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Glimmerglass Opera Productions Live On

Glimmerglass Opera presents new productions every summer, but that doesn’t mean scenery and costumes don’t have a life after our original performances. We have a fairly extensive production rental program, which provides other opera and theater companies the opportunity to rent Glimmerglass sets, props and costumes, as well as titles/translations for productions. 

For example, Glimmerglass Opera’s 2007 production of Philip Glass’s Orphée will be seen at Portland Opera on November 6, 8, 12 and 14. The production will actually feature the same director and conductor and some of the same cast members engaged by Glimmerglass: director, Sam Helfrich; Anne Manson, conductor; La Princessa, Lisa Saffer; and Orphée, Philip Cutlip.  Portland Opera will also be using Glimmerglass’s original translations and projected titles, along with the sound design.

Our Director of Production, Abby Rodd, and Production Coordinator, Kate Newman, work year-round to facilitate Glimmerglass’s production rental program. The first steps to assuring the Glimmerglass set and costumes make it to the next presenting organization involve a lot of phone and e-mail conversations. Kate and Abby liaise with the technical and costume directors of the renting companies to figure out how to make the scenery and costumes work for their space and cast (which is often not the same as the Glimmerglass cast). Glimmerglass’s Alice Busch Opera Theater is actually smaller than most opera company stages. If the renting company’s stage is bigger, masking around the set must be created to disguise the size difference.

Once logistics are settled, we have to load the scenery and costumes into trucks to ship to the renting company. Orphée has already been shipped to Portland on two 53-foot trailers. Portland Opera graciously offered to accept the scenery and costumes early. So, the production was actually loaded this past summer, when we had our summer crew available to help. Otherwise, we must hire local people to do the heavy lifting. So, thank you Portland Opera!

Generally, we will send a wardrobe supervisor and a scenery supervisor with the production. The wardrobe supervisor observes fittings and assures the costumes won’t be modified in such a way that they can’t be returned to their original state. Jodi Zanetti, our Wardrobe Supervisor during the summer, will be traveling to Portland for fittings. Abby will travel to Portland in November to help ensure Portland Opera’s team puts the scenery together successfully.  

The scenery and costumes for these Glimmerglass productions are also traveling this year:

Orphée et Eurydice will be at The Atlanta Opera Company November 14, 17, 20 and 22.

L’Etoile (a co-production with New York City Opera) will be at Austin Lyric Opera January 30, February 3, 5, 7 2010.

The Marriage of Figaro (a co-production with Florida Grand Opera) will be at Pittsburgh Opera April 24, 27, 30 and May 2, 2010.

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