Education & Outreach
We host educational opportunities for local youth through partnerships with Olivet Boys and Girls Club Pal Center for the Arts and our exclusive BOAST and BOOT programs. Learn more.
To all friends of Berks Opera Company:
Arts organizations around the world are feeling the effects of the Covid 19 virus. But classical music organizations like ours are especially affected. Although our spring events are several weeks away, the unknowns will continue for some time, and we must minimize risks whenever and however we can.
Our August performance of "The Magic Flute" has been postponed to 2021.
We send you our good wishes, and urge you to follow the advice of the knowledgeable public health authorities.
❤️Berks Opera Company
Berks Opera has lost a dear friend, Jeri Kozloff, who passed away May 6. Among her great musical loves was opera, and she honored Berks Opera with her expertise, wisdom, and good humor, as board President, volunteer, audience member, and supporter.
Our co-founder Francine Black, has written a beautiful appreciation of Jeri:
We had recently moved to the Berks County area 30 years ago when I began to teach music in the Boyertown District. Charlie Weiser, then department chair, college friend and ED of the RSO, invited me to join the RSO board of directors where I was happy to serve for 10 years.
It was during that time that I met a sweet, gentle lady named Jeri. The occasion was an elegant New Year’s Eve party for the RSO board at Penny’s beautiful home. I didn’t know anyone so I was surprised when a friendly face appeared and wanted to chat. Jeri joined me at the piano to sing carols and this was the lovely beginning of our friendship.
Jeri came to my home numerous times for voice lessons and we discovered that we had so many interests and loves in common: home, family and music to name a few. I was overwhelmed by her knowledge of music which far eclipsed mine. Her articulate commentary on Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the sheer number of times she’d binged out on it was incredible. That and our many conversations quickly made me realize that I was in the presence of greatness. I was content to sit at her feet and bask in her knowledge and understanding of music, art, history, sociology etc. etc!
I believe our common love of opera and singing forged a bond between us. My appreciation of Jeri became even clearer when I met her beloved husband, Dave. Now I understood this couple’s deep love and commitment to the arts and the sweetness and warmth of their home and unending hospitality.
This couple, Dave and Jeri, were committed to serve their community in order to strengthen and support the arts, education and the well being of all it’s citizens.
To that end, Jeri set her powerful little shoulders alongside ours and David Richie’s to make the dream of an opera company in Reading a reality when many voices laughed at Tammy and me. Jeri’s humble yet brilliant presence, her wisdom and council, and her incisive perceptions set us on a successful path. She worked tirelessly, mentoring us, writing grants, mobilizing benefactors and supporters, making meals, hosting singers, the list is endless. Finally, in her great generosity, she became a wonderful board president.
To say this is enough, however this great and brilliant lady with her servant’s heart, was also a woman of deep faith. It was great privilege to be invited to participate in services at Oheb Shalom where Jeri sang in the choir. I can still hear her husky alto voice and see her radiant face.
The things a person does certainly defines the legacy of their life’s work and as in Jeri’s life, simply amazes me. The lives she touched, the young people she has taught and mentored are stories that many will recount and remember in the years ahead.
What do I love and admire about Jeri? All the qualities and character traits that embody the most admirable of all living persons throughout history were present in this tiny, lovely, humble lady. She loved deeply and truly. She was sincere, brave and honest. She was kind, with a heart that valued all person’s equally, and she was strong.
We’ve all leaned on her strength and were embraced as she held out her arms to us.
I will hold on to your memory all my life. Thank you, Jeri
Basso Jeremy Galyon, who has sung in many of Berks Opera performances, has offered a performance in Jeri’s memory of An die Musik, by Franz Shubert, a song dedicated to the art of music itself.
Gracious art, in how many bleak hours,
And amid life’s wild confusion,
Have you warmed my heart with love,
And transported me to a better world!
Often a sigh from your harp,
A sweet, holy sound,
Has opened a heaven of happier times for me.
Gracious art, I thank you!
Jeri’s love and appreciation for music extended also to chamber music. Donations in her memory may be mailed to The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading, Inc., P.O. Box 15205, Reading, PA 19612 or made via their website.
❤️ Berks Opera Company
Berks Opera brings arts and entertainment out to the community with engaging and creative concerts and performances! Learn more.
Production photography by John Robert Pankratz
Since 2008, Berks Opera Company has been connecting the Berks County region with the power of opera and the positive impact of the arts on our local community by advancing the development of young singers and by cultivating astute, appreciative, and adventurous audiences.
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Berks Opera Company receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Berks Opera Company is a fictitious name owned by Berks Opera Workshop, a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation and tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
Berks Opera Company • P. O. Box 251 • Reading, PA 19603 • email@example.com • 484.752.2462