Curtis on Tour
Musicians from the Curtis Opera Theatre
Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano
Dennis Chmelensky, baritone
Mikael Eliasen, piano
Curtis on Tour with a program of music composed by Mozart, Gounod, Komgold, Donizetti, and in honor of his 100th birthday, Curtis alumnus, Leonard Bernstein, class of 1941.
May 27, 2018 @ 2 pm
Towson Unitarian Universalist Church
Mikael Eliasen Ashley Marie Robillard Dennis Chmelensky
From the Metropolitan Opera to La Scala, Covent Garden to the Vienna Staatsoper, alumni from the Curtis Institute of Music appear around the world. Hear the future stars of opera here first, in a thrilling and diverse program including opera arias and duets to art song to American songbook. This program celebrates the centenary of Curtis alumnus Leonard Bernstein by featuring a set of Bernstein songs.
The Curtis Institute of Music, “one of the world’s finest music academies” (BBC Culture), produces top prizewinners of international competitions, soloists with major ensembles, and today's most promising artists. Embracing a “learn by doing” philosophy, Curtis educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage with audiences through music-making of the highest caliber. Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music.
About the artists
Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano
Ashley Marie Robillard, from Norton, Massachusetts, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2013 and studies with Julia Faulkner, adjunct voice faculty. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Robillard is the Joseph Cairns Jr. and Ernestine Bacon Cairns Memorial Fellow. During the 2016–17 season, Ms. Robillard performs the roles of the Bat in Ravel's L’Enfant et les sortilèges, Lucia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, and Bianca in Puccini’s La rondine. She also performs with Curtis on Tour, singing Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with baritone Dennis Chmelensky and pianist Mikael Eliasen.During her previous seasons at Curtis, Ms. Robillard has performed the roles of Musetta (La bohème), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Poussette (Manon), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Tisbe (La cenerentola). Before attending Curtis she performed as a soloist with the New England Conservatory's Youth Chorale and Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Honegger’s King David. She has also performed in numerous productions at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, including the Fairy Godmother in Pauline Viardot's Cendrillion, and multiple roles in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges. Ms. Robillard also participated in a production of Die Zauberflöte with the Tuscia Opera Festival/International Lyric Academy in Italy.
Dennis Chmelensky, baritone
Dennis Chmelensky, from Berlin, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2013 and studies with Marlena Kleinman Malas and Mikael Eliasen. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full tuition scholarships, and Mr. Chmelensky is the Guna S. Mundheim Annual Fellow.
In 2016–17 Mr. Chmelensky will perform as a soloist with Curtis on Tour, singing Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with soprano Ashley Robillard and pianist Mikael Eliasen. He has previously appeared as a soloist with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, Lautten Compagney Berlin, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, and the Berlin Philharmonic, among others.
Mr. Chmelensky is the recipient of many awards, including scholarships from Opera Libera, Inc. and the Wagner Society. He is also the winner of the Engelbert Humperdinck Prize (2008), Grand Prix Golden Snowflake Prize (2008), the Bärenreiterpreis (2008), first prize in Germany's Young Composer Awards, and the Europäischer Hoffnungspreis (2009). He released his debut album DENNIS in 2009, recorded at Sony Music.
Mr. Chmelensky's notable roles include Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Blansac (La scala di seta), Fyodor (Boris Godunov), Spinellocchio (Gianni Schicci), Schaunard (La bohème), First Officer (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and Paul in the world premiere of Empty the House, an opera by composer Rene Orth and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell. He has participated in the Orchestra of the University of the Arts and the State and Church Choir of Berlin, as well as the Chautauqua Institution and the Kempinski Young Artist Programme. Mr. Chmelensky previously attended the Georg Friedrich Händel-Musikgymnasium and the University of the Arts Berlin for voice and conducting.
Mr. Chmelensky began violin lessons at age five and voice and piano lessons at age seven. His former teachers include Heide Görtz, Dr. Anna Sylvan, Kai Uwe Jirka, Anne Kathrin Balo, Regina Schudel, and Sebastian Noack. In his spare time, Mr. Chmelensky enjoys board games, reading, jogging, debating, and film.
Mikael Eliasen, piano
Danish-born coach and accompanist Mikael Eliasen received his early training in Copenhagen, Montreal, and Vienna. He has collaborated with numerous singers in recital worldwide, including Robert Merrill, Tom Krause, John Shirley-Quirk, Elly Ameling, Edith Mathis, Florence Quivar, Mira Zakai, Sarah Walker, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, and Curtis alumni Theodor Uppman, Michael Schade, and Rinat Shaham.
Mr. Eliasen has given master classes at Aix-en-Provence, the Shanghai Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow), Jerusalem Music Center, and National Opera of Prague. He has a long association with the young-artist programs at the Royal Danish Opera and the Opera Studio of Amsterdam. In the United States, he works regularly at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera; and is artistic advisor to Opera Philadelphia. He has recorded for Albany Records, CBC, Hilversum Radio, Polish State Radio, Kol Israel, Irish Radio and Television, London Records, MHS, and Supraphon.
Mr. Eliasen was music director of the San Francisco Opera Center from 1994 to 1996 and artistic director of the European Center for Opera and Vocal Art in Belgium from 1984 to 1994. For twenty years he has taught at Chautauqua's Voice Program during the summers. In 2013 he was appointed artistic adviser to Opera Philadelphia. Mr. Eliasen led the Young Artist Voice Program as part of Curtis Summerfest 2016.
Mr. Eliasen joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1986 and became the head of the department in 1988. At Curtis he is Artistic Director of the Curtis Opera Theatre and the Hirsig Family Dean of Vocal Studies.
Drawing upon 90 years of artistry, the Curtis Institute of Music pairs tradition and innovation, educating exceptionally gifted young musicians as artist-citizens who engage a local and global community through music-making of the highest caliber. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia, as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour.
“One of the world's finest music academies” (BBC Culture), Curtis reaches global audiences through Curtis Performs (curtis.edu/CurtisPerforms), the school’s dedicated HD performance video site. Online music courses and Summerfest programs offer lifelong learners further ways to listen, explore, and learn. And students hone 21st-century skills through social entrepreneurship programs that bring arts access and education to the community.
The extraordinary young musicians of Curtis graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. Each season leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series around the world feature Curtis alumni. They are in the front rank of soloists, composers, and conductors and hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra. Curtis graduates are musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit www.curtis.edu.
About Curtis on Tour
Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. An embodiment of the school’s "learn by doing" philosophy, it offers students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performances, musicians offer master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also facilitates solo performances of Curtis students and alumni with professional orchestras and recital series. Since the program was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have performed more than 200 concerts in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.