with off-the-cuff commentary. Some of my favorite Young Artists excelled in this program. Christian Bowers, who wowed us last year as Clyde Griffiths in An American Tragedy, sang a very moving aria from Don Carlo. Kristen Choi, last year's Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, gave us quite a steamy Sequidilla from Carmen. There were also Glimmerglass Young Artists who were new to me, but whom I was happy to see and hear. Vanessa Becerra was perfectly adorable as Susanna in an excerpt from the opening scene of Nozze di Figaro. Figaro in that scene was Rhys Lloyd Talbot. (I really liked Mr. Lloyd Talbot as Speaker/2nd Priest in the The Magic Flute, but that's another post.) Rexford Tester and Maren Weinberger were simply charming and quite amusing as Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum in a scene from The Mikado. Baritone Nathan Milholin, who impressed with just a few vocal lines as the Doctor and the Servant in Macbeth, impressed a lot more with Wotan's aria Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge from Das Rheingold. Raquel Gonzalez gave us a beautifully measured, well sung "We cannot retrace our steps....Where is where" from The Mother of Us All, which I confess I don't know at all.

On Tuesday afternoon, after seeing Macbeth a second time, I enjoyed the first of the season's Meet Me At the Pavilion series--Ladies' Night Out, when women of the company treated the audience to mostly non-operatic music. Among the highlights: a truly sensitive, contemplative performance of the Lennon/McCartney hit "Yesterday" by Marietta Simpson, who had wowed us as The Old Woman in Candide; "Alto's Lament", on having to sing low and boring ensemble parts, performed with comic flair by Cynthia Cook, who played Vanderdendur in Candide and Sondra Finchley in last season's An American Tragedy; a delightfully droll comic song about trying to find love when one is a turnpike toll collector, sung by the truly charming Maren Weinberger, who will delight audiences in Odyssey, the new children's opera offering at Glimmerglass, later this summer; a moving performance of "Summertime" by Jacqueline Echols, this season's Pamina in The Magic Flute; and an encore performance of "Taylor the Latte Boy" by Kristen Choi, who had sung the song on last year's program, and whose interpretation has grown by leaps and bounds in the interim. Indeed, one of the joys of going back every season is seeing the ongoing development in the Glimmerglass Young Artists.

Today we must wend our way homeward, alas. But here's another plug for Overlook Mansion in Little Falls, just a half hour away from Glimmerglass.

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