Some of What People Have Said…

Local music lovers interested in seeing the future stars of opera need look no further than Robert McFarland’s Atlantic Coast Opera Festival [….] It’s the rare opera singer who can make the transition from the highest levels of international performance to an equal stature in directing their own company.  I cannot wait to see McFarland’s capacity for discovering good singers translated into full stage productions, and witness his capacity as an artistic director in action Jim Rutter, Reporter, Broad Street Review

“Philadelphia has a multitude of opera companies but, until now, nothing like this.”
Steve Cohen, City Paper

“The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival found its artistic footing in a well-sung and dramatically potent double bill (Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci)”.
Robert Baxter, The Courier-Post

 “The overall performances by the entire cast were in many ways more exciting and satisfying than many performances that we have seen at the Met.”— Allen S. Jacobi, Jr.

“The concert you presented at Church of the Holy Trinity was brilliant and worked so well in our space.  We thank you and your company for the experience!”-
Madelyn Mignatti, Chair, Music Committee, The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA

“Thank you so much for helping to create what many audiences members said was one of their favorite Salons ever.  There was pure joy and celebration, power and intensity, beauty, humour, sensitivity and artistry and all around a real dedication and commitment… In gratitude,”
Andrea Clearfield, Center City Salon, Philadelphia, PA

“The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival gave over 300 of our members and guests a phenomenal performance!!! Not only were these performers extremely talented and engaging, but they were the nicest professionals I have ever had the pleasure of working with.” Sharon Siegel, Adult Program Director, the Besty & Milton Katz Jewish Community Center, Cherry Hill, NJ

“I would be honored if you would like to use my comments about your wonderful organization
. Your group is badly needed in this area.   I hope to hear about more shows in the area and I wish you great success.....Thank you!” --   Dorothy Pere, Cherry Hill, NJ

“The Atlantic Coast opera Festival came to my attention in the Spring of 2005 through the Opera Club of Philadelphia.   Shortly, thereafter, I invited Mr. Robert McFarland and his young artists to perform in concert at The Church of the Holy Trinity. The concert was truly memorable and the young artists impressed the audience with their commitment to the music and opera as theater. As a result, I asked the company to perform monthly at our Brown Bag Concert Series, where they have faithfully performed with gusto and have excited our audiences. We have noticed an increase in attendance at concerts and have asked the company to continue monthly, indefinitely. This is a company with strong leadership in Mr. McFarland and singers have shown growth and development since 2005. The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, with fine leadership has the potential to provide a powerful summer opera festival where there is no company equal to them in the essentials of quality training and operatic performance.” Madelyn Mignatti, Chair, Music Committee, The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA

“I am always thinking back to that performance at Swarthmore College when you presented “I Pagliacchi (sic)” and “Cavalleria Rusticana” (summer 2005). To this day (spring 2006), I recall I as a once in a lifetime experience. Simplicity and intimacy, talent far beyond the scope of that small room”. --
Gerry Zell, Brookhaven, PA

The members of the opera class at the Academy of Lifelong Learning (University of Delaware) thank you for making our last class of this semester such an enlightening and delightful occasion. We wish you continuing success. With the talent we heard today, you can’t miss! Ethel Sayre for Angelo DiAntonio and Joe Zimmerman, Academy of Lifelong Learning, University of Delaware, Wilmington, DE 

“Congrats! We really enjoyed the Cav/Pag—all aspects—staging, costumes, voices, overall production, great! Keep up the fine work.”
Dr. Sheldon & Penny Solomon

“Thoroughly enjoyed last Saturday’s [“Cavalleria Rusticana”] Look forward to next year!” – Henry Weisl, Moorestown, NJ

“Dear ACOF – Just a note to let you know how much my family and I enjoyed your performances last summer and look forward to the new season.”
Joanne Borden, Medford, NJ

“Two of my most enjoyable evenings this summer were your performances of Die Fledermaus and Cav-Pag. I can hardly wait, until next summer brings new productions from your outstanding company.”
Susan Morison Smith, Swarthmore, PA

“Thank you for the enchanted night at the opera.” Susan Ploeg, Newtown Square, PA

“The Festival is giving me the opportunity to try a role on for size at a younger age and see how I can grow into it.” Jan Cornelius, 2005 Main Stage Artist

“We attended two of your events last year, and found hem thrilling.  The young singers were talented and engaging. Have a great season!”Newton Malerman, Jenkintown, PA

“An exceptional program which successfully met our expectations!” –
Jenny Goinden, The Watermark Retirement Facility, Philadelphia, PA

“I love the idea of the free lunchtime concerts….  I also like the lineup of operas that you feature… I think the “favorite” operas idea is really good.  In other words, for people who are not too opera-savvy like me, I feel more comfortable!...” Suzanne Montenegro, Philadelphia, PA

“This is a great opportunity for us… The Festival gives us the first contact with roles that we will sing and polish for many years. We are working in a professional environment with professional people.” —
Sishel Claverie, Young Artist

”We so much enjoy receiving these notices of concerts. My daughter and I … won't be able to attend…  But we'll be thinking of you and wishing you all the best!  Please accept our warmest regards and best wishes.  Happy New Year!”Cheryl (mom) and Erin (daughter, and a singer!) Schaffner, Philadelphia, PA

“Dear Beatrice: Yesterday's concert was 'the best'! I believe your father was listening and heard you!”
Madelyn Mignatti, Chair, Music Committee, The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA

“The Opera was great…..I would recommend you to all retirement communities!…”
Marie Fiori – Dunwoody Village, Newtown Square, PA

“…Sooo lovely… Look forward to the next concert” Gisele Sleiman, Philadelphia, PA

“It was my pleasure to attend the Atlantic Opera Company last year in Voorhees, N.J.  Did not know what to expect and do not have a particular appreciation for opera but was so pleasantly surprised to find the company well-voiced, well-attired and very professional.  I would definitely return to future performances.”
Beverly Hayden, Philadelphia, PA

“You are truly "French Toast"-- the toast of France, U.S. and the continent!... [And] we were thrilled to watch, and hear, such wonderful opera performers last night. Thank you.”
Roy Shenberg, Ardmore, PA

I hope that all endeavors to bring about a summer opera venue for this area and continue to discover artists of the same caliber as the ones we heard last Sunday will be successful! There is a great team working for it---it must happen! –
Anonymous, Philadelphia, PA

“Hi Béatrice, Hi Robert, As a member of your audience I wish to say "Thank You"  for two wonderful and enjoyable performances at the AVA ! It has been said that Opera captures in drama and in voice our personal thoughts, our deepest held beliefs, and our highest ideals. During both performances you shared through seemingly effortless excellence the deepest held traditions and values that make Opera such a total esthetic experience. By tradition we are told to cherish Art as an ally to civilization. I want you to know that I cherish the Atlantic Coast Opera Company as an ally to our civilization.  It was Degas who once said , "Art is not what you can see, but what you can make other people see." Your performances allowed me to feel, see and think... and I thank you! Sincerely”
William Conville, Philadelphia, PA

Dear Ms. Beer: Thank you for … enabling me and my friend to have a wonderful afternoon and enjoy some magnificent voices and talent… Your voice is absolutely magnificent- a thrill to year you sing. What power you have!! You have a beautiful and important mission - finding artists and providing stage experience and career opportunities… I sat there simply thrilled to hear and see all of you perform! Thank you!

What you and Robert McFarland are doing is remarkable, wonderful, and urgently important and I sincerely hope that The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival will be outstandingly successful and will create the renaissance of the golden age of opera. Not only will it provide opportunities for the artist, but for our communities and especially for the education of our youths. Thank you again for introducing me to the Atlantic Coast Opera Mission.
Annette Chason, Wilmington, DE

Dear Béatrice, Hanukah songs, Let us Adore him and La Bohème. That is a program. I think that it is beautiful your joy of giving pleasure to so many through song. Much Love
Stuart Schwartz, Manhattan, NY

The members of the opera class at the Academy of Lifelong Learning (University of Delaware) thank you for making our last class of this semester such an enlightening and delightful occasion. We wish you continuing success. With the talent we heard today, you can’t miss! Ethel Sayre for Angelo DiAntonio and Joe Zimmerman, Wilmington, DE 

Thanks so much for inviting me to attend the performance of the players from the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival. I was really glad that I got a chance to hear [them] again… Keep up the great work!Michael Scullin, Honorary Consul of France, Philadelphia, PA 

I found the classes to be phenomenal! I previously had minimal exposure to opera and... now, I’ll be sure to experience more opera. The handouts including audio and visual pieces and instructors were great and the live performers were such an added gift to the classes. Thank you for this wonderful experience. Anonymous, Newman College, Aston, PA 

Bravo!... Thank you again for that special intro to opera! Peter Finnegan, Drexel Hill, PA 

Domenica Assunta (8yrs old now), and I had the pleasure of attending last evening's performance [La Bohème]. It was absolutely wonderful!! What a gift to have this so close to home and the cost was very reasonable. The orchestra was terrific, and my daughter was very impressed with the young people in the production and in the orchestra!... I hope that The Atlantic Coast Opera continues to grace this area with their presence!!! Diana, Nick & Domenica Assunta, Cherry Hill, NJ 

I have had the great pleasure of attending The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival’s … Season 2009 full production of La Bohème. … We were very impressed by the overall quality of the production of this up and coming young Festival. The singers, the sizeable orchestra (constituted of professionals who accepted to play pro bono due to the limited budget) the beautiful sets and costumes, all were absolutely superb! And the ticket prices were quite reasonable. … I can but warmly recommend this excellent organization and its leaders to anyone looking to assist them in accomplishing their great mission of supplying our region with first-class opera during the summer. Yves Quintin, Esquire, Duane Morris LLP, Philadelphia, PA 

La Bohème was sensational!!! – Larysa & Frank Kilpatrick, Newtown Square, PA  

This is the BEST Bohème I have ever seen! – Ross Balance, Philadelphia, PA

Marriage of Figaro was world-class! What an exquisite treat, in this “opera forsaken” region in the summer! Thank you! –John Silverado, Medford, NJ

The singers, the costumes, the orchestra – it was all a delight! This opera festival belongs in the “big times”! I certainly felt treated to the very best, and on a scorching hot afternoon, I forgot all about my misery as soon as the orchestra started to play the Nozze [di Figaro] overture so incredibly under the ferocious baton of Maestro Vaupotich!... The singers, all in gorgeous costumes, were dazzling!! –Sylvia Hochstein, Springfield, PA

This Otello was just spectacular. Not a dry eye in the audience at the end of Act IV when the curtain came down! James Moran, Philadelphia, PA

Otello was such a treat, such gorgeous music and spectacular production by the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival! –Kathy Shooster, Media, PA

Otello – a superb performance, a superb cast, couldn’t ask for more from this young Festival! One can only hope to hear more from them, and to see them get established as they well should. Ethel Milstein, Cherry Hill, NJ

My husband and I were thrilled to have attended Cavalleria Rusticana/Beer Gala Concert! What a show! Wonderful singers, gorgeous costumes and superb orchestra! Thanks ACOF! –Millie Ravich, Cherry Hill, NJ

What a summer treat: world-class opera in Philadelphia! I don’t have to “schlep” to New York City or to Glimmerglass any longer!!This young company deserves so much credit, hanging in while major companies are folding, tenaciously insisting on offering international level classical entertainment, at ridiculously low prices. It deserves the support from major patrons and foundations no doubt! –Robert Desanges, Philadelphia, PA

Couldn’t have enjoyed a MET or AVA performance more!!!! –Anthony Lacuore, Sicklerville, PA

Thanks for another splendid performance. I wish you had one every weekend!! James Moran, Philadelphia, PA