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Curtis Opera Theatre presents "La Trag├ędie de Carmen"

Bizet's Carmen Condensed to One Act

Four Sold-Out Performances in the Curtis Opera Studio Oct 7-10

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(September 29, 2010) George Bizet's Carmen, an intense tale of love, lust, betrayal, and murder, is distilled into one act in Marius Constant and Peter Brook's adaptation, La Tragédie de Carmen. The Curtis Opera Theatre presents four sold-out performances in the Curtis Opera Studio October 7 through 10. To check last-minute ticket availability, please contact the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

Four singers and three actors tell the story of the gypsy Carmen, the imprisoned Don José, and a tragic bullfight. The fully staged production of La Tragédie de Carmen is sung in French and Daniel Stewart ('10) conducts the Curtis Chamber Orchestra.

Chas Rader-Shieber stage directs and Troy Martin-O'Shia is the lighting designer. Set and costume design for the production is based on performances created by the European Centre for Opera and Vocal Art for a European tour in 1992. The 1992 performances, directed by Chas Rader-Shieber and produced by Mikael Eliasen, featured sets and costumes by Sven Use.

La Tragédie de Carmen launches the 2010-11 Curtis Opera Theatre season. Subscriptions for the season, which includes a double bill—Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias—and Mozart's Idomeneo, are available for $75. For tickets and more information, contact the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

Chas Rader-Shieber's recent productions include Barber's Antony and Cleopatra for the Curtis Opera Theatre (in collaboration with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Kimmel Center Presents), Handel's Tolomeo (American stage premiere) for Glimmerglass Opera, and Don Giovanni for the Music Academy of the West. He began 2009 with new productions of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Lyric Opera Chicago and Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims for the Curtis Opera Theatre. He also staged Mozart's rarely heard Il re Pastore for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and then mounted a revival of his production of Don Giovanni for the Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Rader-Shieber recently made his San Francisco opera debut with Die Entführung aus dem Serail, followed by a debut at the Los Angeles Opera, staging Plácido Domingo in Handel's Tamerlano.

In recent seasons he has staged Handel's Flavio and Orlando for New York City Opera, Don Giovanni for Santa Fe Opera, Giulio Cesare for the Pittsburgh Opera, and The Cunning Little Vixen for Lyric Opera Chicago and Houston Grand Opera. He has also directed Mozart's Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, and Così fan tutte; Handel's Semele, Ariodante, Imeneo, Alcina, Xerxes, and Partenope; and works of Cavalli, Purcell, Gluck, and Rossini. Mr. Rader-Shieber's work has been seen with the opera companies of Vancouver, Minnesota, Santa Fe, Spoleto USA, and Philadelphia, among others. Learn more about Chas Rader-Shieber.

Daniel Stewart, winner of the 2010 Aspen Music Festival's James Conlon Conducting Prize, has established himself as a conductor, composer, and concert violist, performing extensively in over forty countries. At the invitation of Charles Dutoit and Michael Tilson Thomas, Mr. Stewart recently served as cover conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra and New World Symphony, respectively. In the spring of 2010, at the invitation of James Levine, Mr. Stewart participated in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's assistant conductor audition and was selected as one of three finalists.

In addition to leading La Tragédie de Carmen, Mr. Stewart's current season includes assisting the Opera Company of Philadelphia for their upcoming United States premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Phaedra. Mr. Stewart has also prepared Wozzeck, The Rake's Progress, and Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Curtis Opera Theater, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Harbison's The Great Gatsby for the Aspen Opera Theater Company, and has led Mozart's Requiem in a collaboration between the Westminster Williamson Voices and members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Stewart has participated in master classes with Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, and Michael Tilson Thomas. He is an alumnus of the Indiana University School of Music, the New World Symphony, and, as of May 2010, the Curtis Institute of Music.

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.

Curtis Opera Theatre
La Tragédie de Carmen by Georges Bizet,
adapted by Marius Constant and Peter Brook
Thursday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 10 at 2:30 p.m.
Curtis Opera Studio, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

** All performances are sold out. For last-minute availability, please contact the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or **

Chas Rader-Shieber, stage director
Troy Martin-O'Shia, lighting designer
Sven Use, set and costume designer

Daniel Stewart, conductor ('10)
Curtis Chamber Orchestra

October 7 & 9
Carmen....J’nai Bridges
Micaela.....Ashley Thouret
Don José.....Kevin Ray
Escamillo.....Brandon Cedel
Zuniga.....Thomas Shivone
Lillas Pastia.....Sean Plumb
Garcia.....Johnathan McCullough

October 8 &10
Carmen.....Jazimina MacNeil
Micaela.....Kirsten MacKinnon
Don José.....Adam Frandsen
Escamillo.....Julian Arsenault
Zuniga.....Thomas Shivone
Lillas Pastia.....Sean Plumb
Garcia.....Johnathan McCullough

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