PRESS

2019 REVIEWS

DON PASQUALE

“In its fourth season, Berkshire Opera Festival has a hit on its hands.  Director Jonathon Loy spares no opportunity for gags and conductor Brian Garman leads an exemplary cast and responsive orchestra and chorus."

     - Andrew L. Pincus, The Berkshire Eagle

 

“Great voices, attractive singers, a fine orchestra, brilliant sets, lovely costumes, and a wonderful chorus.  Once again [...] Loy and Garman have excelled themselves in this production; everything they undertake is perfection."

     - Rex Hearn, Berkshire Record

 

“Normally, when one encounters a relatively new opera company, one makes gentle allowances for its shortcomings.  Giving lie to this mostly true theory is the Berkshire Opera Festival.  It is wisely conservative -- just one fully staged opera a year plus a handful of concerts -- all superbly planned and performed [...]  This young company has the spirit and craft at its fingertips."

     - Robert Levine, Bachtrack

 

It was indeed a delight, a frothy mix of bel canto and slapstick that kept me smiling for over two hours.  Interspersed with the laughter, however, were scenes so touching that they brought a lump to one's throat."

     - Rick Perdian, Seen & Heard International

 

“Berkshire Opera Festival’s excellent Don Pasquale is everything a comic opera ought to be:  funny, broadly played by agile actors; lively, with a libretto sung by great voices; and lyrical, with music played by a fine orchestra."

     - Dan Dwyer, The Berkshire Edge

 

“The casting of this opera was superb.  No one singer dominated and the blend of voices for the finale, when they all sang, was absolutely superb, brilliantly musical, and a fitting ending to a perfect night of musical, theatrical fun."

     - J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus

 

“This Don Pasquale would be a triumphal experience wherever it played [...]  We had robustness, volition, and the essence of Donizetti comic opera:  joy, real joy."

     - Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet

 

“Loy and Garman, co-founders of the Berkshire Opera Festival, are in their fourth year, and they have brought something wonderful to our region, filling a gap we might not have known we had.  Long may they prosper."

     - Fred Baumgarten, Berkshire On Stage

2018 REVIEWS

Press Packet: Berkshire Opera Festival Summer 2018

RIGOLETTO

“Berkshire Opera Festival’s third annual summer offering, Rigoletto, opened a three performance run on August 25 to vociferous acclaim from a sold-out audience.  There was much to celebrate:  this young company supplied the Berkshire region with a dramatically valid, well-conducted and well-sung traversal of Verdi’s exciting score.”

     - David Shengold, Opera News

 

“The Berkshire Opera Festival […] has struck me with awe.”

     - Joel Rozen, The New York Times

 

“For its third year in a row, the Berkshire Opera Festival has produced a hit.  Their new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto is again very well sung and staged and very enthusiastically received by a packed house at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.”

     - Walter Carroll, New England Public Radio

 

“All in all, this year’s BOF offering demonstrates that it possesses the talent and imagination to produce fine work.”

     - Chan Lowe, The Berkshire Eagle

 

“Berkshire Opera Festival’s Rigoletto was an instant big hit at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.  The sold out house would not let them go.  I have never seen or heard such a reception for an opera performance.”

     - Rex Hearn, Berkshire Record

 

“I was blown away […] The company somehow managed to stage the piece with singers and singing that made this, well, “warhorse” as exciting as it if premiered yesterday.”

     - Matt Costello, OperaWire

 

“Tanglewood may bring the classical music crowd to Lenox, but for opera, it’s all about neighboring Pittsfield, Mass.  That’s where for three summers now, fledgling company Berkshire Opera Festival has been slowly making a name for itself at the Colonial Theatre, crafting sleeper hit productions for an ebullient crowd of local buffs, while drawing increasingly big-name artists to the Berkshires.”

     - Joel Rozen, Parterre Box

 

“When the musical qualities of the performance rise to the Berkshire Opera Festival’s level of vocal brilliance, dramatic musicianship, and orchestra strength, one can only rejoice.”

     - Steven Ledbetter, Boston Musical Intelligencer

 

“So good was this performance that a five-minute standing ovation would have gone on for ten had not the cast waved farewell and beat a final retreat.  It is not every day you get to hear a group of world-class singers in the Berkshires, or anywhere else for that matter.”

     - Fred Baumgarten, Berkshire On Stage

 

“Director Jonathon Loy has done a fine job with this piece, giving us the drama and the romane without the major forces of a large “court” to surround or frame these elements. Artistic Director Brian Garman conducts his large orchestra with perfect control.  If there were no other elements to applaud – and those abound on stage – the orchestra heard in this theater would be almost enough to warrant the price of a ticket.”

     - J. Peter Bergman, The Berkshire Edge

 

“Judging from this summer’s Rigoletto, [Garman and Loy] realize their lofty aspirations by assembling world-class talent and polishing one opera to perfection.”

     - Rick Perdian, Seen and Heard International

 

“Verdi’s gutsy 1851 operatic melodrama, Rigoletto, gets a fascinating, stylish, and unflinchingly close study in the Berkshire Opera Festival’s new production.  This Rigoletto, which marks [BOF]’s third successful season in a row, seems clear confirmation of the organization’s destined longevity. Long may they present such top-tier work in so culturally rich and beautiful a setting.”

     - Charles Geyer, La Scena Musicale

 

“The Berkshire Opera Festival has opened its third season with Verdi’s revenge opera Rigoletto.  Let’s start with the end of the performance.  There was a five-minute standing ovation from the sold-out audience – gives you an idea of the quality of the singing.”

     - Ron Lee, WBRK-FM

2017 REVIEWS

Press Packet: Berkshire Opera Festival Summer 2017

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS

“What [Loy] and his co-founder, [artistic] director Brian Garman, have pulled off in Pittsfield is some true wizardry—a three-night bravura production with a top-shelf, enthusiastic cast that both understood and amped up the full screwball enchantment of the score."

- Joel Rozen, Parterre Box

"A year ago the Berkshire Opera Festival brought its first production, Madama Butterfly, to the Colonial Theatre [in] a very promising beginning to what we can only hope will become a tradition lasting many more decades.  This year they have a brilliant second effort, Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, very well sung, staged, costumed and lit."

- Walter Carroll, New England Public Radio

"Fully-staged opera fits exceedingly well into the Colonial Theatre and the cultural life of the Berkshires.  After two seasons, Loy and Garman have demonstrated they have the commitment, skill and now proven experience to lead Berkshire Opera Festival on a long and satisfying journey."

- Sharon Smullen, The Berkshire Eagle

"If Berkshire Opera's Butterfly in year one was like the facets of a diamond, this production of Ariadneis the Koh-i-Noor:  perfection, 106 carats, no flaws.  In two short years [Garman and Loy] have reached heights of professionalism that mere mortals seldom achieve."

- Rex Hearn, Berkshire Record

"How fortunate that Garman and Loy have founded their company here in the Berkshires.  No longer need we confine our opera-going to HD films—now we have the highest quality productions and performers in our own backyard."

-  Barbara Waldinger, Berkshire On Stage

"I keep trying not to say “perfect” and “perfection” while writing this notice but, alas, I must use them now.  This perfect production, with such superb singer/actors and so many fabulous musicians ... is a must-see for anyone who knows and loves opera and anyone who just enjoys very good theater."

- Peter Bergman, The Berkshire Edge

"We urge readers up front not to miss Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos ... This reviewer witnessed an extraordinarily fine performance of an ebullient masterpiece."

- Tony Schemmer, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

"The Berkshire Opera Festival has again mounted an important and challenging operatic masterpiece with gorgeous resourcefulness, canny stage sense, impeccable musicality and a world-class performing ensemble."

- Charles Geyer, La Scena Musicale

2016 REVIEWS

MADAMA BUTTERFLY

"Berkshire Opera has been born anew, thanks to the industry of artistic director Brian Garman and general director Jonathon Loy...  One hopes [the festival] continues its trajectory at the high level on view here."

                     - David Shengold, Madama Butterfly, Opera News, August 2016

"In a way, as perfect as an opera performance can get... a performance that can only be described as an object lesson in how to perform opera.  The Berkshire Opera Festival has, within less than a week, made itself indispensable."

                    - Michael Miller, Madama Butterfly, The Berkshire Review for the Arts, August 2016

"...an intense, immediate, and gripping Butterfly...  This is a damned good production [with a] very superior cast of national status."

                    - Tony Schemmer, Madama Butterfly, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, August 2016

"Like a polished diamond with brilliant facets already formed...  It is a beautiful production in every aspect."

                    - Rex Hearn, Madama Butterfly, The Berkshire Record, August 2016

 

"If first impressions are everything, a better introduction could not have been imagined."

                    - Charles Geyer, Madama Butterfly, La Scena Musicale, August 2016

 

“Opera Fairbanks presented an excellent production of Rossini's "Italian Girl in Algiers" this weekend…Jonathon Loy's staging was utterly comic - the audience laughed a lot.”

- Mike Dunham, L’Italiana in Algeri, Alaska Distpatch News – Anchorage, July 6, 2014

 

 

“… the incisive stage direction of Jonathon Loy, also on the Met staff.  What so impressed me in this La Bohéme (an opera I have seen at least a hundred times) was how deeply felt it was by cast and audience ... Somehow, Mimi’s cold hands and the sense of struggling artists were entirely believable here and I confess to shedding a few tears."

- Fred Plotkin, La Bohéme, WQXR/Operavore, July 19, 2012

 

 

 

“Director Jonathon Loy used sparse resources to maintain a thoughtful and elegant momentum, with no undue distractions.”

            - Peter Burwasser, La Bohéme Review, City Paper – Phila, June 15-21, 2006

 

 

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and meager resources may have led director Jonathon Loy to conceive of this opera in an intimate way. The extraordinary score of Verdi does indeed work just as well in a chamber setting as in a grand production, and in some ways is more focused by the minimalism.”

- Peter Burwasser, La Traviata Review, City Paper - Phila, June 16-22, 2005

2014 REVIEW

2012 REVIEW

2006 REVIEW

2005 REVIEW

© 2019 by JONATHON LOY