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

Today's moment of autumn

Who doesn't enjoy some mums in September?... (more)

The Albany Book Festival is this coming weekend and it also includes a big list of local authors

A reminder that the first Albany Book Festival is this Saturday, September 29 on UAlbany's uptown campus. The lineup is absolutely stacked with prominent authors,... (more)

Drawing: Oktoberfest Block Party VIP tickets

The annual Oktoberfest block party in North Albany organized by Wolff's is this Saturday, September 29. We have two VIP tickets for the festival to... (more)

Anarchists in the townhome

Over at the Times Union, Lynda Williams profiles a group of freegan anarchists who have been squatting in a vacant Albany townhome without utilities for... (more)

The deadline to apply for this year's $2,500 AOA Startup Grant is this week! And you should apply! Yes, you!

How's that entry for this year's AOA Startup Grant coming along? The deadline for entering this year's $2,500 AOA Startup Grant contest is this Wednesday,... (more)

Recent Comments

Saturday afternoon walks through Washington Park on the way to the Lionhart pub, to get in those last few enjoyable warmish weather days on the patio while enjoying a seasonal pint of craft brew....yum...

Drawing: Oktoberfest Block Party VIP tickets

...has 33 comments, most recently from Jenn

Morning Blend for Sep 24

...has 1 comment, most recently from ace

Mapping out the future for an alternative transportation network in the Capital District

...has 3 comments, most recently from ivan vamos

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

All the current Stewart's seasonal summer ice cream flavors, ranked

...has 7 comments, most recently from Amy Smith