The Dangerous Liaisons

A tale of jealousy, seduction, and cruelty


Please note this production includes scenes depicting sex and violence and may not be suitable for children under the age of 12.

The Curtis Opera Theatre season concludes with Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons. The plot revolves around the vengeful widow Marquise de Merteuil and her former lover, the Vicomte de Valmont. The effect of their schemes and amorous exploits results in the deaths of both Valmont and the woman he truly loves, the pure-hearted Madame de Tourvel. This tale of jealousy, seduction, and cruelty has captivated audiences for more than 200 years. 

Fully-staged production with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in English


Music by Conrad Susa
Libretto by Philip Littell



Chas Rader-Shieber

Chas Rader-Shieber has directed over 30 productions for the Curtis Opera Theatre. His recent work outside of Philadelphia includes new productions of Rusalka and Rameau’s Platée for Des Moines Metro Opera; La finta giardiniera for Portland Opera; Artaserse for Pinchgut Opera in Sydney, Australia; and Shining Brow for Arizona Opera. His work has been seen at the opera companies of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe, Houston, Glimmerglass, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Vancouver; Staatstheater Darmstadt; the New York City Opera; Washington National Opera; and the Spoleto Festival, among others.

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, Don Giovanni, Il re pastore, and Così fan tutte; Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Semele, Ariodante, Acis and Galatea, Imeneo, Alcina, Xerxes, Partenope, Rinaldo, Tolomeo, and Flavio; and works of Cavalli, Charpentier, Gluck, Monteverdi, and Purcell.

In the 2021–22 season he directs a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Des Moines Metro Opera.

Mr. Rader-Shieber joined the Curtis faculty in 2009.

Joseph MechavichJoseph Mechavich is principal conductor and artistic advisor of Kentucky Opera. He has presided over productions for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Cape Town Opera, Auckland Philharmonia/New Zealand Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Arizona Opera, Calgary Opera, Dayton Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Madison Opera, Minnesota Opera, North Carolina Opera, Opera Saratoga, Tulsa Opera, Utah Opera, and Virginia Opera; and at the Aspen Music Festival, New England Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Opera Theatre, and Brevard Music Center.

In addition to his command of the standard operatic canon, Mr. Mechavich is noted for his interpretations of contemporary titles including Riders of the Purple Sage by Craig Bohmler, Silent Night by Kevin Puts, Everest by Joby Talbot, Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catán, and A Streetcar Named Desire by André Previn. He is also known for his deep commitment to American opera and has conducted productions of Nixon in China by John Adams; SusannahWuthering HeightsOf Mice and Men, and Cold Sassy Tree by Carlisle Floyd; and Moby-DickGreat ScottOut of Darkness, and Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie.

On the concert stage, Mr. Mechavich has appeared with the Florida and Sarasota orchestras; the Naples and Orlando philharmonics; the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra; and the Hartford, Virginia, and Waterbury symphonies

Mr. Mechavich has held the positions of principal conductor for Opera Birmingham, director of music for Orlando Opera, and cover conductor for the Santa Fe Opera. He studied at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music.



The Curtis Opera Theatre is generously supported by the Ernestine Bacon Cairns Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation.