Rising Curtis alumna performs song cycles accompanied by Curtis Opera Theatre artistic director
PHILADELPHIA—February 27, 2018—The 2017–18 Curtis Presents season continues with a recital by Philadelphia favorite Sarah Shafer (Opera ’14) and Mikael Eliasen, artistic director of Curtis Opera Theatre, on Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m. in Field Concert Hall.
An alumna of the voice and opera departments at the Curtis Institute of Music, soprano Sarah Shafer has since garnered critical praise in opera houses and recital halls around the world. Accompanied by her longtime mentor, Mikael Eliasen, she returns to Curtis to present an intimate recital featuring the beloved Hermit Songs by fellow Curtis alumnus and Pennsylvania native Samuel Barber (Composition ’34), and Olivier Messiaen’s complex and dramatic Poèmes pour Mi. Mozart’s concert aria “Bella mia fiamma,” K. 528, begins the program.
Single tickets for $25 are available from the Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Performances.
Past and future meet through the Curtis Presents series, which features a diverse collection of artists—alumni, faculty, students, and friends—whose musical foundations are rooted in the Curtis community. This series of intimate and innovative recitals offers a unique experience that transcends generations and genres, with exceptional artistry and one-of-a-kind programs.
Praised by the New York Times for her “luminous voice” and “intensely expressive interpretations,” soprano Sarah Shafer is quickly emerging as a sought-after artist on both the operatic and concert stage. The 2017–18 season sees her debut with the Metropolitan Opera singing Azema in Semiramide, and her debuts with the Malmö and Utah symphony orchestras.
Ms. Shafer recently sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at San Francisco Opera, where she earlier created leading roles in Marco Tutino’s Two Women and Nolan Gasser’s The Secret Garden. She has appeared in major roles with Opera Philadelphia (L’elisir d’amore, Ainadamar) and Tulsa Opera (The Pearl Fishers); and as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro with Glyndebourne Opera and at the BBC Proms. Her concert work includes appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Omaha, Nashville, and San Antonio symphony orchestras; the Lexington and Louisiana philharmonic orchestras; the New York Youth Symphony; the Sejong Soloists; the Voices of Ascension; and the New York Choral Society.
An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. Shafer enjoys an active collaboration with legendary pianist Richard Goode, including performances at Carnegie Hall and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. She was a resident artist at the Marlboro Music Festival for five summers, working with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Benita Valente, Sir Thomas Allen, and Martin Isepp.
Ms. Shafer holds degrees in voice and opera from the Curtis Institute of Music, where her credits for Curtis Opera Theatre include over 20 roles, including Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Almirena (Rinaldo), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Elizabeth Zimmer (Elegy for Young Lovers), Ilia (Idomeneo), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Sofia (Il signor Bruschino), Mélisande (Impressions of Pelléas), and Sister Constance (Dialogues of the Carmelites).
Danish-born coach and accompanist Mikael Eliasen received his early training in Copenhagen, Montreal, and Vienna. He has collaborated with numerous singers in recital worldwide, including Robert Merrill, Tom Krause, John Shirley-Quirk, Elly Ameling, Edith Mathis, Florence Quivar, Mira Zakai, Sarah Walker, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, and Curtis alumni Theodor Uppman, Michael Schade, and Rinat Shaham.
Mr. Eliasen has given master classes at Aix-en-Provence, the Shanghai Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow), Jerusalem Music Center, and National Opera of Prague. He has a long association with the young-artist programs at the Royal Danish Opera and the Opera Studio of Amsterdam. In the United States, he works regularly at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera; and is artistic advisor to Opera Philadelphia. He has recorded for Albany Records, CBC, Hilversum Radio, Polish State Radio, Kol Israel, Irish Radio and Television, London Records, MHS, and Supraphon.
Mr. Eliasen was music director of the San Francisco Opera Center from 1994 to 1996 and artistic director of the European Center for Opera and Vocal Art in Belgium from 1984 to 1994. For twenty summers he has taught at the Chautauqua Institution. In 2013 he was appointed artistic adviser to Opera Philadelphia. Each summer he leads the Mikael Eliasen Voice Program as part of Curtis Summerfest.
Mr. Eliasen joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1986 and became the head of the department in 1988.
The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. One of the most selective schools in the United States, Curtis accepts four percent of applicants each year on average. A tuition-free policy ensures that talent and artistic promise are the only considerations for admission. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis provides each young musician with an education of unparalleled quality, distinguished by personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and a “learn by doing” philosophy. Curtis students hone their craft through than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year in Philadelphia and around the world.
Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
Sarah Shafer, soprano (’14)
Mikael Eliasen, piano
MOZART “Bella mia fiamma,” K. 528
BARBER Hermit Songs, Op. 29
MESSIAEN Poèmes pour Mi
Single tickets: $25, sold by the Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Performances.
The Curtis Presents season is sponsored by Blank Rome LLP.
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