Grand opera succeeds spectacularly at Colonial

To the editor:

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the audience at the Colonial Theatre leapt to its collective feet to cheer the Berkshire Opera Festival's production of "Madama Butterfly." The production was directed with great skill and nuance by the company's co-founder, Jonathon Loy, who has directed at the Metropolitan Opera and, having summered in the Berkshires his whole life, seeks to bring us full scale "grand" opera.

He succeeded with a fine, more-than-30 piece orchestra, warmly conducted by co-founder Brian Garman and a brilliant cast to rival any opera anywhere. The soprano, Inna Los, presented a thrilling Butterfly, at once seductive and vulnerably child-like in her bare feet.

The Act I finale, "Viene la sera," with lush tenor Jason Slayden, sizzled with erotic realism seldom seen in opera, where posturing can obscure the characters' emotional depth. There are no weak links in the fine supporting cast, who, under Loy's direction, are outstanding actors as well as accomplished singers.

During the past few weeks, the company has introduced itself to the Berkshires with lectures and concerts at Ventfort Hall and at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge and, as it brings full scale opera to the Berkshires, it fills a major gap that deserves our warm and hearty support.

It is regrettable that there is only one more performance, Friday, Sept. 2.

Carolyn Kay Brancato, Richmond