|This fully staged production of The Rake’s Progress is conducted by Mark Russell Smith (’87) and directed by Jordan Fein. Scenic design is by Amy Rubin, costume design is by Ásta Bennie Hostetter, and lighting design is by Alejandro Fajardo. Performances take place on Thursday, May 7 through Saturday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 10 at 2:30 p.m. The Prince Theater is located at 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
Tickets are $5-$50 and are available from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or www.curtis.edu.
Mark Russell Smith, a 1987 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, is artistic director of orchestral studies at the University of Minnesota, music director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Mr. Smith has conducted the Saint Louis and Houston symphonies, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2014, 2012, and 2007 he returned to his alma mater to lead the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall, and in 2011 led Curtis On Tour in China and Korea.
Other recent and upcoming appearances include the Colorado, Eugene, Hartford, Jacksonville, Phoenix, and Santa Barbara symphonies; the Tulsa Philharmonic; the Eastern Music Festival; and the European Center for Opera and Vocal Art in Ghent, Belgium. Mr. Smith collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma on Bridge of Souls, a concert featuring world premieres by Asian and American composers. A firm believer in the use of technical innovation, he annually conducts the final round of the Minnesota International Piano e-Competition, streamed live online.
Mr. Smith was previously music director of the Richmond, Cheyenne, and Springfield symphony orchestras. He studied cello at the Juilliard School with Claus Adam and conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music with Max Rudolf and Otto-Werner Mueller.
Jordan Fein has directed several Curtis Opera Theatre productions, including Dialogues of the Carmelites, L’elisir d’amore, and DIDO+. He received the 2014 Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship at the Williamstown Theater Festival, where he directed Dracula, or The Undead; Anna Bella Eema; and Zoo Story. Other credits include War Lesbian (HaurnaLee Theatre Company), Rags Parkland (Ars Nova), The Maids (Fourth Street Theatre), Edibles Inc. (Incubator Arts project), and Queen of the May… (Galapagos Art Space). He holds a B.F.A. from New York University.
Amy Rubin is a New York-based designer of environments for theatre, opera, dance,
Ásta Bennie Hostetter designed costumes for Curtis Opera Theatre’s L’elisir d’amore. New York credits include: Here’s Hoover! (Les Freres Corbusier); You Got Older (P73); Generations, The Essential Straight and Narrow, Nomads, Grimly Handsome, The Food Was Terrible, This Great Country (Soho Rep); and The (*) Inn (Abrons Arts Center). Recent regional credits include: Pinkolandia (Two River Theater); and O guru guru guru, or why I don’t want to go to yoga class with you (Humana Festival).
Alejandro Fajardo’s recent projects include: Bareknuckle (Vertigo Theatre Company); Special Cheese (Columbia University); Simple as Life and Death and Halfway Through the Story of Our Life (Throes Theater Company); Once on This Island (Pace University); Dracula, or the Undead (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Mrrrmaids (Dixon Place); Gianni Schicchi, The Impresario, and Il Mondo Della Luna (Westminster Choir College); and SATURN, a play about food (Superhero Clubhouse), among others.
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.
One of the world’s finest and most selective conservatories, the Curtis Institute of Music offers a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture to 175 students from all corners of the world. Nurtured by a celebrated faculty, its extraordinary young musicians graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. From Leonard Bernstein to Alan Gilbert, Samuel Barber to Jennifer Higdon, Anna Moffo to Eric Owens, Richard Goode to Jonathan Biss, Curtis alumni personify the school’s commitment to excellence–onstage and in their communities–inventing careers with impact.
A busy schedule of performances, including more than 200 a year in Philadelphia and around the world, is at the heart of Curtis’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach. Dedicated to a tradition of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1924, Curtis is looking toward its centenary in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to serve its time-honored mission.
Curtis Opera Theatre: The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky
Mark Russell Smith, conductor (’87)
Fully staged production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in English with supertitles.
Tickets: $5-$50; available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or www.curtis.edu.
The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Cast (in order of performance)
May 8 and 10
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