Opera Philadelphia

Published26 Feb 2019

Curtis Opera Theatre Presents Don Giovanni at Perelman Theater March 7-10

New production sees return of rising stars conductor Karina Canellakis and director R. B. Schlather

The Curtis Opera Theatre performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Perelman Theater on March 7, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m., and March 10 at 2:30 p.m. The production is led by conductor Karina Canellakis and directed by R. B. Schlather. The first of two such 2018–19 productions, these performances are presented in partnership with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as a continuation of the Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman series.

Don Giovanni has seduced innumerable women, inspiring admiration, jealousy, and scorn in equal measure. Now the tables are turned on the unrepentant lord, as those he has wronged join forces to stop him—and a statue comes to life, ending his libertine campaign. The “edgy and imaginative young director” (The New Yorker) R. B. Schlather, perhaps best known to Philadelphia audiences for his work on the award-winning The Wake World, part of Opera Philadelphia’s O17 festival, illuminates his distinctive vision of Mozart’s masterwork, while fast-rising conductor and Curtis alumna Karina Canellakis brings her “passion and pathos” (Artsfile) to the podium.

In his director’s note, Mr. Schlather offers his thoughts on the sensitive subject matter of the opera. “In the world of opera we are bound to a long history of practice…I try to free myself of all of that in my work to tap into something alive, happening here and now in the bodies and imaginations of the young people on stage. There’s no question that Mozart’s opera is formally a masterpiece, and that the content, as problematic as it is, fascinates. We’ve all abstractly known a ‘Giovanni,’ who made us feel so much pleasure and pain, and ultimately helped us learn about ourselves.”

Limited tickets are available from Opera Philadelphia Guest Services at operaphila.org or (215) 732-8400.

A Curtis alumna and the newly appointed chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Karina Canellakis (Violin ’04) leads members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in this fully-staged production sung in Italian with English supertitles. She worked with the Curtis Opera Theatre for Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 2016 and led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Hall in April 2018.  Director R. B. Schlather has previously worked with the Curtis Opera Theatre on Impressions of Pelléas in Fall 2017 and Doctor Atomic in Winter 2016.

Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman

in partnership with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts 

Don Giovanni

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

 Fully-staged production with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Limited tickets and tickets alerts are available at operaphila.org or by calling Opera Philadelphia Guest Services at (215) 732-8400.


Conductor: Karina Canellakis
Stage Director and Costume Designer: R. B. Schlather
Scenic Designer: Paul Tate dePoo III
Lighting Designer: JAX Messenger and Christopher J. Frey
Recitative Fortepianist: Lisa Keller

March 7 and March 9
Leporello: Adam Kiss
Donna Anna: Tiffany Townsend
Don Giovanni: Dennis Chmelensky
Commendatore: Vartan Gabrielian
Don Ottavio: Aaron Crouch
Donna Elvira: Sophia Hunt
Masetto: Charles Buttigieg
Zerlina: Lindsey Reynolds

March 8 and March 10
Leporello: Vartan Gabrielian
Donna Anna: Rachel Sterrenberg*
Don Giovanni: Jorge Espino
Commendatore: Adam Kiss
Don Ottavio: Martin Luther Clark
Donna Elvira: Ashley Marie Robillard
Masetto: Charles Buttigieg
Zerlina: Ziyi Dai

*guest artist

Don Giovanni is presented as part of Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman in partnership with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation.

Don Giovanni is sponsored in part by the Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman Venture Fund for Opera.

Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman continues May 2–5, 2019 with the double bill of Riders to the Sea by Ralph Vaughan Williams; and Empty the House by Curtis alumna and Opera Philadelphia composer in residence Rene Orth (Composition ’16), featuring a libretto by Mark Campbell.

About the Curtis Opera Theatre
Under the artistic direction of Mikael Eliasen, the Curtis Opera Theatre has become known for imaginative productions, bold concepts, and absorbing theatre. Promising young singers work alongside established professional directors and designers, resulting in fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis’s 25 voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season, receiving a rare level of performance experience on stage and appearing frequently with Opera Philadelphia, Curtis on Tour, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. 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.

About Opera Philadelphia
Opera Philadelphia is committed to embracing innovation and developing opera for the 21st century. Described as “the very model of a modern opera company” by the Washington Post, Opera Philadelphia was the only American finalist for the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Opera Company and was a 2017 finalist for Best Festival. After opening its 2018–19 season with the immersive Festival O18, Opera Philadelphia closes the season with a revived production of Puccini’s La bohème (April 26–May 5, 2019). The company’s third fall festival, O19, will take place September 18–29, 2019. For more information, visit operaphila.org.

About the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2017–18 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.

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