Around the Adirondacks, Cordes brought the Demon Barber of Fleet Street to life in Pendragon Theatre’s performance of “Sweeney Todd” as well as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. His other regional performances through High Peaks Opera, the Northern Lights Choir and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta helped broaden the regions exposure to opera. Now Cordes is putting on a different hat and bringing his vast experience to spearhead the 2016 Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Summer Theatre Festival.
According to Cordes, his new position as Artistic Director of the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts has allowed him to continue to perform and direct while calling on his journalistic background and honed administrative duties as co-owner of High Peaks Opera.
“My background has been performing so I’ve worked with a lot of art organizations,” says Cordes. “My wife and I also founded High Peaks Opera in 2009 and as director I had to delve into the administrative side. I feel being part of this multi-arts center will draw from all my strengths.”
This year Cordes is making sure that all the favorite aspects of live theatre and performance are back in the line-up at the Blue Mountain Lake Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts. The 2016 Summer Theatre Festival includes “The Best of Broadway,” a touring musical revue, the free touring outdoor Shakespeare in the Adirondack Park’s performance of “Taming of the Shrew” as well as the Great Arts Benefit Cabaret.
“We are the only multi-arts organization in the Adirondacks that produces our own theatre and music,” says Cordes. “With the [Adirondack Lakes] Arts Center, we are multi-arts center with regular exhibitors in our gallery, a concert series, workshops and classes every month. We are looking to continue to provide that balance for the community of Blue Mountain Lake as well as the surround area.”
Cordes has lured professional talent as core performers for the Summer Theatre Festival as well as a regional talent to round out.
“My mission is to continue to make and provide arts and culture for a wide range of people. I’m in the learning process, but in the short time that I’ve been here I’ve learned how important the Art Center is to the community. I’m taking that all in and processing it,” says Cordes. “I am listening to what people want to bring back and that is all part of how I’m going forward.”