Francesca Zambello, Artistic and General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival, to Speak at Amherst College Dec. 12

November  30, 2010

AMHERST, Mass. – On Sunday, Dec. 12, at noon in Stirn Auditorium, the Amherst College Department of Music, the Mead Art Museum and the Center for Community Engagement will present Francesca Zambello, artistic and general director of The Glimmerglass Festival. In a wide-ranging discussion, Zambello, one of the world’s leading opera directors, will reveal how she “rounded up” acclaimed soprano Deborah Voigt to sing in Berlin’s American classic Annie Get Your Gun and then serve as the first Glimmerglass Festival Artist-in-Residence. In addition, Zambello will describe her vision for the festival as well as announce a new partnership with Amherst College. A reception at Mead Art Museum will follow the talk immediately.

Zambello assumed leadership at Glimmerglass in September 2010. In changing the name from Glimmerglass Opera to The Glimmerglass Festival, she sought to reflect “our new breadth of activities and spirit of adventure.” “My goal,” she said, “is to have a variety of offerings, so you can come to a concert or reading in the afternoon, have a picnic, go to the opera, and then stay afterward for a cabaret.”

Glimmerglass is a professional non-profit summer festival dedicated to producing new productions each season. The company’s mission is to produce new, little-known and familiar operas and works of music theater in innovative productions which capitalize on the intimacy and natural setting of the Alice Busch Opera Theater; to promote an artistically-challenging work environment for young performers; and to engage important directors, designers and conductors who provide high standards of achievement.

The next Glimmerglass Festival will run July 2 through Aug. 23, 2011. The four main stage performances will perform in rotating repertory and include: Bizet’s Carmen, Berlin’s American classic Annie Get Your Gun, Cherubini’s rarely performed Medea, and additionally, a double bill of two new operas about American artists—the world-premiere production of A Blizzard in Marblehead Neck, a Glimmerglass-commissioned work by the award-winning team of composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tony Kushner, and the professional premiere of John Musto’s and Mark Campbell’s Later the Same Evening, an opera based on five Edward Hopper paintings. Ancillary activities will include concerts, cabarets, lectures, question-and-answer events and performances by members of the Young Artists Program, the company’s apprentice program for young singers. In August, The Glimmerglass Festival will also feature a Symposium Series, where visiting lecturers will explore topics related to the 2011 productions.

A complete schedule of the museum’s fall events is posted on the Mead’s Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/schedule. The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 17,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, please visit the museum’s web site, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335. 

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