Our purpose is to foster and cultivate interest in choral music; to provide training, practice and performance opportunities for the development of talent; to establish scholarships for deserving students of vocal and instrumental music; and to provide a variety of forums in which singers can come together and perform.
Artistic Director Robert P. Blafield was weaned on Italian Opera. At the age of fifteen, he sang under Arturo Toscanini and knew music would be his life and career. He graduated from CCNY and attended the Juilliard School of Music. After a distinguished career in New York as a choral conductor and a voice teacher of successful students on Broadway and in international opera houses, Mr. Blafield founded the Berkshire Lyric Theatre in 1963.
During its first fourteen years, the Theatre presented works featuring solo artists and small ensembles. In 1978 Mr. Blafield and the Pittsfield Community Music School began the Pittsfield Community Chorus which was later dissolved and reformed as the Berkshire Lyric Theatre Chorus. This change allowed the Theatre to present a complete range of classical music and Broadway-type musicals featuring soloists and chorus. The Berkshire Lyric Theatre has enriched the Berkshires with year-round song for 36 years.
Members participate in the Oratorio Chorus, the Camerata Chorus, the Blafield Children's Chorus, and the Berkshire Singers, our newest addition, a Teen Chorus.
The Berkshire Lyric Theatre has performed numerous operettas, including Gilbert and Sullivan, Brigadoon and Carousel. In recent years the Lyric Theatre has produced major oratorios: Handel's Israel in Egypt and Mozart's Mass in C Minor, in addition to performances such as Brahm's Neue Liebeslieder, the Bach Mass in B Minor, Bloch's Sacred Service and Rossini's Petite Messe Solonelle.
The Berkshire Lyric Theatre's traditional performance year includes a major choral work. In addition to events listed above, the organization has sponsored innovative musical educational events in area schools. Its smaller group, the Camerata Ensemble, has appeared at public and private celebrations with choral works tailored to each event.