As I’ve mentioned previously, this summer I was the public relations intern at The Glimmerglass Festival, an internationally acclaimed summer opera festival near the Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York. Glimmerglass presents four fully staged operas each season and many other events including recitals and lectures. My internship had many responsibilities, especially after the season began. I wore many varied hats including assisting with media communications and being the point person for the lost and found.
Every day at the Festival was exciting whether I was helping to arrange an interview with an artist, attending a dress rehearsal, or just listening to its amazingly talented performers. What I really enjoyed about my internship was that I never stayed in the same place for more than a few hours. On a typical day I would come into the office a couple hours before curtain and do a little work before heading down the hill to the theater to open the audience services desk. This kept me always ready to head out to the next activity and never feeling like a day was getting monotonous or repetitive.
It was also important for me given my interests at the Ammerman Center in sound and music to gain experience in a professional and high quality performing arts setting. Seeing the response from Glimmerglass’ audience reminded me every day that this was the case. Many performances at the festival this summer took place in front of sold-out or near-capacity crowds. While bringing about 900 people into a small theater every day is not easy, it’s also exhilarating to continuously see so many people who are passionate about the performing arts and want to come out to this amazing place on the north shore of Otsego Lake. At one point near the beginning of the season I was asked to draft a press release about an additional performance of one of our productions in response to several of its performances selling out prior to opening night. Doing this helped me realize I was witnessing Glimmerglass’ success with getting people to come out and see their performances, and that the season was a great opportunity to understand how to be successful in the performing arts.
Looking back I’ve realized that what I enjoyed about working at a well-known opera company like Glimmerglass is the people and opportunities that I encountered through it. This has continued at Conn. As I was getting lunch at Oasis, the café in our College Center, Cro, a few weeks into the start of the semester a professor who I hadn’t met before noticed that I was wearing one of my Glimmerglass T-shirts, which I’d purchased at the gift shop over the summer. She introduced herself as Joan Chrisler, professor of psychology, and told me that she had been attending the festival for many years. A few days later we ate lunch together. We shared our thoughts about the 2017 festival and the strange contrast between the interests of the two types of tourists common to Cooperstown in the summer: baseball and opera fans. It was great to meet someone at Conn who shared my festival experience. This is just one of many ways in which my internship continues to affect this new semester, and as it continues, I look forward to sharing more with you.