Sunday, May 9, 2021

Paul Kellogg, New York City Opera Impresario, dies at 84

Paul Kellogg, an innovative impresario who led the Glimmer Glass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., and later, during a dynamic and financially indefinite period, also led the New York City Opera, died Wednesday in a hospital in Cooperstown . He was 84 years old.

His death was announced by the Glimmer Glass Festival, as the company is now called. No reason was given.

Mr. Kellogg was living on the outskirts of Cooperstown and trying to write a novel when in 1979 he was an unexpected choice to become a four-year executive manager. Glamor glass opera, Which features presentations in Cooperstead High School’s acoustically dry auditorium. Although an opera lover, he had no real training in musical and scary managerial experience. Yet he immediately imagined what could happen in this summer festival.

He added, “The summer festival is not just what this artist does, it is one that gives people a complete experience.” In a 1993 interview With the Christian Science Monitor.

He honored local patrons and found support to promote programming from one or two productions every summer to, after all, four. He grew in executive and artistic leadership in his years as an extension. Beginning with Staples, he offered unusual fare such as Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti” and Mozart’s “The Impresario”. Treating the opera as a contemporary theater, he engaged several important directors including Jonathan Miller, Mark Lamos, Leon Major, Martha Clarke, and Simon Callow.

Most important, he oversaw the construction of an ideal home: the acoustically vibrant 914-seat Alice Bush Opera Theater, which opened in 1987 and boasts a large stage, ample backstage area, and a proper orchestra pit. The theater, designed by architect Hugh Handy, was located in the middle of 43 acres of former farmland near Lake Otsego, about eight miles north of Cortestown. And the side walls had screens that let the air in, although the sliding wooden panels closed over them when the music started. Bokolik setting and luxurious houses became a magnet for the audience.

In An amazing moveIn 1996, the New York City Opera announced that Mr. Kellogg would become its general and artistic director – Christopher Keane, a beloved conductor who was successful Died last year – Living with Glimmerglass.

Companies were very different. At Glimmerglass, which was essentially a non-house home that relied heavily on interns, the budget for the four productions during the 1995 season was about $ 3.5 million. During the 1995–96 season, City Opera was performing 114 performances of 15 productions on a budget of approximately $ 24 million.

Mr. Kellogg made the companies a creative partner. New productions were introduced at Glamarglass, where rehearsals took place at the festival stage and were then presented at the City Opera with the same or similar cast. Both institutions demonstrated a commitment to innovative contemporary productions, ignoring unbeatable and 20th-century works, and both cultivated emerging singers while they were not stars, had fresh voices, and were often young characters. Used to be seen

For a while the City Opera prospered under this arrangement. Mr. Kellogg presented 62 new productions there, about half of which originated in Cooperstown. Were among them Carlis Floyd’s “Mice and Men,” The career-making performance featured tenor Anthony Dean as Griffe, as Lenny, and director Francesca Zambello’s charming, emotionally penetrating, starring Christine Goerke in the title role of Glick’s “Eiffigny en Toride”.

Nevertheless, the City Opera was provoked by the lethargy of the 2,700-seater New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater), which was designed to meet the needs of the New York City Ballet. In 1999, Mr. Kellogg announced in a controversial move that a subtle sound enhancement system was being installed in the theater to bring acoustics to life.

Opera was an art form that glorified natural voices for centuries. Many thought The company had started down a slippery slope. Till here Beverly seals, Once the biggest star of city opera and a former general director, became publicly angry with him.

Like the leaders of the City Opera before him, Mr. Kellogg argued that the house was not a second-class company in the shadow of metropolitan opera, but A. Lively organization With a specific mission and repertoire. He came to relocate as the only renovated or new home to carry out that mission.

Nevertheless, to explain the shortcomings of the company’s house, luring financial support for his dream, he inevitably underestimated the audience: Why should people attend a performance in an inadequate opera house?

Many schemes were considered and considered to be financially impossible. Mr. Kellogg vowed to continue the search. It was not to be, and in the end, due to Mr. Kellogg’s heavy spending, City Opera got him into deep trouble after moving on.

Paul Edward Kellogg was born on March 11, 1937 in Los Angeles. His father, Harold, who had studied singing with the great tenor Jean de Rezke, worked on 20th century Fox teaching voice projection and diction. His mother, Maxine (Valentine) Kellogg, was an accomplished pianist.

After his family moved to Texas in the late 1940s, Paul studied comparative literature at the University of Texas at Austin, then continued at the Sorbonne in Paris and Columbia University in New York. In 1967, he was employed as a French teacher by the Allen-Stevenson School in Manhattan. He became the assistant headmaster of the school.

After Mr. Kellogg moved to Cooperstown in 1975, his partner (and later husband), Raymond Han, a noted sculptor and painter, was recruited to work on the set for some Glimmer Glass productions. Mr. Kellogg volunteered to handle the volunteers. Company executives came in 1979 with a big job.

Mr han Died in 2017. Mr. Kellogg left no immediate survivor.

Under the leadership of Mr. Kellogg, Glamarglass made its way to major summer opera festivals. He started a youth-ensemble program so that budding singers could receive expert coaching and experience on stage. Between Glamarglass and City Opera he had a solid record of opera news run by William Shuman, Stephen Hartke, Robert Besar, Deborah Dratel, and Charles Vuorinen.

He contributed significantly to the development of the new opera Vowel: Showcase to American Creators, An annual event that began in 1999, presented free readings with top operas and the City Opera Orchestra of operas that were in progress or unreleased. These priceless readings led to dozens of premieres elsewhere.

But City Opera’s acclaimed works continued to scuttle the budget and punish the endowment. After Widely reported problems With losses and declines at City Opera during Mr. Kellogg’s final years, he Retired from both companies in 2006. City opera Collapsed in 2013. (A new team under the name City Opera is presenting the productions and attempting to revive it.) The development of Glamarglass continues under the leadership of Ms. Zambello.

defining moment Mr. Kellogg’s career came exactly four days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. City Opera was scheduled to open its fall season with a new production of Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman” on the evening of Septon 11. At the behest of city officials, the company opened with Wagner’s matinee performance instead of 15.

Nervous audience members wondered if it was even appropriate to be in the opera. The curtain then rose to reveal a large American flag hanging above the stage and, standing together with almost every member of the company: singers in costumes, businessmen in costumes, dusty jeans and T-shirts and At Stagehands Beach in Mr. Kellogg’s. Performing arts, he said in a worthy voice, have many functions: “catharsis, consolation, shared experience, reclaiming civilized values, distraction.” Therefore, he said, “We are back.” Everyone in the house joined in singing the national anthem. Then Mr. Kellogg, embroiled in hags, harmed the City Opera family and the performance began.

Suddenly, ideas of budget shortfall, preservation and inadequate housework were pushed aside. That day, under that leader, this performance really mattered.

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