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From Curtis’s debut opera production in 1929 to the present day, opera and voice students have benefited from rubbing shoulders with leading professionals. In the 1930s they performed side-by-side with artists of Philadelphia’s primary opera company in productions that ranged from lush-landscape-traditional (Tiefland) to cutting-edge (Wozzeck); today the Curtis Opera Theatre presents three to four productions annually to capacity audiences, with superb artistic and production values.

1929: Curtis staged Eugen d’Albert’s Tiefland at the Academy of Music amid elaborately painted backdrops.

PHOTO: Curtis Archives/Kubey-Rembrandt Studios
2013: When the Curtis Opera Theatre performed Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave at the Perelman Theatre two seasons ago, the sets were dominated by futuristic projections.

PHOTO: David Swanson
“It’s incredible that in a school setting, this training approach is embraced,” remarks faculty member Chas Rader-Shieber, who has directed more than 25 Curtis Opera Theatre productions. “These young artists are prepared to be singers of consequence—they’re going to be ready.”
  —Overtones, Spring 2011

An online exhibit about the history of opera at Curtis is in preparation.

“Stages to Success” – The Curtis Opera Theatre gives students professional-level performing experience. (Spring 2013)

“From the Heart” – Mikael Eliasen guides Curtis singers on stage and in the studio. (Spring 2011)