Opera Philadelphia

Published25 Mar 2016

Soprano Emily Pogorelc steps in as Chan Parker in New York Premiere of Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD

Opera Philadelphia General Director & President David B. Devan today announced that soprano Emily Pogorelc will replace Rachel Sterrenberg as Chan Parker for the New York premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, April 1 and 3 at the Apollo Theater. Ms. Sterrenberg, who made her professional debut in the role in June’s World Premiere in Philadelphia, has withdrawn from the New York production for personal reasons.

Pogorelc, in her second year at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, covered the role of Chan during the development of the opera in Philadelphia and has been actively involved in Opera Philadelphia’s new works practice. She sang in Opera Philadelphia’s Composer-in-Residence Master Class with Dawn Upshaw in March 2015, singing an aria from the chamber opera Breaking the Waves, by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, which premieres in September 2016.

“Rachel Sterrenberg created a dynamic Chan Parker in last year’s World Premiere of YARDBIRD, crafting one of the most memorable professional debuts in our company’s history,” said David B. Devan, General Director & President of Opera Philadelphia. “We will miss her at the Apollo, but we feel truly fortunate to have a vibrant singer in Emily Pogorelc, who knows this role intimately, to take on the role of Chan. She is a true wunderkind and is one of the most exciting young singers I’ve heard, and I can’t wait for the Apollo audience to have the chance to now experience her artistry alongside Lawrence Brownlee, Angela Brown, and the rest of this fabulous cast.”

Emily Pogorelc
Soprano Emily Pogorelc | Photo by Fay Fox

In the summer of 2016, Pogorelc will be joining the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival singing Johanna in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and covering the roles of Ruth Putnam and Sarah Good in Robert Ward’s The Crucible. In Curtis Opera Theatre’s 2015-2016 season, she performed as Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème, and sings the role of Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in May at the Perelman Theater. She also appeared in the Curtis Recital Series, singing Debussy’s Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse and Strauss’s Drei Lieder der Ophelia. With the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in February, Emily performed as a soloist in Berio’s Sinfonia, performing at both Verizon Hall in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall. Additionally, she appeared with the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia in March 2016 as the winner of the 2015 Irving Ludwig Youth Competition.

Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, composed by Daniel Schnyder with a libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberlywill have its New York premiere in a co-production between Opera Philadelphia and the Apollo Theater, April 1 and 3, 2016.  Set in the famed Birdland jazz club on March 12, 1955, the day Charlie Parker died, the operainvites audiences directly into the mind and heart of the great saxophonist as he composes his final masterpiece, and revisits the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled his creative genius.  The New York premiere reunites Lawrence Brownlee, the “energetic, bright-voiced tenor” (The New York Times) in the lead role as the legendary jazz saxophonist, with much of the original cast alongside Maestro Corrado Rovaris and the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra, who performed the work’s world premiere to five sold-out audiences in June.

Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD

Music by Daniel Schnyder
Libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly
Performed in English with English supertitles

New York Premiere

A co-production of the Apollo Theater and Opera Philadelphia

April 1 and 3, 2016
The Apollo Theater

Performance times: Friday, April 1, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets to Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD may be purchased through Ticketmaster or at apollotheater.org or by calling (800) 745-3000.


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