Thursday, August 11, 2005


Leaving again; this time it's all about opera

The Glimmerglass Opera Theater

I'm on the road again for the next ten days. Later this morning I'm driving out to Cooperstown, NY (via Northfield, MA to pick up an opera buddy) and heading for the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. Glimmerglass was James Fennimore Cooper's name for Lake Otesego on whose shores the town has grown into a major pilgrimage destination. The really cool people come for the opera, of course, but I suppose the Baseball Hall of Fame does draw a decent crowd.

Actually, the two major attractions get along very well and the beautiful rolling farmland for miles around is a third major draw. Antiquing and running down local farm fairs and events (like the garlic festival one year--they even had garlic ice cream!) are fun ways to spend the mornings. I'll be seeing four operas in three days--Friday evening, Saturday matinee and evening and Sunday matinee. The 900 seat theater has excellent acoustics and the side walls slide open like Japanese shoji screens to ventilate the hall which has an informal, old New England Barn feel to its interior. Though relatively small and tucked away into a very rural area, many of the big names in directing and design and quite a few major stars love to work at Glimmerglass for the serious rehearsal periods and the strong sense of ensemble.

McCaw Hall in the vast Seattle Center

After the curtain falls on Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte on Sunday afternoon, I'll drive my friend back to Northfield and then go directly to Fritz's. On Monday morning we fly out to Seattle for a week where I'll be seeing Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung. Fritz isn't going to the opera with me--nineteen hours of Wagner arranged in four operas performed over a six day period isn't his idea of a good time. It's my idea of heaven.

The old opera house was gutted to the outer walls a couple of years ago and a whole new interior built within, notable for excellent sight lines, acoustics and stage technology. McCaw Hall seats 2900 and is this country's newest major venue for music theater on a grand scale.

Fritz loves to kid me about being an opera widow but he'll be with good friends of ours when I'm at performances. And for all those times when I'm not in the theater, we'll
be doing some more
exploring in the Seattle area.

One sure thing is a day in Tacoma for the extensive glassworks and exhibitions of the work of famed glass artist and sculptor Dale Chihuly. His work is known inter- nationally and we even encountered a major student of his in Wertheim, Germany
on our recent trip.
We'll also do a lot of walking and I want particularly to buy a special blend of tea at the Pike Market that as far as I know is available only there. And as our friends M and S have totally bought into the Northwest's coffee culture, I suspect we'll be spending a considerable amount of time in various Starbucks.
A Chihuly window (above left), chandelier (above right) and museum installation (center)

Funny - I'm flying out to Portland on Monday. Unfortunately it's for work :-(
Scoobs--are you going to get together with any of the Portland bloggers?--I'm thinking of Corin in particular Have a good trip west--I'm out of here in half an hour.
Ah, Garlic festival. There's a town south of San Francisco that has an ENORMOUS garlic festival each year (though, the name escapes me).

Have a blast!
Hey Will,

no it's mostly a work trip, and I'm gonna try to take my ex to dinner to catch up. Nothing special, but I love Portland and haven't been there in years, so it should be fun to see it again.

Hope you're enjoying Seattle!

S -
Sounds like a great trip. Although I'd have to agree with Fritz about Wagner, I hope you have a wonderful time!
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