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Curtis Opera Theatre Performs "The Cunning Little Vixen" March 16, 18, 20

Presented in association with



Humans and creatures of the forest mingle in the whimsical opera
about the circle of life

Advance tickets sold out; limited number of rush tickets will be available

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Humans and creatures of the forest mingle together in Janáček's Cunning Little Vixen, a whimsical opera about the circle of life. The Curtis Opera Theatre, in association with Kimmel Center Presents and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, presents three sold-out performances on March 16, 18, and 20 in the Perelman Theater at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center.

A clever young fox--the cunning little vixen--journeys through forest and town, through love and rebellion. This delightful work, which Janáček based on a captivating series of comic strips, is brought to life by the fresh young voices of the Curtis Opera Theatre. Emma Griffin directs the fully staged production, sung in Czech with English supertitles, and Corrrado Rovaris conducts the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

A limited number of $10 tickets will be available for each performance. Rush tickets go on sale at the Kimmel Center Box Office at 5:30 p.m. for evening performances and 11:30 a.m. for matinees. Seating will be throughout the hall, subject to management selection and availability. There is a limit of one ticket per person for each purchase.

The artistic team includes Laura Jellinek, scenic design; Jessica Trejos, costume design; Tyler Micoleau, lighting design; Jon Carter, hair and makeup design; Amy Smith, choreographer; Elizabeth Braden, chorus master; and members of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir ( The production is funded in part by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project and the William Penn Foundation.

The Cunning Little Vixen is part of an innovative cooperative venture among Kimmel Center Presents, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Curtis Opera Theatre. Launched in 2008 with the Philadelphia premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar and continued in 2009 with Wozzeck and 2010 with Antony and Cleopatra, the initiative combines a Curtis Opera Theatre production with marketing support from the Opera Company and an ideal venue at the Kimmel Center. In 2012 the three organizations will produce Hans Werner Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers.

Corrado Rovaris (conductor) made his Opera Company of Philadelphia debut in 1999 leading Le nozze di Figaro and was appointed OCP's first music director in 2005. He also serves as principal conductor of I Virtuosi Italiani, a chamber orchestra based in Verona. A native of Bergamo, Italy, and a graduate of Milan's Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, Mr. Rovaris is a frequent guest conductor with Teatro alla Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Rossini Opera Festival Beyond Italy he enjoys credits with Cologne, Frankfurt, Glimmerglass, Lausanne, Lyon, Santa Fe, and St. Louis operas. He recently made his first recording on the Sony label with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, with cellist Silvia Chiesa, featuring the concerti of Nino Rota. Mr. Rovaris conducts the Opera Company's productions of Tosca and Phaedra this spring. He made his Curtis Symphony Orchestra debut with Ainadamar in 2008.

Emma Griffin (stage director) is a theater and opera director based in New York City. She is a frequent collaborator on new music/theater pieces; these include Corey Dargel's Removable Parts (winner of "Outstanding Performance Art Production" at NY Innovative Theater Awards) and Thirteen Near Death Experiences, Susan Bernfield's and Rachel Peters's Stretch, a fantasia, and Phil Kline's Zippo Songs. Opera credits include Les Mamelles de Tirésias at Juilliard Opera; Wozzeck at the Opera Company of Philadelphia/Curtis Opera Theatre/Kimmel Center Presents; and The Rake's Progress, Postcard from Morocco, and Die Zauberflöte at Curtis Opera Theatre. She is the artistic director of the OBIE-award winning Salt Theater. Highlights with Salt include Stage Door (FringeNYC Excellence Award as Best Director), Rinne Groff's Inky, The Cherry Orchard, and Conquest of the Universe. Her regional work includes theaters such as Perseverance Theater, Geva Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor's Express, Virginia Stage, Williamstown Theater Festival. She is currently developing the theater piece There is No There There with writer Sybil Kempson; Hello New York! with performer Chris Wells; and The Three Christs, a new opera by composer Corey Dargel for the NEWSPEAK ensemble. She is adjunct faculty at New York University, where she teaches directing. For more information, visit

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 works 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 vocal studies 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 is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 164 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, and Lang Lang.

As Philadelphia's leading producer of opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia presents large mainstage productions at the Academy of Music each season, along with a more intimate chamber work at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater and a collaborative production with the Curtis Institute of Music. The Opera Company is committed to presenting the highest quality in opera, nurturing rising young talent, and providing educational opportunities to audiences of all ages through extensive community partnerships. In addition to Vixen, the remaining 2010-11 OCP season features Tosca at the Academy of Music and the American premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Phaedra. The 2011-12 season features Carmen, Abduction from the Seraglio, and Manon Lescaut at the Academy, with Curtis Opera Theatre's Philadelphia premiere of Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers and the newly commissioned American work Dark Sisters by Nico Muly at the Perelman Theater. For information, call (215) 732-8400 or visit The Cunning Little Vixen is the fourth time that the Curtis Opera Theatre has joined with both the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Kimmel Center Presents in presenting opera at the Perelman Theater. Through this endeavor, the accomplished young artists at Curtis present an important piece of repertoire that is marketed to enthusiastic, opera-loving audiences at both the Opera Company and the Kimmel Center.

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 Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music together serve as home to eight resident company performing arts organizations: the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth, PHILADANCO, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. Kimmel Center, Inc.'s mission also includes arts in education, community outreach, and a rich diversity of programming through its Kimmel Center Presents and Broadway at the Academy series of performances.

Kimmel Center Presents, in association with Opera Company of Philadelphia
Curtis Opera Theatre: The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček

Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m. SOLD OUT
Sunday, March 20 at 2:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Corrado Rovaris, conductor
Emma Griffin, stage director
Laura Jellinek, scenic designer
Jessica Trejos, costume designer
Tyler Micoleau, lighting designer
Jon Carter, hair and make-up designer
Amy Smith, choreographer
Elizabeth Braden, chorus master
Members of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir

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

Tickets: Advance tickets sold out; a limited number of $10 rush tickets will be available for each performance. Rush tickets go on sale at the Kimmel Center Box Office at 5:30 p.m. for evening performances and 11:30 a.m. for matinees. Seating will be throughout the hall, subject to management selection and availability. There is a limit of one ticket per person for each purchase.

Cast (in singing order)   March 16 & 20 March 18
Forester Brandon Cedel Allen Boxer
Cricket Johnathan Ryan McCullough     Johnathan Ryan McCullough
Grasshopper Sean Michael Plumb Sean Michael Plumb
Mosquito Kevin Ray Kevin Ray
Young Vixen Leah Bedenko* Leah Bedenko*
Forester's Wife Shir Rozzen Shir Rozzen
Dog Jazimina MacNeil Jazimina MacNeil
Vixen Elizabeth Reiter Elizabeth Zharoff
Pepík Amandea Martino Smith* Amandea Martino Smith*
Frantík Lindsey Bentham* Lindsey Bentham*
Rooster Anna Davidson Anna Davidson
Hens Alize Rozsnyai (lead hen) Alize Rozsnyai (lead hen)
  Karen Blanchard** Karen Blanchard**
  J'nai Bridges J'nai Bridges
  Veronica Chapman-Smith** Veronica Chapman-Smith**
  Julia Fernandez** Julia Fernandez**
  Julie-Ann Green** Julie-Ann Green**
  Valarie Haber** Valarie Haber**
    Jessica Kasinski** Jessica Kasinski**
  Meredith LaBouff Meredith LaBouff
  Olivia Savage** Olivia Savage**
  Sarah Shafer Sarah Shafer
  Rebecca Whitlow** Rebecca Whitlow**
Badger Thomas Shivone Thomas Shivone
Parson Thomas Shivone Thomas Shivone
Schoolmaster Kevin Ray Kevin Ray
Pasek Adam Frandsen Adam Frandsen
Fox Kirsten MacKinnon Allison Sanders
Owl Shir Rozzen Shir Rozzen
Jay Anna Davidson Anna Davidson
Woodpecker Sarah Shafer Sarah Shafer
Harasta Jarrett Ott Jarrett Ott
Pasek's Wife Meredith LaBouff Meredith LaBouff

*Member of Pennsylvania Girlchoir
**Guest Artist

Chorus: Julian Arsenault, Karen Blanchard**, J'nai Bridges, Veronica Chapman-Smith**, Julia Fernandez**, Adam Frandsen, Julie-Ann Green**, Valarie Haber**, Jessica Kasinski**, Meredith LaBouff, Johnathan Ryan McCullough, Toffer Mihalka**, Siddhartha Misra**, DonLeroy Morales**, Sean Michael Plumb, Kevin Ray, Alize Rozsnyai, Olivia Savage**, Sarah Shafer, Thomas Shivone, Diego Silva, Christopher Tiesi, Rebecca Whitlow**, Jackson Williams**

Members of the Philadelphia Girlchoir: Leah Bedenko, Lyndsey Bentham, Meg Bigelow, Imani Bradford, Grace Brighter, Hannah Bromley, Surya Bromley, Lucy Curtis, Madison Dall, Emma Deckop, Alex Frazier, Kamea Freedman, Emma Gantard, Maddie Goldsborough, Jessica Shaw, Amandea Martino Smith

Dancers: John DeAngelis Allen, Nichole Canuso, John Luna, Carly Sinn, Kate Watson-Wallace

Funded in part by:
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project
The William Penn Foundation

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