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Notes From Francesca

First and foremost — THANK YOU!
I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make 2012 a success. During our end-of-year fund drive I spoke to many of you while I was in rehearsals in Houston and at the Met. As we are closing the books on 2012, it appears that for the second year in a row Glimmerglass has operated in the black. I am extremely proud and grateful to all who helped get us there. Along with this achievement, it was great fun for me to speak personally with so many of you during our phone/e-mail campaign. I learned a lot about what you care about!

GREETINGS FROM 35,000 FEET. I started this en route to China over the Bering Strait. I left Houston at 4:30 a.m. on Friday for snowy Beijing, where I am directing a new production of The Tales of Hoffmann at the National Center for the Performing Arts, also known as the Egg. I shared my pre-production sightseeing visit there with you in October, but check out their website where you can also see this amazing theater, designed by Jean Nouvel, situated next to Tiananmen Square.

  • Christmas came early with a wonderful full-page acknowledgment by Anthony Tommasini of our past season in the New York Times Sunday Arts and Leisure section on December 23, commending our work and diversity in casting. You can find it at this link on our website.

  • Reading rainbow. For me the Holiday Season is a time for reading, family and outdoors. This year, after visiting Cooperstown, I was fortunate to spend part of the holiday in California, with family in LA and then for several days in Big Sur. I get the best thinking done while hiking. In Big Sur the weather changes every five minutes, and I was suddenly dazzled by a beautiful rainbow — pictured below. Of course, this makes me think of Wagner and the rainbow bridge at the end of Rhinegold (I always prefer using English titles for operas). The climate and the rapidly changing vistas of the Pacific Ocean led me to do a lot of thinking about The Flying Dutchman. I read Wagner’s source material for Dutchman: Heinrich Heine’s satire The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski. (I have always loved Heine’s poetry set by Schumann and Schubert.) More interesting to read and perhaps more evocative is the Edgar Allan Poe short story, MS. Found in a Bottle. And when you want to see a film, rent the 1951 classic, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, starring James Mason as Dutch Captain Hendrick van der Zee and Ava Gardner as Pandora. All these help create the mood I am trying to find for our Flying Dutchman this summer.
  • Bravo, David Lang! I am very proud of David Lang, our little match girl passion composer. He has had marvelous recognition these last few months. He was first made Composer of the Year by Musical America, and both The New York Times and the New Yorker have done features on him. We are doing auditions this month in Central New York for the 24 children that we are casting in his opera while the scenery is being built in our shop under a warming tent!
  • Wedding bells for YAPs. After the opening of The Trojans at the Met, I went to Houston for a revival of my production of Show Boat, which originally opened at the Lyric Opera of Chicago last February, will be seen in Houston in January, and then at the Kennedy Center in May. Rehearsals have been a lot of fun and a wonderful antidote to the seriousness of the Greek tragedy of The Trojans. I recommend Show Boat to anyone and everyone who cares about the genesis of American musicals as well as American history. The Houston ensemble included dancer Sarah Parnicky, who will also be joining our Young Artists Program (YAP) this season. In fact, several Glimmerglass alumni are starring in this show, including Joseph Kaiser (YAP 1999, 2000). Joseph’s understudy is former Young Artist Mark Diamond (Top in The Tender Land, 2010), and the role of Ellie is taken by Lauren Snouffer (Ruth Baldwin in Later the Same Evening, 2011). And, Mark and Lauren just got engaged! The Glimmerglass YAP leads to romance … as well as careers.

Thank you again for helping make 2012 a success. Together, we can reprise this achievement in 2013!

Next stop — Patagonia.

With warmest regards,

 

 

 

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