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MERCY

An opera/film based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito

 

This fall the Curtis Opera Theatre brings Mozart to the silver screen! MERCY, a radical reimagining of La clemenza di Tito, tells the story of the Roman emperor Tito, the vengeful Vitellia, and her besotted admirer Sesto. Will Vitellia’s plot to assassinate the emperor and claim the throne for herself succeed? Experience this gripping tale of jealousy, revenge, and forgiveness as you’ve never seen or heard it before. Join us for a limited release screening at the Philadelphia Film Center on November 6. Tickets available now.

Students from the Curtis Opera Theatre unite with alumni and members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra to perform Mozart’s reorchestrated score. MERCY was filmed in March 2021 by the award-winning Neighborhood Film Company at Rittenhouse Filmworks and Rittenhouse Soundworks.

90-minute opera/film with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in Italian with English subtitles

 

MERCY is available to stream online through January 6. Watch online now.

 

 

Artists 

Chas Rader-ShieberChas 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.

Alek ShraderAmerican tenor Alek Shrader has appeared with many of the world’s most prestigious opera companies including those of Bordeaux, Chicago, Dallas, Lille, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Oviedo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Seattle; the Metropolitan Opera; the Canadian Opera Company; Opéra National de Bordeaux; Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse; Bavarian and Hamburg state operas; and the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. His many roles include Alfredo (La Traviata), Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lindoro (L’Italiana in Algeri), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Nemorino (L’Elisir d’Amore), Tonio (La Fille du Regiment), Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Ernesto (Don Pasquale), Oronte (Alcina), Jupiter and Apollo (Semele), Emilio (Partenope), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Camille (The Merry Widow), Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress)Tony (West Side Story), Ferdinand in (Ades’s The Tempest), and the title roles in Candide and Albert Herring.

As a concert singer, Mr. Shrader has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras; National, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Cincinnati symphony orchestras; and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. His recitals have been presented by Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Performances, the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Calif., Oberlin College, and Wigmore Hall.

Mr. Shrader was a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the recipient of a Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. He is an alumnus of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship Program and was selected as a member of the Atlanta Opera’s Company Players for the 2020–21 season.

Mr. Shrader made his directorial debut with a production of Dido and Aeneas as part of the Green-wood Cemetery’s “Concerts in the Catacombs” series.

Grant LoehnigGrant Loehnig collaborates with many of today’s most renowned musical artists as a pianist, vocal coach, and administrator. He serves as head of music staff at Opera Philadelphia and Wolf Trap Opera, where he is also the music director of the Studio Artist program. He works regularly as music staff for Lyric Opera of Chicago.

In recital, Mr. Loehnig has collaborated with such artists as Susanne Mentzer, Morris Robinson, Albina Shagimuratova, Paul Groves, and Marcus DeLoach. Recent recordings include art songs of Karim Al-Zand and a premiere recording of songs of Carlisle Floyd with Susanne Mentzer. As a chorus master with Wolf Trap Opera, Opera News praised his “finely honed, spirited chorus.” He has prepared the chorus and small roles for the Houston Symphony’s performances of Wozzeck, which was recorded for commercial release and awarded the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.

Mr. Loehnig holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Master of Music degree in vocal accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music. He is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Music Academy of the West, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. Before joining the Curtis faculty in 2015, Mr. Loehnig served on the faculty of the opera studies program at Rice University in Houston.

Robert KahnRobert Kahn, from Laren, the Netherlands, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2019. As a conducting fellow, he works closely with Curtis mentor conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Kahn is the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow.

Mr. Kahn was the assistant conductor for Don Giovanni with Juilliard Opera in 2019 and, from 2015 through 2018, was assistant conductor of Mannes Opera, where he worked on productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, L’elisir d’amore, The Rake’s Progress, Vanessa, and Little Women.

Mr. Kahn has been a cover conductor for the Fort Worth Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic, the latter of which he conducted in concert; and has conducted the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the International Chamber Orchestra of America. He conducted the studio recording of David Hertzberg’s The Rose Elf, released in 2020; and, as the associate conductor of On Site Opera, led a new opera by John Musto at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Mr. Kahn holds a dual bachelor’s degree in physics and clarinet from Johns Hopkins University and the Peabody Institute, as well as a master’s degree and professional studies certificate in orchestra conducting from Mannes School of Music. His previous teachers include Ignat Solzhenitsyn, David Hayes, Joseph Colaneri, Harlan D. Parker, and Harold Farberman. He began clarinet studies at age seven and conducting studies at 21.

 

Cast

Tito Ethan Burck
Vitellia Sophia Hunt
Sesto Anastasiia Sidorova
Annio Sarah Fleiss
Servilia Lindsey Reynolds
Publio Thomas Petrushka

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