Great Barrington, MA – Berkshire Opera Festival (BOF) is proud to present Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, Rigoletto for its third season, with performances August 25, 28, and 31 at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. The production is conducted by Artistic Director Brian Garman and directed by General Director Jonathon Loy. As with the first and second seasons, there will also be accompanying recitals and outreach events around the local Berkshire community.

A timeless story of love, betrayal, and vengeance, Rigoletto tells the story of the young Gilda suffering at the hands of self-entitled and abusive men — a theme never more relevant than in our present day. The production follows BOF’s acclaimed first two seasons, which featured Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

Starring in the title role is Romanian baritone Sebastian Catana who is highly in demand in this country and abroad for his interpretations of the great Verdi baritone roles. Soprano Maria Valdes sings the role of Gilda, Rigoletto’s beautiful but naïve daughter. The wily and power-hungry Duke of Mantua is sung by Jonathan Tetelman. Bass-Baritone Joseph Barronportrays the opportunistic assassin, Sparafucile, and Maya Lahyani sings the role of his sister, Maddalena. John Cheek will be singing the pivotal role of Count Monterone, and Joshua Sanders and Nicholas Martorano will sing Borsa Matteo and Marullo respectively. All performances will feature the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra and Berkshire Opera Festival Chorus.

Rigoletto will be sung in Italian with projected English translations. Tickets are priced from $20 to $99. All tickets will go on sale January 15, 2018.  For more information, please visit

What [Loy] and his co-founder, [artistic] directorBrian Garman, have pulled off in Pittsfield is some true wizardry. Parterre Box, on Ariadne auf Naxos

Berkshire’s presentation in the intimate, beautifully renovated Colonial Theatre [was] fresh, amusing and ultimately moving. – Opera News, on Ariadne auf Naxos


Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on a play by Victor Hugo.
Sung in Italian with projected English translations

Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 1:00pm
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 7:30pm
Friday, August 31, 2018 at 7:30pm

The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, Mass.

Approximate running time:  2 hours, 30 minutes with one intermission

Premiere:  March 11, 1851 at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice

Cast and Creative:

Rigoletto – Sebastian Catana
Gilda – Maria Valdes
The Duke of Mantua – Jonathan Tetelman
Sparafucile – Joseph Barron
Maddalena – Maya Lahyani
Count Monterone – John Cheek
Borsa Matteo – Joshua Sanders
Marullo – Nicholas Martorano

Conductor – Brian Garman
Stage Director – Jonathon Loy
Scenic Designer – Stephen Dobay
Costume Designer – Charles Caine
Hair and Make-Up Designer – Beckie Kravetz
Choreographer – Sara Erde
Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master – Geoffrey Larson
Principal Coach and Rehearsal Pianist – Djordje Nesic
Associate Pianist – Nicholas Roehler
Production and Stage Manager – Cindy Knight

About Berkshire Opera Festival

The mission of Berkshire Opera Festival is to entertain and enrich the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the Berkshire region by providing accessible and affordable performances of a broad range of operas with the highest artistic standards. An innovative and intensive education program and a strong public presence will also establish BOF as a valuable member of the Berkshire arts community.

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