New York beach holiday

Glimmerglass: real name Lake Otsego
I have a cup of coffee beside me and I'm writing this blog from a beach in New York. I'd quite like to start every day like this please. Seventy-six trombones led the big parade. We were singing that tune in our heads when we awoke on Otsego Lake this morning. That's because we saw The Music Man last night. Not in New York City but here in the heart of the countryside at the Glimmerglass Festival. I'm writing this from the Bayside Inn where we have....wait for it... wifi on the beach. You can't say fairer than that really can you?

I like to go to the opera from the beach.
Classic American musicals are now a feature of the festival here as well as opera. Good clean fun and you're always surprised by how many classic songs you recognise in a single production. The Music Man features Till There Was You as well as Trouble in River City. Last night we loved Elizabeth Futral, the soprano from North Carolina as Marian Paroo but tenor Josh Walden took your breath away with his singing and dancing - literally high kicks while belting out a tune. I love the innocence of these musicals and I feel our audience is being transported back in time as we react as people must have back in the day.
Elephant sculptures at Glimmerglass


Opera on farmland has its advantages - we get to explore central New York State - the perfect location for a road trip.  Saratoga and Sharon Springs are two of our favourite places on our seven hour drive from Montreal (includes lunch and border stop.) Once here there are things you do not associate with opera such as baseball mania in the lovely Cooperstown as well as kayaking and lake swimming at Three Mile Point, Fairy Spring and Glimmerglass State Park. I turned up for one opera with wet hair but no-one seems to mind.
Yes we like your elephants


On summer nights here the grounds of the opera theatre are perfect for a picnic. You can buy a drink at the bar and pick yourself a spot. This year elephants can be found on the grass - made from vines by artist Elizabeth Schoonmaker who came up to us as we posed for photographs by them and said, do you like my elephants? We promised her we did.

Wine at Glimmerglass with theatre in background
Another quirky feature is the Glimmerglass store at the Alice Busch Opera Theatre where you can buy finger puppets of famous composers. Not sure where else you could get these. There's a great atmosphere - people turn up in shorts and t-shirts and emerge from the bathrooms in their finery. It's like a big party rather than an opera as we all mingle on the lawn with our drinks.


We are here for the last weekend of the festival but if you are thinking of a road trip in New York State next summer they have announced the new programme. It features charismatic Texan Jay Hunter Morris - who played Siegfried in Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Met. He's a real character and will follow in the footsteps of other big opera stars Deb Voigt and Eric Owens here at Glimmerglass. The 2013 programme features musical Camelot and Wagner's The Flying Dutchman.
Margarita on Lake Otsego boat tour: why not?
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