The next big Broadway star or opera diva could be right here in the Adirondacks this summer. The legendary Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake is celebrating its 104th birthday this year and it’s as vibrant as ever, bringing world-class young performers to the Adirondacks.
Considered by many to be among the finest, if not the finest, summer vocal training program in the nation, the Seagle Music Colony was founded in 1915 by Oscar Seagle, a world famous and popular baritone. Seagle's first studio was on Lake George, but after only a few years he purchased property in Schroon Lake. Today, young singers audition each year to join the colony, still tucked away in the dense woods of Charley Hill, just minutes from downtown Schroon Lake. The theater that productions are staged in was Seagle's original studio and retains many of the picturesque original features, while also serving as a modern space for professional productions. With a view of the lake below, Seagle's location is an idyllic spot for an enchanting summer performance.
Much more than a performance venue, Seagle is a music training program for which thirty-two college age singers are selected each year. These emerging artists live and study at Seagle for the summer, performing in concerts and professional stage productions. They receive private voice lessons, and participate in acting classes and coaching from world-class faculty. Alumni of Seagle go on to perform across the globe, from the nearby Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown to as far off as the German Opera in Berlin, as well as on Broadway. The 2019 artists come from all over the United States, as well as Russia and China.
The 2019 season starts on June 22 with an "Old Friends & New" concert, an introduction to the 2019 artists followed by a meet-and-greet reception. As with previous summers, the summer stage productions are a mix of musical theater and opera, from beloved classics to new and exciting works. The 2019 season features Andew Lloyd Webber's Evita, the dramatic story of Argentinian first lady Eva Peron; Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, a delightful comic opera; The Manchurian Candidate by Puts and Campbell; and Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic romantic tale Oklahoma!
The inclusion of The Manchurian Candidate, a political thriller based on a 1959 novel about brainwashing and corruption, demonstrates what General Director Tony Kostecki says is Seagle's "focus in recent years to invigorate the art form by helping develop new operas and musical and by producing new or recently premiered works in our summer season. This opera...has a powerful and intense story and will be a great learning experience for our performers and a joy for our audiences." The Seagle production of the opera will be the New York premiere, and librettist Campbell will be at Seagle to work with performers.
The 2019 season will also feature special events and performances, including the annual Gala, alumni concert, a children’s opera, a celebration of the music of Cole Porter, and vespers concerts, a traditional celebration of sacred choral music. No matter what your musical tastes are, you're sure to find something to enjoy. Some productions, the children's opera Monkey & Francine in the City of Tigers and Hot! The Music of Cole Porter, will tour the Adirondacks, a long-time Seagle tradition of bringing exceptional music to communities throughout the park.
For emerging artists, Seagle Music Colony provides a fantastic opportunity for training, with audiences enjoying the talents of up and coming artists, artists we might someday see on Broadway or at the great opera houses of the world. The success of Seagle, which continues to grow and improve every year, promises to keep Adirondack audiences enthralled for many years to come.