The Glimmerglass Festival Receives Special Funding for 2015 Season and Special Initiatives; The formalization of these efforts has been made possible with the assistance of a $1 million Partridge Foundation grant

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The Glimmerglass Festival
May 21, 2015

The Glimmerglass Festival Receives Special Funding for 2015 Season and Special Initiatives
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – The Glimmerglass Festival has announced it is the recent recipient of five grants for special purposes. The company celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and these awards will help the company continue its commitment to new productions of American and rare works, expand its community engagement endeavors and assist in making capital improvements to portions of the theater.

·         Glimmerglass’ 40th anniversary provides an opportunity to expand existing enrichment programs and create new avenues for the company to engage with the community. The formalization of these efforts has been made possible with the assistance of a $1 million Partridge Foundation grant. The award will support two years of programs designed for three categories of engagement: school-based initiatives, enrichment for adults and families, and programs for special constituencies.

“The Glimmerglass Festival is committed to improving the quality of life in the region, and this generous grant from the Partridge Foundation will help expand our connection with our surrounding communities both near and far,” said Francesca Zambello, The Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director.

To implement the projects funded by the grant, the company has hired Christopher Powell as Director of Administration and Community Engagement. Powell, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recently completed his 14th season as music administrator of Pittsburgh Opera. He was also Managing Director of Three Rivers Ringers, a Pittsburgh handbell ensemble. Powell first became involved with the arts as a French horn player, a singer, and then assistant conductor of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. He also worked as Orchestra Personnel Manager for both the Tanglewood Music Center and the Spoleto Festival USA. Powell earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Duquesne University, a master’s degree in French horn performance from the University of Miami, and an MBA in international business from Point Park University.

·         State Senator James Seward helped secure $300,000 in funding from Empire State Development to assist The Glimmerglass Festival with a significant multi-year renovation project to upgrade the lobby, house-front pathway and other patron amenities.

“The Glimmerglass Festival is a prime component of our local economy in Otsego County and throughout the region,” Senator Seward said.  “By further enhancing the visitor experience at The Glimmerglass Festival we will see an increase in return trips and positive word of mouth, which will help attract more tourists to the region.  This state investment will pay real dividends and will be a boost for our small businesses, hotels, restaurants and other area attractions.”

·         The Clark Foundation has continued its support of The Glimmerglass Festival with an award of $175,000 in 2015 and an additional $25,000 for the company’s community partnerships. The Glimmerglass Festival has partnered with several entities to create a more cohesive artistic and cultural experience for area visitors, as well as unique opportunities for special constituencies. Fenimore Art Museum will again partner with Glimmerglass on repertory-related programming. For a fourth season, members of Glimmerglass’ Young Artists Program will present its series of baseball-themed concerts, Perfect Pitch, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Glimmerglass will return to historic Hyde Hall for a third year with the original program Moonshine Revelers and Shades of Night, an evening of readings and song exploring Shakespeare’s works. The Glimmerglass Festival will premiere its first children’s opera with a newly commissioned piece, Odyssey, by composer Ben Moore, a Clinton, New York, native, and librettist Kelley Rourke. The cast will be comprised of Young Artists and members of the local Glimmerglass Youth Chorus. Other partnerships include collaborations with Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Attica Correctional Facility and more.

·         The Glimmerglass Festival’s new production of Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica is supported through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – $500,000 over the course of three years. The Mellon Foundation has partnered with Glimmerglass many times over the years, providing generous underwriting for several productions of rare and new works and, this year, aids the company in presenting the American premiere of this infrequently-heard work.

·         Complementing the Mellon Foundation grant, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded $75,000 to Glimmerglass for Cato in Utica.
“Glimmerglass made a name for itself in the world of baroque opera beginning in the 90s,” Zambello said. “Since then, Glimmerglass has produced more than a dozen new and innovative productions of early operas. In this tradition, I wanted to program a baroque piece for our 40th anniversary, and to our knowledge, Cato in Utica has never been produced in America. The funding from the Mellon Foundation and NEA makes the exploration of rarely staged works like this possible.”

Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the NEA promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise creativity.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funding these new projects like the one from The Glimmerglass Festival represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”

The Glimmerglass Festival is a professional, non-profit organization providing a one-of-a-kind summer destination for opera lovers and first timers alike. The scenic campus lies on the shore of sparkling Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill mountains. Each season, the company presents new productions of opera and musical theater, accompanied by myriad concerts, lectures, master classes and, this year, a world-premiere children’s opera.  The company’s Alice Busch Opera Theater opened in 1987 and has been home to more than 100 productions, many of which have been world and professional premieres. In 2015, the company celebrates its 40th anniversary with new productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Macbeth, Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica and Bernstein’s Candide. Visit for more information.


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