Opera Saratoga announces today the company’s return to the stage for its 60th Anniversary with a season of performances inspired by the iconic novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Working closely with a team of medical professionals and a dedicated COVID Safety Officer, Opera Saratoga is committed to bringing audiences and artists together safely for the 2021 Summer Festival, which will be produced outdoors during June and July in partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Saratoga Spa State Park, and Pitney Meadows Community Farm to provide three unique performance spaces for audiences to safely enjoy two fully staged productions and a special concert.
In partnership with SPAC, Opera Saratoga will present MAN OF LA MANCHA, the Tony Award winning musical, featuring Broadway and Opera star Zachary James in the role of Cervantes / Don Quixote; and Opera Saratoga favorite, Kelly Glyptis, returning to Saratoga Springs as Aldonza. The production, directed and choreographed by Opera Saratoga’s Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson in full compliance with New York State COVID safety guidelines, will feature projection and lighting design by Barry Steele, costumes by Glenn Avery Breed, and will be conducted by Laura Bergquist – who most recently led the musical Allegiance on Broadway. The beloved musical, with a book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion, was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th Century masterpiece Don Quixote. A universal tale of love, hope, and adventure, Man of La Mancha celebrates the perseverance of one man who refuses to relinquish his ideals, and who is determined to see life not as it is, but as it ought to be. The celebrated score includes “The Impossible Dream,” “I, Don Quixote,” “Dulcinea,” “I Really Like Him,” “Little Bird,” and “To Each His Dulcinea.” Three performances are scheduled on the SPAC Amphitheater Stage on July 8th, 9th, and 10th at 8pm.
In a more classical vein, Opera Saratoga will also present DON QUICHOTTE AT CAMACHO’S WEDDING, a one-act comic serenata by Georg Philipp Telemann with a libretto by Daniel Schiebeler, taken from an episode from Part Two of Cervantes’ celebrated novel, in which the Knight and his squire Sancho Panza encounter some rather strange wedding celebrations as they roam the world in search of adventure. The al fresco production will be staged by Rebecca Miller Kratzer and will be conducted by Michelle Rofrano in and around the Columbia Pavilion in Saratoga Spa State Park, with the backdrop of the forest creating a natural set for this pastoral adventure. The performances will feature Festival Artists from Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program – the second oldest professional training program for emerging professional singers in the country. Twelve performances are scheduled between July 14th and July 18th, with performances at 11am, 1pm, and 6pm.
The two staged productions will be complemented by QUIXOTIC OPERA, a concert of scenes from other operas inspired by Cervantes’ novel, presented in partnership with Pitney Meadows Community Farm. The program, under the music direction of Laurie Rogers, will feature scenes from Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse (1743) by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier and Charles Simon Favart; Die Hochzeit des Camacho (1827) by Felix Mendelssohn and Friedrich Voigts; Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo (1833) by Gaetano Donizetti and Jacopo Ferretti; Don Quixote (1898) by Wilhelm Kienzl; La Venta de Don Quijote (1902) by Ruperto Chapí and Carlos Fernandez Shaw; Don Quichotte (1910) by Jules Massenet and Henri Caïn; and El retablo de maese Pedro (1923) by Manuel de Falla. Two performances are scheduled on June 24th and 25th at 7pm.