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Curtis Opera Theatre Presents Double Bill Oct 6-9

Double bill feaures Handel's Apollo e Dafne performed in the Curtis Opera Studo; Peter Maxwell Davies's Miss Donnithorne's Maggot performed in Field Concert Hall

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(October 3, 2011) The Curtis Opera Theatre presents two chamber operas in a double bill, pairing a Baroque piece by Handel with a work of adventurous vocal acrobatics by Peter Maxwell Davies, October 6 through 9 in two different venues inside the Curtis Institute of Music.

The evening begins in the intimate Curtis Opera Studio with Handel's Apollo e Dafne, sung in Italian. The Greek god Apollo pursues the lovely nymph Dafne, who rejects his advances. After intermission, Davies's Miss Donnithorne's Maggot is performed in Field Concert Hall. Sung in English, it shows the far-reaching emotional consequences of unrequited love.

Young Curtis vocalists perform with orchestral accompaniment from the Curtis Chamber Ensemble. The fully staged production is directed by Chas Rader-Shieber and Curtis conducting student Vinay Parameswaran leads the chamber ensemble. Lighting design is by Christopher J. Frey.

The double bill is presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 6 through Sunday, October 9 at the Curtis Institute of Music at 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia.

Three-opera subscriptions--which includes Gounod's Faust and Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi--are available for $75. Single tickets are $35. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

The double bill is part of Curtis's 2011-12 Appassionato season, which features bold programming, enriched curriculum offerings, and exceptional special events that herald Curtis's enduring influence on music in Philadelphia and the world. Explore the season at

Conductor and San Francisco Bay Area native Vinay Parameswaran entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2009 and studies with Otto-Werner Mueller, distinguished conducting pedagogue. All students at Curtis receive merit based full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Parameswaran is the Albert M. Greenfield Fellow.

Mr. Parameswaran served as assistant conductor for the Curtis Opera Theatre's production of Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and he recently made his Kennedy Center conducting debut with the Curtis 20/21 ensemble. He will lead the Curtis Symphony Orchestra twice this season--works of Ludwig and Barber in performances later this month and Danielpour's Toward the Splendid City in February.

Prior to entering Curtis, Mr. Parameswaran was a double major in music and political science at Brown University, where he graduated with honors in 2009. He began studying piano at age five and added percussion the next year. Mr. Parameswaran is the only student to win Brown University's Concerto Competition on two different instruments--piano in 2009 and timpani in 2007. He conducted Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice with Brown Opera Productions in 2008 and served as assistant conductor of the Brown University Orchestra. Mr. Parameswaran was a percussionist for six years in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, joining them on two European tours.

Stage director Chas Rader-Shieber's recent work includes new productions of Tolomeo for Glimmerglass Opera, Tamerlano for Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, Don Giovanni for Santa Fe Opera, and David et Jonathas for Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. His work has been seen at the opera companies of Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Vancouver, the New York City Opera, and the Spoleto Festival, among others.

Having made a specialty of 17th and 18th century operas, Mr. Rader-Shieber has directed Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, Il re pastore, and Così fan tutte, and Handel's Giulio Cesare, Semele, Ariodante, Acis and Galatea, Imeneo, Alcina, Xerxes, Partenope, Tolomeo, and Flavio. He has also directed works of Monteverdi, Cavalli, Purcell, Charpentier, and Gluck. He has staged over 25 operas for the Curtis Opera Theatre since 1991, most recently Mozart's Idomeneo. Mr. Rader-Shieber joined the Curtis faculty in 2009 and will stage Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers in 2012.

The Curtis Opera Theatre works with established professional directors and designers to create fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis's 25 voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season in fully staged productions, receiving a rare level of performance experience. As a result Curtis 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 165 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 Jonathan Biss, Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.


Curtis Opera Theatre
HANDEL Apollo e Dafne
DAVIES Miss Donnithorne's Maggot
Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Curtis Opera Studio and Field Concert Hall
Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Vinay Parameswaran, conductor
Production by Chas Rader-Shieber
Christopher J. Frey, lighting designer

Fully staged production with the Curtis Chamber Ensemble, sung in Italian and English.

Three-opera subscription: $75 (Double Bill, Faust, I Capuleti e i Montecchi); available from the Curtis Ticket Office at (215) 893-7902 or

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


Apollo e Dafne
October 6 and 8
Apollo - Sean Plumb
Daphne - Anna Davidson

October 7 and 9
Apollo - Johnathan McCullough
Daphne - Alize Rozsnyai


Miss Donnithorne's Maggot
October 6, 7, 8 and 9
Miss Donnithorne - Anna Davidson

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