Egyptian Maestro Nader Abbassi to conduct La bohème at USA's Glimmerglass Festival

Ati Metwaly , Monday 27 Mar 2023

Renowned Egyptian Maestro Nader Abbassi will conduct Giacomo Puccini's La bohème, an opera that will open the 2023 Glimmerglass Festival near Cooperstown, New York state, USA.

Nader Abbassi


Celebrating the success of the Glimmerglass Festival’s past decade, the 2023 festival will launch on 7 July with La bohème conducted by Abbassi, followed by Leonard Bernstein’s Candide conducted by Joseph Colaneri on 8 July.

La bohème will be performed 13 times, in the matinee and evening concerts, spanning between July (7, 9, 14, 18, 24, 29) and August (1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 19), with the festival closing on 20 August. 

Abbassi's baton will lead the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra featuring the renowned singers such as Joshua Blue (Rodolfo), who has received numerous positive reviews having performed the same role in Opera Philadelphia's production of La bohème (2022). 

The soprano Teresa Perrotta was praised by Opera Magazine – UK as “…show[ing] total command musically and dramatically…" in her debut role as Mimi.

The cast will also include baritone Darren Drone in the role of Marcello, and Glimmerglass Young Artist soprano Emilie Kealani will make her debut as Musetta. 

They will be joined by Stefano de Peppo (Benoit/Alcindoro), Nan Wang (Colline), Justin Burgess (Schaunard), Zachary Rioux (Parpignol), Jonathan Patton (Sargeant) and Henry Benson (Prune Man).

The opera is directed by E. Loren Meeker who "has garnered worldwide acclaim for her keen artistic vision and rich, measured storytelling," reveals the festival's website. In 2019, Meeker was named General & Artistic Director at Opera San Antonio. 

Egyptian conductor Nader Abbassi is among the best known Egyptian musicians of his generation. He launched his career as a bassoon player, explored opera singing, and eventually proceeded with conducting. Throughout the whole journey, Abbassi has been also composing music.

In the early 2000s, he was the artistic director and principal conductor of the Cairo Opera Orchestra, and between 2009 and 2011 he was the first musical director and principal conductor of the newly formed Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO). Abbassi has worked with several international orchestras, including Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg, Orchester des Richard Strauss Konservatoriums München, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève and Sinfonieorchester Basel (Switzerland), among others.

Since 2006, he has been a returning guest conductor at the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra in the opera's productions of Carmen, Hamlet, Aida, Maria Golovin, Un Ballo in maschera. He also conducted choral works such as Rossini Stabat Mater, sacred music and symphonic concerts. 

His name came even stronger to international attention when he conducted two grand globally broadcast national events in 2021: the Pharaohs Golden Parade and the reopening of the 3000-year-old Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor. 

In those events, Abbassi led the United Philharmonic Orchestra, a large ensemble that he founded in 2017 and which has given a number of concerts accompanying singers such as Fatma Said, Gala El Hadidi, Elhamy Amin in one concert, followed by The Three Egyptian Tenors concert (2018), performing music by Amar El Sheraie (2018), then a concert featuring the Lebanese soprano Majida El Roumi on several occasions, the mega concert at the Pyramids’ Sound and Light Theatre (2019) and at the Cairo Royal Al Qubba Palace (2021), among others.

The Glimmerglass Festival is an annual event dedicated to showcasing operas, but it also offers a range of other events throughout the season. These include preview talks before each mainstage production, backstage tours, changeover talks, and a lunchtime concert series held in some of Otsego County's most beautiful venues.

Apart of Puccini’s La bohème, in the summer of 2023, the festival offers also Bernstein’s Candide, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, Handel’s Rinaldo and a world premiere youth opera, The Rip Van Winkles by Ben Morris and Laura Fuentes. 

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