COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - The Glimmerglass Festival kicked off the summer opera season this weekend by announcing a partnership with the Bassett Cancer Institute and a company called "Bluemack Creative" to protect outdoor staff from the sun. It may not be top of mind with all the rain we've had, but sun exposure is nothing to fool with. Summer brings longer days and more intense sunshine, placing many of us at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses, severe sunburns and skin cancer. So Glimmerglass teamed up with the Bassett Cancer Institute and Bluemack to combat this risk by providing staff with wide-brimmed hats that will keep them cool while protecting them from the sun. It's also recommended people wear sunglasses in addition to hats and sunscreen. Although it's rare to develop cancer in the eyes, it does happen. The partnership to protect Glimmerglass staff from the sun was inspired by radiation oncologist Dr. Naoyuki Saito of the Bassett Cancer Institute. He spoke to staff Saturday evening about sun safety. Glimmerglass concessions manager Liz Mott, whose staff works primarily outdoors, notes, "We do the best we can to put up shelters for our staff, but it's not always possible - and you would not believe how much sunscreen we go through each season." Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, kills more than 9,000 people annually in America alone. With 86 percent of these cancer incidents attributed to UV exposure, sun protection is a vital aspect of workplace safety and long-term quality of life. The Glimmerglass season runs July 6 through August 24.