Berkshire Opera Festival Announces Second Season, Featuring ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, 8/26, 29, Today

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Berkshire Opera Festival (BOF) proudly announces its second season, featuring a new production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. Performances will be Saturday, August 26; Tuesday, August 29; and Friday, September 1 at 7:30PM at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. This follows BOF's triumphant inaugural 2016 season, in which its production of Madama Butterfly debuted to widespread acclaim.

"Berkshire Opera has been born anew."
- Opera News

BOF's General Director Jonathon Loy, who also serves as stage director, remarked, "Brian and I are thrilled with the critical and financial success of Berkshire Opera Festival's inaugural season, and grateful to everyone who helped us achieve it. We're delighted in our second season to present Ariadne. Producing it makes good on our founding mission to explore the entire operatic repertoire and to bring less familiar, magnificent pieces to the Berkshire public." The production is conducted by Artistic Director Brian Garman. "Ariadne accomplishes the very rare feat of being hilariously funny in one moment and breathtakingly beautiful in the next," Garman said. "Our internationally-acclaimed cast will make this a real treat both for people already familiar with the opera and for those experiencing Strauss for the first time."

In the title role, BOF's production will feature in-demand American soprano Marcy Stonikas who is highly in demand in this country and abroad for her performances of the great dramatic soprano repertoire, Tenor Kevin Ray will tackle the demanding role of Bacchus, while Nicole Haslett scales the dazzling heights of the coloratura role Zerbinetta. As the young Composer, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala adds another Strauss role to her wide-ranging repertoire. Filling out the roles of Zerbinetta's burlesque troupe and Ariadne's nymphs is a supporting cast of up-and-coming young stars. All performances feature the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra.

BOF's 2017 season will also include two recitals. The first, entitled Gods and Monsters, highlights the Berkshire Opera Festival Chorus and offers songs and favorite operatic selections on themes of gods and demons. It will also feature the world premiere performance of a new set of songs composed specifically for the occasion. The performance will take place on Tuesday, August 8, at 7:30pmat Saint James Place in Great Barrington. Gods and Monsters is made possible by a generous gift from Judith Goldsmith. The second program, an assortment of Richard Strauss's greatest songs for voice and piano, will be presented Wednesday, August 16, at 7:30pm at Ventfort Hall in Lenox.

Ariadne auf Naxos will be sung in German with projectEd English translations. Tickets are priced from $20 to $98. Tickets to each recital are priced at $30. All tickets will go on sale January 9, 2017. For more information, please visit

This production of Ariadne auf Naxos is made possible by a generous gift from Adrian and Christine Slywotzky.

Berkshire Opera Festival's Summer 2017 Production

Music by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Sung in German with projectEd English translations

The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, Mass.
Performances: August 26, 29, and September 1, 2017
All performances begin at 7:30pm

Approximate running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes with one intermission

Premiere: October 4, 1916 at the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna, Austria


The Prima Donna / Ariadne Marcy Stonikas
The Tenor / Bacchus Kevin Ray
Zerbinetta Nicole Haslett
The Composer Adriana Zabala
A Music Teacher Kyle Pfortmiller
A Dancing Master / Brighella Spencer Viator
Harlekin Samuel Schultz
Scaramuccio Chris Carr
Truffaldin Colin Ramsey
Najade Jeni Houser
Dryade Vera Savage
Echo Christine Lyons

Conductor Brian Garman
Stage Director Jonathon Loy
Scenic Designer Stephen Dobay
Costume Designer Charles Caine
Hair and Make-Up Designer Beckie Kravetz

Featuring the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra

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.

(Photo Credit: Berkshire Opera)

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