|Kensho Watanabe, from Greenwich, Conn., received a diploma in 2013 from the Curtis Institute of Music, and returned in Fall 2013 as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow. Recent conducting experiences with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra include works by Bartók, Glinka, Higdon, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner at Verizon Hall. In Fall 2013 he conducted the Curtis Opera Theatre’s double bill of Ullmann’s Emperor of Atlantis and Bach’s Ich habe genug.
Mr. Watanabe previously was the assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra under Toshiyuki Shimada, leading the YSO in concerts at Woolsey Hall and Battell Chapel. He has also served as the music director of Yale’s Berkeley College Orchestra and as a cover conductor for the Atlanta Symphony and Symphony in C. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale College and a master’s degree in violin performance from Yale School of Music. He performs regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute violinist and spends his summers at the Greenwood Music Camp, where he serves as orchestra conductor.
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. He 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.
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: Iolanta by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Kensho Watanabe, conductor (’13)
Semi-staged production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in Russian with English supertitles.
Subscriptions for three Curtis Opera Theatre performances: $75; available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or www.curtis.edu/Tickets.
Single tickets: $5, $25, $50; available in person and online from the Prince Music Theater at www.princemusictheater.org, or call TicketPhiladelphia at (215) 893-1999.
The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Cast (in order of performance)
October 9 and 11
October 10 and 12
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