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Curtis Opera Theatre Presents Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress" November 19-22 at the Prince Music Theater

Fully Staged Production Conducted by Ari Pelto; Directed by Emma Griffin

Free Preconcert Discussion November 20 as Part of National Opera Week

Beware of temptation: The devil's twisted way with a young man's idle wish triggers a wild journey to Bedlam in Stravinsky's Rake's Progress. The Curtis Opera Theatre presents a fully staged production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, November 19 through 22 at the Prince Music Theater.

Inspired by the music of eighteenth-century Europe, but with a sound that is distinctly Stravinsky's own, The Rake's Progress tells the story of Tom Rakewell, whose reckless decisions pull him deeper and deeper into trouble--while the "help" offered by the sinister Nick Shadow seems only to make things worse.

Performances take place Thursday, November 19 through Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 22 at 2:30 p.m. The Prince Music Theater is located at 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

Single tickets are available for $33 and 2009-10 season subscriptions are available for $75 from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

Sung in the original English, The Rake's Progress is conducted by Ari Pelto and stage directed by Emma Griffin. Scenic design is by Jo Winiarski, costume design by Jessica Trejos, and lighting design by Mark Barton. Bonnie Wagner plays harpsichord.

In honor of National Opera Week (November 13-22), there will be a free pre-concert conversation on Friday, November 20. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes Emma Griffin, stage director for The Rake's Progress, and Mikael Eliasen, artistic director of the Curtis Opera Theatre. This event is sponsored by the Crescendo Club, a group of young friends of the Curtis Institute of Music. Tickets are not required for the discussion; cash bar; visit: to RSVP.

Ari Pelto, conductor
With performances that have been called poetic and highly individual, conductor Ari Pelto is in demand in the worlds of opera, orchestra, and ballet. Since his debut in 2004 conducting Verdi's La traviata at the New York City Opera, he has been engaged as a regular guest conductor for the company, conducting Madama Butterfly, Carmen, and La Bohème. Mr. Pelto works regularly at some of the country's most prestigious conservatories and young artists' programs, including Wolf Trap, San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, Oberlin and San Francisco conservatories of music, Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard School, and Curtis Institute of Music. He has served as a regular faculty member and conductor at the New National Theatre in Tokyo. Recent engagements have included performances with the Florida Orchestra; Toledo Symphony; Atlanta Ballet; and Boston Lyric, Chautauqua, Minnesota, and Portland operas, among others. This season Mr. Pelto conducts Rusalka at Boston Lyric, La Bohème at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Così fan tutte for Merola Opera Program, Carmen at Utah Opera, and Falstaff at the New National Theatre, Tokyo.

Emma Griffin, stage director
Emma Griffin is a theater and opera director based in New York City. For Curtis Opera Theatre she has directed Wozzeck, Postcard from Morocco, and The Magic Flute. New York credits include work with companies such as Salt Theater, Target Margin Theater, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and Tiny Mythic Theatre Company/HERE Arts Center. She has directed at regional companies: Perseverance Theatre, Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor's Express, Virginia Stage Company, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. A frequent collaborator on new music/theater pieces, she is developing projects with composers Corey Dargel, Rachel Peters, Phil Kline, Rory Stitt, and the Newspeak Ensemble. Upcoming shows include Boom at Perseverance Theatre, The Prairie Dog Operas with Coterie, and Paris Syndrome with the Ex.P Girls. Ms. Griffin is an adjunct faculty member at New York University, where she teaches directing. For more information, visit

Jo Winiarski, scenic designer
Jo Winiarski's credits include Off-Broadway productions of Love, Loss, and What I Wore; The JAP Show: The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy; I Love You Because; and A Likely Story. Off-Off Broadway, she has designed for Stretch: A Fantasia (New Georges) and Gone (E59E59), and she has been an associate designer for Broadway's Rock of Ages, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, LoveMusik, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has also designed for the national tour of The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Alpine Theatre Project, and Hangar Theatre. In addition Ms. Winiarski has provided art direction for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All (Emmy Award nomination), Real World: Brooklyn, and the 2009 NHL Awards. She is a part-time faculty member at Ramapo College and an adjunct professor at New York University.

Jessica Trejos, costume designer
Jessica Trejos is a costume designer based in New York. Some of her recent projects include A Clean House for Geva Theater; Government Inspector for Perseverance Theatre; Stretch for New Georges; Misery for Syracuse Stage; Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda for the Juilliard Opera Center; and Wozzeck, Postcard from Morocco, and Le nozze di Figaro for the Curtis Opera Theatre. Her film work, in production and costume design, can be seen at and

Mark Barton, lighting designer

Mark Barton's designs include Curtis Opera Theatre productions of Wozzeck, Ainadamar, Albert Herring, L'Ormindo, The Magic Flute, Postcard from Morocco, and La Voix humaine, as well as Off-Broadway productions Circle Mirror Transformation, The Shipment, Chair, The Sound & the Fury (April 7th, 1928), Paradise Park, Young Jean Lee's Church, All the Wrong Reasons, No Child ..., Five Course Love, and Thom Pain (Based on Nothing). Among the many New York City companies he has worked with are Elevator Repair Service, Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, Theatre for a New Audience, NYTW, Target Margin, Signature Theater, Salt Theater, P.S. 122, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, HERE Arts Center, Epic Theater Center , and Edge Theater Company. Productions of Elevator Repair Service's Gatz have played across the United States, Europe, and, most recently, at the Sydney Opera House. Mr. Barton's regional work includes productions for Yale Repertory Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, REDCAT, Berkeley Rep, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, A.R.T., Lookingglass Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Asolo Rep, Southern Rep, and Hangar Theatre.

Bonnie Wagner, harpsichord
Bonnie Wagner enjoys a career as a freelance coach and accompanist in Philadelphia. In addition to being a vocal studies pianist at the Curtis Institute of Music, she is the pianist for the Philadelphia Orchestra's Sound All Around program, rehearsal accompanist for the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and a staff member at the Chautauqua Institution. She holds affiliations with West Chester University and the Settlement Music School, where she has performed and taught. A native of San Francisco, Ms. Wagner has performed as a chamber musician on the Eastman in Geneva series, Brevard College Chamber Music Series, Hill and Hollow Chamber Music Festival, and at the University of North Carolina. In the summer of 2005, she produced Center City Chamber Recitals, a small series in Philadelphia. Ms. Wagner has spent two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center under the direction of James Levine. She studied with Martin E. Katz at the University of Michigan and privately with Helmut Deutsch in Munich, Germany.

The Curtis Opera Theatre, under the artistic direction of Mikael Eliasen, is the performing entity of the Curtis Vocal Studies Department. Each season the Curtis Opera Theatre presents at least four performances and concert productions in venues such as the Prince Music Theater, Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, and the Curtis Opera Studio with established professional directors and designers who create fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of the department's twenty-five voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season, providing students a rare level of performance experience. As a result Curtis graduates can be found on the rosters of opera companies worldwide, and more than sixty alumni have sung with 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 is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 160 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, Leila Josefowicz, Lang Lang, and Time for Three.

Curtis Opera Theatre
The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky
Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m., preconcert conversation at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 at 2:30 p.m.
Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Ari Pelto, conductor
Emma Griffin, stage director
Jo Winiarski, scenic designer
Jessica Trejos, costume designer
Mark Barton, lighting designer
Bonnie Wagner, harpsichord

Fully staged production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in the original English.

Single tickets: $33; available from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

Subscriptions for three Curtis Opera Theatre productions: $75; available from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

CAST (in singing order)
Nov 19 and 21 Nov 20 and 22
Tom Rakewell Joshua Stewart Christopher Tiesi
Anne Trulove Ashley Thouret Elizabeth Zharoff
Trulove Joseph Barron Evan Boyer
Nick Shadow Evan Hughes Allen Boxer
Mother Goose Shir Rozzen Shir Rozzen
Baba the Turk J'nai Bridges Jazimina MacNeil
Sellem Diego Silva Diego Silva
Keeper of the Madhouse Thomas Shivone Brandon Cedel

Chorus (all performances unless noted): Anna Davidson, Meredith LaBouff, Kirsten MacKinnon, Elizabeth Reiter, Alize Rozsnyai, Allison Sanders, Sarah Shafer, Brandon Cedel (November 19 and 21), Elliot Madore, Kevin Ray, Jaguar Sasmito, Thomas Shivone (November 20 and 22)

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Jennifer Kallend
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(215) 717-3190

Diana Wensley
Communications Manager
(215) 717-3129

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