Glimmerglass Opera Guild

Welcome to the Glimmerglass Opera Guild

Welcome to the web site of the Glimmerglass Opera Guild, a volunteer organization whose purpose is to support the renowned Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York.  On this site you will find information on our ongoing year-round activities.  You will want to bookmark this page and check back often to keep up-to-date on our events and activities.  If you are not a member and would like to join us, you can contact us by using the email link at the bottom of the page, or use membership form that you'll find in the Join the Guild section.

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble; Verdi's Macbeth

Monday, May 4, 7:00 PM, Hamblin Theatre, Fine Arts Building, SUNY Oneonta (parking available across the road).

Presented by Glimmerglass Opera Guild in collaboration with SUNY Oneonta's Department of Theatre, the program will explore the differences and similarities between Shakespeare's play and Verdi's opera.  Students will read from Shakespeare's Macbeth, with comments by their professor Andrew Kahl, and guild members and opera experts Tom Simpson and Abby Gibson. Selected musical exerpts will be played.  The program is free and open to the public.

Reading List from Francesca Zambello

Francesca Zambello, Glimmerglass Festival's General and Artistic Director, has shared with the guild the following list of resources to enhance our enjoyment of the upcoming Festival season.  


Four of the operas presented by Glimmerglass this summer are based on works in the public domain. Readers can choose from a variety of editions and translations, both print and online, for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Voltaire’s Candide, and Homer’s The Odyssey.  Plutarch's The Life of Cato the Younger, available online at, introduces the great Stoic at the center of Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica.


Robert Lomas’s The Secret Science of Masonic Initiation gives insight into the practice of Freemasonry, which inspired Mozart and Schikaneder as they collaborated on The Magic Flute. “Its secret science is that of knowing yourself,” writes Lomas. “Its object is to seek out truth; and its working tools are reason and argument.”

 In Mozart and the Enlightenment, Nicholas Till explores how Mozart’s operas are informed by ideas and discoveries of the Enlightenment, drawing on writings by Richardson, Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, Goethe, Schiller, and Blake, among others.

Herbert Braunbehrens’ account of Mozart’s final years, Mozart in Vienna, 1781-1791, considers the intellectual, political, economic and cultural landscape in which the composer lived and worked.

In the three-volume The Operas of Verdi, Julian Budden offers a comprehensive composition history and musical analysis of each of Verdi’s operas, complete with musical illustrations.

Peter Conrad’s Verdi and/or Wagner considers two cultural giants of the 19th century: “a native son attached to the soil versus a wandering exile; a tribune of the people versus a dictatorial aesthete; a man of progress versus an atavistic myth-maker; a spokesman for afflicted humanity versus a creator of gods, giants, dragons, dwarves and fairies.”

 Humphrey Burton’s 1994 biography, Leonard Bernstein, discusses the life and work of the great American conductor, composer and educator who gave us both Candide and Trouble in Tahiti.

 Ira O. Wade’s Voltaire and Candide: A Study in the Fusion of History, Art and Philosophy presents a study of Voltaire, the age in which he lived, and his most enduring work.

 Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Wilbur was one of many writers who contributed lyrics to Candide; his Collected Poems, 1943-2004 offers an opportunity to explore his work more deeply.

 Vivaldi: Voice of the Baroque, by H.C. Robbins Landon, gives an overview of the life of a busy and prolific opera composer whose body of work, save The Four Seasons and Gloria in D, remains mostly obscure today.


 The “Research” section of includes a collection of letters, scores, notes and publications related to Candide, as well as a timeline and numerous other materials.

 The New York Public Library assembled an “online exhibition” for the 250th anniversary of Voltaire’s Candide; at you can find an annotated full text of the novella, articles by noted scholars, and more.

 The online Leonard Bernstein Collection at the Library of Congress ( offers photos, scripts and correspondence.

 The Center for Hellenic Studies (, provides access to an English version of Homer’s The Odyssey, as well as numerous digital books, articles and lectures. This August, the Center’s Director, Gregory Nagy, will join us for a special Showtalk considering the life of Cato.


OVI "Partners in Excellence Award" to Don and Sue Drake

Opera Volunteers International has announced that longtime Glimmerglass Opera Guild members Don and Sue Drake have been presented with its annual "Partners in Exellence" award for 2014. Don & Sue have been actively involved as Glimmerglass volunteers for over two decades.  As volunteer ushers they have given a warm welcome to the Fesitval's ever-growing public for many years.  They have supervised distribution of picnics to audience members, have been hosts at opening performance receptions, and have prepared meals for staff members on days where there have been two performances.  Each has served of the Guild Board with important committee responsibilities.  Don has been President of the Guild for three terms; Sue has served as Interim Guild Board Secretary and has been a member of the Guild's Nominating Committee.

Their participation in Guild activities does not nearly reflect the entirety of their importance to the Guild and the Festival, however, for the impact of their dedication and leadership throughout the years cannot be measured simply in terms of hours or titles.  In 2013, Don and Sue retired from the Board they served so well.  "It is not an overstatement to say that during their years of volunteer service to Glimmerglass, the roles Don and Sue played have been crucial to the success of the Guild and contributed greatly to the company." 



Announcements will help you stay up-to-date on current happenings of interest to Guild members.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events will give you a detailed listing of Guild events and activities both during the Festival season as well as throughout the year.

Join the Guild

Use our online form to join the Guild, renew your membership, or make a donation.