Glimmerglass Festival near Cooperstown will forgo live performances this summer

Organizers will focus on education programs
A scene from "Show Boat" last summer at Glimmerglass Festival.
A scene from "Show Boat" last summer at Glimmerglass Festival.

Categories: Entertainment, Life & Arts

The Glimmerglass Festival, which includes opera and music programs as well as other cultural events during the summer, has canceled live performances this year due to COVID-19.

“As theater people, we are accustomed to problem-solving,” said Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello in a statement. 

“We had already adjusted plans and schedules in the hope we might be able to welcome company members and audience members for a Festival this summer. But in considering the health and safety of our artists and staff, and following New York State and CDC recommendations, we must now instead focus on how we can provide an opportunity for people to come together around song and story — without coming together in person.”

According to a statement from Glimmerglass, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to re-open the state emphasized that attractions that draw a large number of visitors from outside the area will not be permitted and the Festival often attracts audiences from across the country and beyond. 

Each summer, it sells more than 35,000 tickets and hosts more than 100 public events. 

This year, organizers will forgo live performances and focus on education programs, with resources in the works for the members of the Festival’s Young Artists Program, Summer Internship Program and Youth Opera Program. The Festival’s Town Hall series will go virtual, starting with a Live Conversation with Zambello and Joseph Colaneri, the Festival’s music director. 

“A huge part of the Festival’s mission is to inspire dialogue around meaningful issues through storytelling and music,” Zambello said. “That is another reason we have endeavors like our performances at Attica prison, or our recent world premiere ‘Blue’ discussing current issues. I am very excited about the prospect of bringing our Town Hall discussions to a potentially wider audience.”

Ticket holders for the 2020 Festival can receive a refund or donate the value of the ticket back to the Festival. Questions can be directed to [email protected] or 607-547-2255. 


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