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Curtis Opera Theatre Presents Mozart's "Idomeneo" May 5-8

Fully Staged Production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra Conducted by George Manahan, Stage Directed by Chas Rader-Shieber

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(April 28, 2011) King Idomeneo of Crete may have saved his countrymen, but he has jeopardized his son's life. This ancient, dramatic legend of love and sacrifice unfolds to Mozart's beautiful melodies when the Curtis Opera Theatre presents Idomeneo May 5 through 8 at the Prince Music Theater.

The fully staged production with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Performances take place on Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's performance is sold out.

George Manahan, music director of the New York City Opera, conducts and Chas Rader-Shieber stage directs. Scenic design is by David Zinn, costume design by Jacob A. Climer, and lighting design by Mark Barton. Tiziana Descano plays harpsichord.

The Prince Music Theater is located at 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $35 and are available from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

George Manahan (conductor) is in his fourteenth season as music director of New York City Opera. Wide-ranging and versatile, he has an esteemed career embracing everything from opera to the concert stage, the traditional to the contemporary. He has distinguished himself as one of the foremost conductors of our time and is especially known in the opera world for his musical guidance of diverse productions such as La fanciulla del West, Daphne, Ermione, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Cendrillon, and Die tote Stadt.

Mr. Manahan's 2009 Carnegie hall performance of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra was hailed by audiences and critics alike. In 2010 he conducted a fully staged production of the same work with the Curtis Opera Theatre in celebration of the Barber centenary. Also in 2010 Mr. Manahan was appointed as music director of the New York-based American Composers Orchestra.

His guest appearances include the symphonies of Atlanta, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and New Jersey, where he served as acting music director for four seasons, as well as the National Symphony, Juilliard and Manhattan schools of music, Warsaw Philharmonic, Music Academy of the West, and Aspen Music Festival. He is a regular guest with Santa Fe, Portland, and Glimmerglass opera companies and was principal conductor of the Minnesota Opera.

Chas Rader-Shieber (stage director) has staged over twenty-five operas for the Curtis Opera Theatre since 1991, most recently La Tragédie de Carmen and Antony and Cleopatra. Other recent work includes Mozart's La clemenza di Tito for Vancouver Opera, Handel's Tolomeo (American stage premiere) for Glimmerglass Opera, Don Giovanni for Music Academy of the West, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera.

In addition to the operas of Handel and Mozart, Mr. Rader-Shieber has directed works of Cavalli, Purcell, Gluck, and Rossini. His work has been with the opera companies of Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, Spoleto USA, and St. Louis, among others. Mr. Rader-Shieber joined the Curtis faculty in 2009.

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.

Curtis Opera Theatre: Mozart's Idomeneo
Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. * SOLD OUT *
Sunday, May 8 at 2:30 p.m.
Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

George Manahan, conductor
Chas Rader-Shieber, stage director
David Zinn, scenic designer
Jacob A. Climer, costume designer
Mark Barton, lighting designer
Tiziana Descano, harpsichord

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

Tickets: $35; available from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

Cast - May 5 and 7
Idomeneo: Adam Frandsen
Idamante: J'nai Bridges
Ilia: Sarah Shafer
Elettra: Allison Sanders
Arbace: Diego Silva
High Priest of Neptune: Kevin Ray
Voice of Neptune: Joseph Barron

Cast - May 6 and 8
Idomeneo: Joshua Stewart
Idamante: Jazimina MacNeil
Ilia: Alize Rozsnyai
Elettra: Kirsten MacKinnon
Arbace: Diego Silva
High Priest of Neptune: Kevin Ray
Voice of Neptune: Joseph Barron

Chorus - all performances: Julian Arsenault, R.C. Atlee*, Ryan Brock*, Anna Davidson, Melinda Fore*, Terrance Hart*, Miyuki Hashimoto*, Meredith LaBouff, Jennifer Lam*, Aedin Larkin*, Johnathan Ryan McCullough, Jarrett Ott, Sean Michael Plumb, Kevin Ray, Shir Rozzen, Karlie Saenz*, Thomas Shivone, Thomas Strawser*, Ashley Thouret, Lisa Wildman*

* Guest Artist

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(215) 717-3190

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(215) 717-3129

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