/ News / Curtis Opera Theatre Presents Impressions of Pelléas October 5–8

Curtis Opera Theatre Presents Impressions of Pelléas October 5–8

Intimate retelling sees return of director R.B. Schlather

Impressions of Pelléas (Photo: Cory Weaver)PHILADELPHIA—September 28, 2017—The Curtis Opera Theatre presents Debussy’s Impressions of Pelléas October 5 through 7 at 7:30 p.m. and October 8 at 2:30 p.m. in the Curtis Opera Studio at 1726 Locust Street. Music director and pianist Lisa Keller and director R.B. Schlather collaborate for this tragic fairy tale as retold by Peter Brook and Marius Constant.

Mistrust and guilt mingle with romantic attraction as Prince Golaud struggles with the growing affection between Mélisande, his mysterious wife, and his brother Pelléas. Peter Brook and Marius Constant’s adaptation of Pelléas et Mélisande condenses Claude Debussy’s original score into a work ideal for communication between performers and audience in an intimate space. Director R.B. Schlather comments on the unique opportunity, which involves unique staging for each of two casts. “I am interested in what the experience of this piece could be in this room. It's a small, dark room. It's an opera famous for its formal innovation, mystery, and sensuality. The story is the tragedy of a love triangle located in a complex family tree…How to represent that hierarchical power dynamic in this room with two casts…? [Peter Brook] suggests that the audience’s gaze creates performance, so to perform is to be watched. You don't need much else.”

Music director Lisa Keller provides piano accompaniment for the fully staged production, sung in English. R.B. Schlather, who directed Doctor Atomic for Curtis Opera Theatre in March 2017, returns to direct the shows and provide costume design. Scenic design is provided by Paul Tate dePoo III with lighting design by JAX Messenger. The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by the Wyncote Foundation.

Four-production subscriptions to the 2017–18 Curtis Opera Theatre season for $100 or $170, and single tickets for $35 are available through the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Opera. The Curtis Opera Studio is located on the third floor of 1726 Locust Street. There is limited elevator access, and the use of stairs is required. 

Under the artistic direction of Mikael Eliasen, the Curtis Opera Theatre has become known for imaginative productions, bold concepts, and absorbing theatre. Promising young singers work alongside established professional directors and designers, resulting in fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis’s 25 voice and opera students cast repeatedly each season, receiving a rare level of performance experience on stage and through collaborations with Opera Philadelphia, Curtis on Tour, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. 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.



Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 8 at 2:30 p.m.

Curtis Opera Studio, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Lisa Keller, music director and piano
R. B. Schlather, director
Paul Tate dePoo III, scenic designer
R. B. Schlather, costume designer
JAX Messenger, lighting designer



  October 5 and 7 October 6 and 8
Geneviève Sophia Fiuza Hunt Hannah Klein
Arkel Kodi Meyer Adam Kiss
Golaud Dennis Chmelensky Dennis Chmelensky
Mélisande Kendra Broom Sage DeAgro-Ruopp
Pelléas Patrick Wilhelm Seongwo Woo
Yniold Emily Pogorelc Emily Pogorelc


Fully staged production with piano accompaniment, sung in English


4-production subscription: $100, $170 sold by the Curtis Patron Services Office, Curtis.edu/Opera, or (215) 893-7902.

Single tickets: $35 sold by the Curtis Patron Services Office, Curtis.edu/Opera, or (215) 893-7902.

The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by the Wyncote Foundation.

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