Berkshire Opera Festival opens its 2023 summer season with Breaking the Mold: Baroque, Bel Canto, and Beyond, a concert of arias and ensembles spanning 300 years, on July 22 at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. The program traverses a vast range of musical eras and styles, from Handel to Heggie. The afternoon’s selections are sung by strong characters who each “broke the mold” in their own way, and BOF is proud to present a world-class slate of artists to perform this powerful music.

The concert features a cast of some of BOF’s favorite artists. Soprano Jacqueline Piccolino, who has been described as having “impeccable technique and stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle), sang in BOF’s 2022 fundraiser, Supper in Seville; mezzo-soprano Megan Moore, whose voice has been described as “genuinely beautiful” (The Observer), sang the role of Donna Elvira in last year’s BOF production of Don Giovanni; tenor Alex McKissick, whose voice has “melting tone and poignant phrasing” (Opera News), sang in BOF’s Mid-Winter Mozart concert in spring 2022; baritone Ethan Vincent, whom the Philadelphia Inquirer deemed a “rising star,” makes his BOF debut in the role of Schaunard in the company’s 2023 mainstage production of La Bohème; and pianist Travis Bloom, who aided with music preparation in last year’s BOF production of Don Giovanni and currently serves on the artistic staff as a coach and accompanist at the Manhattan School of Music.

Of the concert, Moore, whose Donna Elvira in BOF’s Don Giovanni was described as “revelatory” and as having a “preternatural ability to distill and convey the myriad conflicting drives within her character” (The Berkshire Eagle), says: “The arias from Dido & Aeneas (Dido), La Donna del Lago (Elena), and Dead Man Walking (Sister Helen), are all dream roles for me. Cendrillon is a role I’ve sung in English, so I’m really looking forward to presenting this aria in the original French. The date range of the pieces is huge, 1688-2000, but all of these roles exhibit strong, loving, devoted, compassionate women. From luscious legato lines to racing coloratura, I am so excited to present a wide range of arias and characters to the wonderful Berkshire Opera Festival audience this summer.”

Next for Berkshire Opera Festival


August 26 & 29
September 1
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA

Conductor Brian Garman and director Jonathon Loy offer a fresh take on the ageless tale that centers around epic love and loss of innocence

Tenor YONGZHAO YU – Rodolfo
Baritone BENJAMIN TAYLOR – Marcello
Bass-baritone EVAN LAZDOWSKI – Colline
Baritone ETHAN VINCENT – Schaunard
Bass-baritone JAMES DEMLER – Benoit/Alcindoro

and featuring the


Berkshire Opera Festival (BOF) is a fully-producing summer festival founded by Jonathon Loy and Brian Garman which presented its first season in 2016. 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. Each summer, BOF presents musically and dramatically compelling operatic productions, in addition to recitals and other related musical events. Recent productions include Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, Verdi’s Falstaff, Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale

Garman and Loy have been friends for over 20 years since their early career days at Pittsburgh Opera, with combined experience at the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and New York City Opera. Loy has deep family ties in the Berkshires, and the Iowa-born Garman credits Loy for convincing him to take root in the bucolic Berkshires, finding the area revelatory in its beauty and depth of culture. In September 2019, Abigail Rollins joined the leadership of BOF in the role of Executive Director, helping Loy and Garman realize their dream and build on it year by year, carefully and with purpose.

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