The Berkshire Opera Festival presents its summer event on the main stage: DON GIOVANNI in August

On August 20, 23 and 26, Berkshire Opera FestivalThe 2022 season wraps up with the most ambitious undertaking of the summer: a new staging by BOF co-founder Jonathon Loy of Mozart’s comedy and tragedy masterpiece DON GIOVANNI at the historic and intimate Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA. BOF Artistic Director and Co-Founder Brian Garman, described as a “magician” with intricate Bachtrack scores, conducts the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra and Chorus.

Don Giovanni, often considered Mozart’s greatest work, is based on the legend of Don Juan and tells the story of the slow demise of the antihero Giovanni. Director Jonathon Loy says: “This production of Giovanni is not defined by place or time. We will be forced to see deep within Giovanni’s soul what he really is, a lustful man with devastating flaws which exerts a great influence on Thanks to the addition of dancing, we will take the journey with Giovanni as he heads into the depths of hell, as he tries to drag everyone down with him .

This production was originally scheduled for the fifth anniversary season of 2020, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a quick pivot, the cast collaborated on a virtual concert recorded at their homes and studios, which aired in August 2020. The majority of that original cast are returning.

André Courville makes his debut at the Berkshire Opera Festival in the lead role of Don Giovanni. Courville is a rising star in the world of opera and has been hailed by Opera News for his “splendid and lush bass-baritone”. Of Courville’s recent role in a 2019 production of Fernand Cortez by Gaspare Spontini, Operawire said, “The American bass-baritone produced an excellent performance as the High Priest of the Mexicans…His voice is powerful and authoritarian. The recitatives were carefully molded and sung with an uncompromising edge. What also impressed was the beauty of the voice; it has a full-bodied, round sound backed by an inviting warmth that is able to draw the listener towards it. »

Opposite Courville is Christian Zaramba in the role of Leporello. The Franco-American bass has been seen in recent productions of Puccini’s Tosca and Gianni Schicchi at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as starring roles with Austin Opera. The cast also includes 2019 Richard Tucker Recipient of a Foundation Career Fellowship Laura Wilde as Donna Anna, who was hailed by Opera News for having “a ravishingly beautiful sound, [and] a keen sense of style and character. “British-American tenor Joshua Blue sings Don Ottavio. Opera News praised “Joshua Blue, whose saintly-elevating tenor and full embodiment of his songs were revelatory” in his role and house debut this season, including including the Metropolitan Opera as Peter in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Los Angeles Opera singing the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Philadelphia Opera as the Duke of Mantua in the Lindy Hume production of Rigoletto.

The morning of August 20 is preceded by a free conference before the performance with the playwright Cori Ellison at 12 p.m. (11:45 a.m. doors) for all ticket holders. Cori is a leading creative figure in the world of opera and has served as playwright at Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and New York City Opera. She is a member of the vocal arts faculty at the Juilliard School and the Ravinia Steans Music Institute and has taught and lectured for schools, performing organizations and the media around the world. Cori’s supertitles have been seen in every BOF main stage production since 2016’s Madama Butterfly.

Opera News praises Garman’s direction and cast after last year’s Falstaff:
“The Berkshire Opera’s Falstaff at the Mahaiwe Theater was terrific, reminding a fully vaccinated and masked audience why we attend opera in the first place. Artistic director Brian Garman led an impressive forty-piece orchestra through a propulsive reading of Verdi’s ingenious and delicate score. I have rarely, if ever, heard such balance
Cast of Falstaff, without any weakness.”

Joseph K. Bennett