Beginning in Spring 2018, the Curtis Institute of Music, Opera Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts join forces to establish Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman.
This series reunites the three organizations, which previously teamed up for nine seasons of annual co-presentations, hailed as “must-see events for serious operagoers” by Opera News. That partnership launched in 2008 and saw years of fruitful collaboration including 2016’s Capriccio, 2015’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and 2008’s Ainadamar.
In its first year, the series includes A Quiet Place by distinguished Curtis alumnus Leonard Bernstein, being celebrated for his 100th birthday this season, and a double bill of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, written when he was a faculty member at Curtis.
March 7, 9 at 7:30 p.m.; March 11 at 2:30 p.m.
Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center
Composer, conductor, author, and music icon Leonard Bernstein is still fascinating audiences 100 years after his birth. Best known for creating cultural touchstones like West Side Story, On the Waterfront, and Candide, he called A Quiet Place “unlike any work I have ever written or seen.” The opera revisits the unhappy suburban family from Trouble in Tahiti thirty years later, only to find them reeling in the wake of tragedy. Unhappy memories and long-buried resentments surface, and the survivors have a choice: to hurt one another again—or to heal. The chamber adaptation by Garth Edwin Sunderland receives its American premiere from the Curtis Opera Theatre, in a production by director Daniel Fish. Corrado Rovaris, Opera Philadelphia’s Jack Mulroney Music Director, leads members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Bernstein’s dramatic music–by turns explosive, elegiac, and playful–given a more intimate scale in Sunderland’s orchestration.
Fully staged production with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in English with supertitles.
A Quiet Place is sponsored in part by David and Sandy Marshall, BNP Paribas, and the Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman Venture Fund for Opera.
Additional performance (semi-staged):
March 13 at 8 p.m.
Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
New York City
This performance is part of Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music.
It is not included in the Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman series.
May 3 at 7:30 p.m.; May 5 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; May 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center
In a study of empty promises, Kurt Weill’s cynical take on utopia is paired with Gian Carlo Menotti’s deceitful medium, highlighting the ways deception can lead to destruction and grief. The escape to a fascinating city of pleasure leads to disillusionment in Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, which launched Weill’s rich collaboration with Bertolt Brecht; this “scenic cantata” is a precursor to The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. In Menotti’s tragic drama The Medium, an imagined dialogue with the departed provides temporary comfort for the bereaved at a séance—before an inexplicable, perhaps truly supernatural event becomes the catalyst for a slide into paranoia and madness. Carlos Ágreda conducts and Emma Griffin directs.
Fully staged production with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Mahagonny is sung in German with English supertitles and The Medium sung in English with supertitles.
The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation