BERKSHIRE OPERA FESTIVAL
BERKSHIRE OPERA FESTIVAL, Brian Garman & Jonathon Loy, Co-Founders • Abigail Rollins, Executive Director, opens its ‘22 summer season at PS21 in Chatham NY with a captivating 90-minute American chamber opera about family:
Music by Jake Heggie • Libretto by Gene Scheer
Based on a play by Terrence McNally
Conducted by Christopher James Ray in a new production by Beth Greenberg
The story follows a family (a famous Broadway actress and her two adult children) through 3 decades—1986, 1996, 2006—as they grapple with AIDS, addiction, dysfunction, and deceit
Starring a cast of three:
Mezzo ADRIANA ZABALA as Madeline Mitchell
Soprano MONICA DEWEY as Beatrice
Baritone THEO HOFFMAN as Charlie
Thursday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 23, 1 p.m.
Performed in residence at PS21’s open-air Pavilion Theater, the “Hudson Valley outpost of the avant-garde” (NYT)
SAFETY IS PRIORITY
PS21’s Audience COVID Safety Policies: ps21chatham.org/ps21-social-distancing-guidelines
The spirited and ambitious Berkshire Opera Festival opens its 2022 summer season with a compelling new production of Jake Heggie’s intimate THREE DECEMBERS on July 21 and 23 at PS21 in Chatham, conducted by Christopher James Ray and directed by Beth Greenberg. This contemporary American opera is based on Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally’s original script for Some Christmas Letters. It marks BOF’s 2nd Second Stage event, following Tom Cipullo’s highly praised Glory Denied last summer.
BOF is thrilled to partner for the first time with PS21, a state-of-the-art green-energy theater which has evolved into the Hudson Valley’s mecca for innovative programming. Jesse Green in The New York Times describes PS21’s newly built theater as a “beautiful, reconfigurable indoor-outdoor space that appears to have landed like an exotic bird in the midst of a 100-acre former apple orchard.”
THREE DECEMBERS tells the story of aging Broadway star Madeline Mitchell and her two adult children, Beatrice and Charlie. The drama takes place over 20 years of the AIDS crisis (1986, 1996, 2006), each section recalling the events of a December as the characters struggle to connect and heal old wounds when family secrets are revealed.
Stage Director Beth Greenberg, renowned for her work with New York City Opera, says of the opera: “Buried secrets...dark whispers...love, and devastating loss...all collide and burst forth in Three Decembers. With its skillful balance of drama and èlan, the work probes the fraught relationships between a successful actress-mother and her two children—a daughter coping with a failing marriage, and her young, gay son at the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic.”
Two exciting singers make their Berkshire Opera Festival debuts, opposite Zabala. Monica Dewey, the versatile soprano, LGBTQ+ advocate, and lively performer of the Metropolitan Opera, plays the unhappily married alcoholic daughter Beatrice.
PS21’s Black Box/open-air Pavilion configuration is conceived as a home for intimate-scaled productions, and is ideal for this iteration of THREE DECEMBERS. BOF and PS21 are aligned in their values of supporting the future of opera by presenting new and contemporary performances with world-class artists, and making them accessible to everyone in the region.