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Curtis Opera Theatre Performs Hans Werner Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers March 14, 16, and 18

Philadelphia Premiere of Henze's "compelling…wiry, intense score" (The Guardian)

Presented in association with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

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(March 1, 2012) A ruthless poet looks to an unlikely cast of characters to provide his artistic inspiration in Hans Werner Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers. The Curtis Opera Theatre, in association with Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, presents Henze's powerful opera on March 14, 16, and 18 in the Perelman Theater at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center.

Elegy for Young Lovers
unfolds in an isolated mountain inn as a deadly snowstorm swirls outside. For those who find themselves in the company of poet Gregor Mittenhofer, the results may be as dramatic as the storm that engulfs them. Considered one of the foremost composers of our time, Hans Werner Henze brings us this "compelling" opera with a "wiry, intense score for an ensemble of 23 players" (The Guardian).

Sung in English with supertitles, these performances mark the Philadelphia premiere of the work, which is rarely performed in the United States. Acclaimed director Chas Rader-Shieber and his artistic team (David Zinn, scenic design; Jacob A. Climer, costume design; Allen Hahn, lighting design; Ashley L. Ryan, hair and makeup design) create a new production for the Curtis Opera Theatre under artistic director Mikael Eliasen. George Manahan, who led the sold-out production of Antony and Cleopatra in 2010, returns to conduct the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

Performances take place Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets, priced $50, $70, $100, and $130, are available at the Kimmel Center Box Office and from Ticket Philadelphia at (215) 893-1999 or www.ticketphiladelphia.org.

This production is made possible, in part, through the support of the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Elegy for Young Lovers is part of an innovative cooperative venture among Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Curtis Opera Theatre. Launched in 2008 with the Philadelphia premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar and continued with productions of Wozzeck (2009), Antony and Cleopatra (2010), and The Cunning Little Vixen (2011), the initiative combines a Curtis Opera Theatre production with marketing support from the Opera Company and an ideal venue at the Kimmel Center. In 2013 the three organizations will produce Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave.

George Manahan (conductor) is music director of the American Composers Orchestra and director of orchestral studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He recently completed a fourteen-year tenure as music director of the New York City Opera and has served as music director of the Richmond Symphony. In May 2011 he was honored by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his "career-long advocacy for American composers."

Mr. Manahan has distinguished himself as one of the foremost conductors of our time and is especially known in the opera world for his musical guidance of diverse productions such as La fanciulla del West, Daphne, Ermione, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Cendrillon, and Die tote Stadt. Mr. Manahan's 2009 Carnegie Hall performance of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra was hailed by audiences and critics alike. In 2010 he conducted a fully staged production of the same work with the Curtis Opera Theatre in celebration of the Barber centenary.

His guest appearances include the Orchestra of St. Luke's; the Atlanta, Charlotte, Hollywood Bowl, Indianapolis, Jerusalem, Milwaukee, National, New Jersey (former acting music director), and San Francisco symphonies; the Juilliard and Manhattan schools of music; Warsaw Philharmonic; Music Academy of the West; Aspen Music Festival; Chicago, Glimmerglass, Minneapolis (former principal conductor), Paris, Portland, Santa Fe, Seattle, and St. Louis opera companies; Teatro de Communale de Bologna; the Bergen Festival; and the Casals Festival.

Chas Rader-Shieber (stage director) has staged over 25 operas for the Curtis Opera Theatre since 1991, most recently Idomeneo. Other recent work includes Lehár's Die lustige Witwe for Staatstheater Darmstadt, Mozart's La clemenza di Tito for Vancouver Opera, Handel's Tolomeo (American stage premiere) for Glimmerglass Festival, Tamerlano for Washington National and Los Angeles operas, Don Giovanni for Music Academy of the West, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, and Charpentier's David et Jonathas for Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. Mr. Rader-Shieber's other credits include work for the opera companies of Houston, Minnesota, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, Spoleto USA, and St. Louis.

Having made a specialty of 17th- and 18th-century operas, Mr. Rader-Shieber has directed Mozart's Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, Il re pastore, and Così fan tutte, and Handel's Giulio Cesare, Semele, Ariodante, Acis and Galatea, Imeneo, Alcina, Xerxes, Partenope, Tolomeo, and Flavio, as well as works of Monteverdi, Cavalli, Purcell, Charpentier, and Gluck. Mr. Rader-Shieber joined the Curtis faculty in 2009.

The Curtis Opera Theatre works with established professional directors and designers to create fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis's 25 voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season in three to four fully staged productions at varied venues, receiving a rare level of performance experience. As a result Curtis graduates have sung with opera companies all over the world, including La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 163 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Jonathan Biss, Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.

As Philadelphia's leading producer of opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia presents large mainstage productions at the Academy of Music each season, along with a more intimate chamber work and a collaborative production with the Curtis Institute of Music as part of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater. The Opera Company is committed to presenting the highest quality in opera, nurturing rising young talent, and providing educational opportunities to audiences of all ages through extensive community partnerships. The 2011-12 season features remaining productions of Manon Lescaut at the Academy of Music and the Philadelphia premiere of Nico Muhly's Dark Sisters and Curtis Opera Theatre's Elegy for Young Lovers, both part of the Aurora Series at the Perelman Theater. For information, call 215-732-8400 or visit www.operaphila.org.

Elegy for Young Lovers is the fifth time that the Curtis Opera Theatre has joined with both the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in presenting opera at the Perelman Theater. Through this endeavor, the accomplished young artists at Curtis present an important piece of repertoire that is marketed to enthusiastic, opera-loving audiences at both the Opera Company and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports, and maintains the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater. Kimmel Center, Inc.'s mission is to operate a world class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming. The 2011-12 season is sponsored by Citi. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.

 

Curtis Opera Theatre: Elegy for Young Lovers by Hans Werner Henze (Philadelphia premiere)
Presented in association with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater

Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

George Manahan, conductor
Chas Rader-Shieber, stage director
David Zinn, scenic designer
Jacob A. Climer, costume designer
Allen Hahn, lighting designer
Ashley L. Ryan, hair and makeup designer

Fully staged production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in English with supertitles.

Tickets: $50, $70, $100, $130; available at the Kimmel Center Box Office and from Ticket Philadelphia at (215) 893-1999 or www.ticketphiladelphia.org.

This production made possible, in part, through the support of the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
 

Cast  March 14 and 18         March 16
Gregor Mittenhofer   Julian Arsenault Jarrett Ott
Dr. Wilhelm Reischmann   Andrew Bogard Joseph Barron
Toni Reischmann Joshua Stewart Joshua Stewart
Elizabeth Zimmer Sarah Shafer Sarah Shafer
Carolina von Kirchstetten      Jazimina MacNeil J'nai Bridges
Hilda Mack Anna Davidson Alize Rozsnyai
Joseph Mauer Thomas Shivone Thomas Shivone

  

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Press Contacts

Jennifer Kallend
Senior Director of Public Relations and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3190
jennifer.kallend@curtis.edu

 

Elizabeth Racheva
Vice President of External Affairs and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3187
elizabeth.racheva@curtis.edu
 


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