The Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum

Sembrich Museum indoors.jpg

The opera isn't the only reason to visit.

By Jessica Pasko

Okay, so the words "opera museum" don't exactly scream cool.

Still, I'm going to risk my street cred and suggest a visit to the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum .

No, you don't have to like opera to enjoy it.

So why should you go there?

M. Semb.jpgWell, it's not just an opera museum.

First off, the setting is beautiful. There's some excellent hiking and it's a great place for picnics. It's located right on the banks of Lake George and shaded by dozens of tall, magnificent pine trees. It's just 4.5 acres, but it's filled with wandering trails that are just beautiful to meander on a calm, summer day. The views of the lake with the Adirondack Mountains in the background are quite stunning. Even the drive up is lovely.

So who was Marcella Sembrich? She was one of the bigwig opera singers of her day. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera company from its initial season in 1883 until 1909 and was probably most famous for playing Mimi in "La Boheme." Later she taught music lessons during the summer in her little pink stucco studio in Bolton Landing. When she died, the house was turned into a museum.

If you're a theater nerd like me, you'll be into seeing the small but impressive collection of costumes, playbills and other memorabilia from her touring days. And the studio itself boasts a lot of very cool stuf -- like letters between Sembrich and such luminaries as Mark Twain and Thomas Edison and Sembrich's own grand piano.

That piano itself is pretty cool - and it's still in use. From mid-June to September, it's a featured part of a series of intimate, salon-style musical performances.

This summer, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Sembrich's notable farewell at The Met, the museum is hosting a series of lectures, performances and film screenings (from Phantom of the Opera to The Rape of Europa to Hairspray). There's also a two week celebration of artist Degas that they're hosting in conjunction with The Hyde Collection.

Come for the scenery or a film or the art -- but while you're there, you may want to try a little opera. Hey, you never know.

A donation of $2 is suggested, which makes it a cheap day out. A lot of the events themselves are free or a nominal admission price. And Bolton Landing is a cute little town to explore -- it's like a more sedate version of Lake George Village.

The museum officially opens for the season on Monday, June 15th, but there's also an opening reception this Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Find It

Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum
4800 Lake Shore Drive
Bolton Landing , NY 12814-0417



Are you making this up?

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

We got a chance this week to stop in the State Museum and see an interesting artifact that's newly on display, Cornplanter's Pipe Tomahawk. The... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

We're in the thick of the summer now. Long days, lemonade, blueberries, ice cream, and a bounty of stuff to do. We collected a few... (more)

"I departed this life unexpectedly, but peacefully..."

So begins the first-person obituary of Ruth Johnson, whose very full and long life took her from Jamaica to the United States and ultimately to... (more)

Saints Alive, Boeheim's Army, Jimmer and The Basketball Tournament

One of the most fun new things in sports over the last few years has been The Basketball Tournament. It's what it sounds like: A... (more)

Hanging around the film shoot

While riding along Corning Riverfront Park late Wednesday afternoon we noticed that the film shoot for the Marvel/Netflix show The Punisher was still in progress... (more)

Recent Comments

... Locally, I'd recommend, Truly Rhe in Troy, Ten Thousand Villages, and Sweater Venturer. TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target also have a good selection.

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from Cynthia Freedman

Hanging around the film shoot

...has 1 comment, most recently from Herbert

Today's moment of summer

...has 3 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Scanning that New York State Department of Health report that argues the case for legalizing recreational marijuana

...has 8 comments, most recently from PotHead

Ghosts on a street that no longer exists

...has 8 comments, most recently from Another Tim