Curtis Opera Theatre Performs Poulenc’s Thrilling “Dialogues of the Carmelites”in Three Sold-Out Performances
Presented in association with Opera Philadelphia and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
PHILADELPHIA, PA–February 17, 2014–No one is immune from France’s Reign of Terror–not even a humble order of Carmelite nuns. A young novice has the chance to escape with her life. But what would that mean for her soul? The Curtis Opera Theatre, in association with Opera Philadelphia and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, presents Poulenc’s powerful opera Dialogues of the Carmelites with three sold-out performances March 5, 7, and 9 in the Perelman Theater at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.
Opera Philadelphia’s Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Poulenc’s gripping opera inspired by historical events. Director Jordan Fein’s production is uniquely staged to heighten the charging drama until its wrenching conclusion. Scenic design is by Laura Jellinek with costume design by Terese Wadden and lighting design by Mike Inwood. Opera Philadelphia Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden prepares the chorus. The production is sung in French with English supertitles.
Performances take place Wednesday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m. in the Perelman Theater at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets.
Dialogues of the Carmelites is part of an innovative cooperative venture among the Curtis Opera Theatre, Opera Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Launched in 2008 with the Philadelphia premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar and continued with productions of Wozzeck (2009), Antony and Cleopatra (2010), The Cunning Little Vixen (2011), Elegy for Young Lovers (2012), and Owen Wingrave (2013), the initiative combines a Curtis Opera Theatre production with marketing support from Opera Philadelphia and an ideal venue at the Kimmel Center.
The Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation. This production is funded, in part, through support by the William Penn Foundation. The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Corrado Rovaris (conductor) has been Opera Philadelphia’s music director since 2005. Born in Bergamo, Italy, he graduated from the Conservatory of Milan with degrees in composition, organ, and harpsichord. From 1992 through 1996 he was the assistant chorus master of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. During this period he conducted at the Serate Musicali (Milan), Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro Regio di Torino, Arena di Verona, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Lauro Rossi (Macerata), Festival delle Nazioni of Città di Castello, Festival of Cremona, and Praga Europa Musica 1995.
Following the success of his 1997 debut at the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro with Il signor Bruschino, Mr. Rovaris returned to conduct Otello. In 1999 he made his debut with the Opera Company of Philadelphia conducting Le nozze di Figaro. That season he also led Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Oper Frankfurt and Il signor Bruschino at the Teatro alla Scala. He added critically acclaimed engagements and re-engagements in the opera houses of Bologna, Bolzano, Cagliari, Florence, Lausanne, Lyon, Milan, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Rome, Rovigo, Torino, Trento, Venice, and Verona.
Since making Philadelphia his home, Corrado Rovaris continues to enjoy international success with performances of L’italiana in Algeri at the Japan Opera Foundation in Tokyo, Simon Boccanegra for the Santa Fe Opera Festival, Il signor Bruschino and Gianni Schicchi for the Théâtre Municipal de Lausanne, Il turco in Italia at the Teatro Regio di Torino, Li finti filosofi at the Pergolesi Spontini Festival, and concerts in Bruxelles, Lausanne, and Ancona.
Jordan Fein (stage director) is a New York-based opera and theatre director. For the Curtis Opera Theatre he has directed L’elisir d’amore; and DIDO+, a triple bill that included Weill’s Berliner Requiem, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Luciano Berio’s Sequenza III. Also for the Curtis Opera Theatre, he has assistant directed Britten’s Owen Wingrave, Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, and Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen. Most recently Mr. Fein directed Dracula, or The Undead as a part of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2013 season. Other Williamstown Theatre Festival credits include Lisa D’Amour’s Anna Bella Eema and Edward Albee’s Zoo Story. New York credits include Queen of the May… (Galapagos Art Space), Rags Parkland (Ars Nova Ant Fest/JACK), Jenet’s The Maids (Fourth Street Theater), and Edibles Inc. (Incubator Arts Project). Mr. Fein holds a B.F.A. from New York University.
The Curtis Opera Theatre, under the artistic direction of Mikael Eliasen, works with established professional directors and designers to create fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis’s 25 voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season, receiving a rare level of performance experience. 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.
The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis provides its 168 students with full-tuition scholarships and personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. Its distinctive “learn by doing” approach has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Jonathan Biss, Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang. Curtis alumni hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra, and each season they are featured as guest soloists with the world’s leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series.
Curtis’s innovative programs encourage students to perform often and hone 21st-century musical skills. The school’s facilities offer superb spaces for music-making, as well as state-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning. In addition to more than 200 performances in and around Philadelphia each year, students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour. When they graduate, they become musical leaders, making a profound impact on music around the globe. To learn more, visit www.curtis.edu.
Opera Philadelphia creates outstanding productions of both classic and new operatic works that resonate within the community, assembles the finest international creative artists, and presents programming that educates, deepens, and diversifies the opera audience in Philadelphia and beyond. Performance offerings include large-scale works at the historic Academy of Music, intimate chamber operas as part of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater, and frequent community performances that focus on creative partnerships and enhanced accessibility. To learn more, visit www.operaphila.org.
Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater on the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Campus, home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, the Philly Pops, Pennsylvania Ballet, PHILADANCO, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and American Theater Arts for Youth. The Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach, and a rich diversity of programming. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.
Curtis Opera Theatre: Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc
Corrado Rovaris, conductor
The Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation. This production is funded, in part, through support from the William Penn Foundation. The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Cast (in singing order)