Two expert and experienced, highly intelligent and sensitive opera-makers, Jonathon Loy, a stage director, and Brian Garman, a conductor, joined forces last year to create The Berkshire Opera Festival, which got off to a brilliant start with a finely considered, detailed, and brilliantly executed production of Madama Butterfly, which was equal to converting Puccini-haters as well as delighting Puccini fanatics.
They carry on this year with their second production, a radically different work written only a few years later by Richard Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos. Brian and Jonathon very kindly agreed to chat about this year’s offering with me, and I think you will learn a lot about Ariadne and how it looks to the people who put it on the stage for your enjoyment. Opera is in one way entertainment and in another a great deal more, and no other opera brings this home to us more amusingly, delectably, and movingly than Ariadne.
The bottom line is that you can walk into this opera as a novice and find yourself much entertained—the tunes are addictive—and walk out, elated, but with a pang in your heart for the delights, complications, and agonies of love.
Brian and Jonathon recommend seeing all three performances. This is by no means self-serving or boxoffice-driven. There’s a lot of action and a lot of singing in this rather brief opera. You’ll be surprised at what you discover on a second or third go-around. Perhaps even that you’ve experience something relevant and profound.
I present this as two separate podcasts—one, very brief, about the company and its practical goals…with an opportunity to contribute to a matched donation. It is also INTERESTING. Listen to it! And DONATE! Click here to support this important and life enhancing addition to our life in the Berkshires.
Podcast (berkshire-review-podcast-part-2): Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:28 — 3.5MB)
The second, longer segment concerns the upcoming production of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 23:25 — 21.4MB)
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Click here for our interview about last year’s inaugural Madama Butterfly
Click here for my review of Madama Butterly.