An advance look by our opera reviewer, Ed Cloos, at the 2020 lineup for the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, @GOpera lists Sound of Music featuring Isabel Leonard, Don Giovanni, Die Feen and Rinaldo.
The 2020 season will open with the now-classic The Sound of Music, starring co-artists in residence mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and tenor William Burden. The opera part of the four-production main stage bill is Mozart's Don Giovanni, Wagner's early work Die Feen and Handel's Rinaldo.
The announcement of Miss Leonard's participation in the season was a surprise, to me since she, unlike many previous artists in residence, isn't anywhere near late in her career but is a major star with Metropolitan Opera and other companies, and she is only in her 30s. Most of her recent roles have been in opera, but she has done musical theater in the past.
Burden also is a relatively young artist who has more experience in musical theater. Both will serve as mentors to the large group in the Young Artists program which has developed perhaps the leading musical theater young artists program among opera companies in America.
Early opera works have been part of the Glimmerglass seasons for many years, so an early Wagner fits right in. Die Feen, (the Fairies), like the others, shows hints of the themes to appear in his great works, while still echoing the early influence of Italian bel canto.
All four shows will be directed by women, Sound of Music and Die Feen by artistic and general director Francesca Zambello.
Don Giovanni is a new production, co-produced with Seattle Opera and directed by Brenna Corner, an alumna of the Glimmerglass Young Artists program. It will be conducted by Lidya Yankovskaya, music director of Chicago Opera Theater.
Rinaldo is the ninth Handel opera presented in Glimmerglass's 45 years. Louisa Proske, a co-founder of the highly creative and innovative Heartbeat Opera of New York City, well, actually Brooklyn. I've yet to see one of their productions live, but their e-mails are intriguing. Erina Yashima will conduct. She was recently named an assistant conductor for The Philadelphia Orchestra.