Opera / Podcasts

Jonathon Loy and Brian Garman talk to Michael Miller and Roza Tulyaganova about The Berkshire Opera Festival’s third season opera, Verdi’s Rigoletto

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Sebastian Catana as Rigoletto
Sebastian Catana as Rigoletto

Without a doubt the most encouraging cultural development in the Berkshires in 2016 was the first season of the Berkshire Opera Festival, founded by Jonathon Loy and Brian Garman. The quality of the first production, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, proved the promise of the endeavor to be solid reality. Both Mr. Loy, a stage director, and Mr. Garman, a conductor, are deeply experienced in opera, and they know that the ideal way to produce opera is in careful planning and thorough rehearsal over a sufficient period of  time to work out the countless details which contribute to success. Last year, the Berkshire Opera Festival scored another impressive success in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. The organizers’ insight into the works they bring to life is so compelling and profound that I have made it a practice to interview them every year.

This year Garman and Loy have turned their attention to Verdi’s Rigoletto. Their interview with singer, teacher, and director, Roza Tulyaganova, who was recently in the area as assistant director, with Thaddeus Strassberger, Anton Rubinstein’s The Demon for Bard Summerscape, and myself, will give you a clear idea of how their production of Rigoletto will refresh your feelings for this ground-breaking masterpiece.

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Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L'Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides' Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

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