Brian Garman & Jonathon Loy, Co-Founders • Abigail Rollins, Executive Director
announces an indoor FULL CAPACITY 2021 summer season,
its largest and most robust to date

Updates include:
Joshua Major stage directs Falstaff
Tamara Wilson, renowned Verdi soprano, sings Alice Ford in Falstaff

A new production of Verdi’s comic masterpiece stars Sebastian Catana in title role
August 21, 24, 27 at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington

by composer Tom Cipullo 
July 22 & 24 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington
(BOF’s debut Second Stage production)

Free outdoor concert featuring artists from the Falstaff cast
August 11 at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox

BOF continues to work closely with each venue to refine safety protocols based on the most current state guidelines and industry best practices. BOF will require that all of its artists, staff, and interns are fully vaccinated, and each audience member must wear a mask while inside the theater, regardless of vaccination status.

From Berkshire Opera Festival Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Brian Garman:

“It’s been an almost impossible year for many of us, but we are thankful and thrilled to come back this season stronger than ever. Our mainstage production, Verdi’s Falstaff, is one of opera’s greatest masterpieces and a hilarious comedy. Verdi turned to Shakespeare for this, his final opera, and the result is nothing short of genius. For the first time in BOF history, this season will see the addition of a second-stage production. We’ve chosen Tom Cipullo’s gripping Glory Denied for this important occasion. Sung in English, it tells the true story of Colonel Jim Thompson, the longest-held American prisoner of war. These exceptional works, along with the return of our annual free concert, make for a season that can’t be missed.

Baritone Sebastian Catana & soprano Maria Valdes in BOF’s 2018 Rigoletto (© Ken Howard). This summer they return with Catana as Falstaff and Valdes as Younger Alyce in Glory Denied.

The thrill of opera in the Berkshires…

“What Loy and his co-founder Brian Garman have
pulled off in the Berkshires is some true wizardry.” 
— Parterre Box

The fast-growing Berkshire Opera Festival moves full steam ahead after last summer’s pandemic cancellations and virtual programs. In accordance with Massachusetts’ revised reopening timeline, the two featured operas this summer—at both venues—will be offered at full capacity. Tickets are on sale through the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office. 

The only company of its kind in the region, Berkshire Opera Festival has restored fully-staged opera to the Berkshires, with savvy productions and superlative casts under the vision of co-founders Brian Garman (Artistic Director) and Jonathon Loy (Director of Production). Just a few years after its founding in 2016, Opera News declared “destination status” on the Festival, and Berkshire On Stage wrote “No longer need we confine our opera-going to HD films—now we have the highest quality productions and performers in our own backyard.” The New York Times called BOF’s Ariadne auf Naxos “one of those productions that change the way you think about things.”

This summer, Berkshire Opera Festival presents its first-ever Second Stage production: Tom Cipullo’s powerful Glory Denied, based on the true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war. It kicks off the season on July 22 and 24 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington. Next, the Festival heads to The Mount (Edith Wharton’s gorgeous Lenox estate) on August 11 for a free concert, Much Ado About Shakespeare, exploring the world’s most famous playwright’s influence on opera. Its celebration of the Bard culminates with the season’s crown jewel—BOF’s new mounting of Verdi’s Falstaff August 21-27 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. This opera—Verdi’s last, and one of the world’s greatest comedies—will also feature the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra and Chorus. 

Berkshire Opera Festival recently launched an exciting new digital series on YouTube, OperaLens, which gives audiences an inside look at the inner workings of BOF. The series features conversations, interviews, and presentations with the company’s luminary artists, musicians, and staff. BOF’s summer fundraiser, Falstaff’s Feast, will be held on June 27 at The Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, MA.

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