Now, if one has the means and leisure to make Glimmerglass the centerpiece of a vacation, it is an awfully nice spot in the middle of nowhere. It's almost directly on the shore of Lake Otsego, and the somewhat self-consciously quaint, but still charming Cooperstown, is only a few miles removed. A post-opera stroll along Main Street (where Zerbinetta and I crossed paths with several other audience members) revealed the Cooperstown specialties to be bed-and-breakfasts, baseball, and ice cream. This being dairy country, the ice cream was great. Also tempting is the presence of a nearby brewery. Obviously I don't have the means or the leisure to do a Glimmerglass weekend, but although getting there was a hike, the festival does offer a 50% student discount on tickets. Now, a half price ticket is my kind of offer, and I don't think it's too widely taken advantage of; I suspect Zerbinetta and I may have knocked a few decimal points off the average age of the matinee audience.
Photos and more:
The opera house. Note the vast amounts of surrounding greenery! I think I must have been overdue for a city break, as I was totally entranced by all the Nature.
The opera house, up close. To get to the balcony, one simply climbs the stairs visible in the background. It was pleasantly airy, and once the shades on the far wall were lowered, it looked less like a barn.
Environs. Perfect for picnicking, and as it turns out, we had the weather for it; but the storms of the preceding days had led us to mistrust the weather, so we made do with sandwiches from the on-site stand. In the pavilion in the background, there was a pre-performance lecture (not recommended as a substitute for in-depth preparation.) As you can see, the "dress code" was very casual. I was glad I hadn't bothered with heels; the grass and gravel were much more easily navigated without them.
You may ask yourselves, Gentle Readers: what is that young woman holding in her hand? A cowbell. She gamely made the rounds of the outlying buildings, ringing it. This is, apparently, how Glimmerglass audience members are summoned to their seats before the performance and after the interval. Moo. If any of you happens to know how this colorful tradition started, do let me know in the comments.