Page 71 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 71

photo by Tobin Del Cuore
Dennis Chmelensky as the title role in Curtis Institute of Music’s production of Don Giovanni, 2019
und Isolde at Santa Fe Opera. “But
as I look down the road,” he says,
“I foresee myself doing fewer opera productions in a year—maybe doing more concerts, which require me to be away less—and that will dovetail as
we proceed [at Curtis] and as I choose to accept and not accept certain opera engagements. That’ll be organic.
“Danielle and I complement each other quite well. I just got o  a conference call on the budget meeting. For now, technology is allowing me to be a part of the process.”
The department has about 25 singers at any given time, including bachelor’s degree candidates as well as graduate students who will receive a master of music or a professional studies certi cate in opera. But there is a  uidity to it. Curtis has been described by some singers as “open ended,” with degrees continuing
or changing in order to enable the singer to stay as long as they and the faculty feel is appropriate. Curtis Opera Theatre puts on three or more productions per year, which makes the math conducive to the
students gaining valuable performance experience.
“The small number of singers enables us to be  exible with the direction of the department,”
says Orlando. “We can take the department and the students where they need to go. Since they are young singers, this is something which is often determined while they are actually attending Curtis. There is no preset plan or mold they need to  t into.”
Curtis takes the artistic incubation of its singers’ talents seriously, which is a good thing in the era of social media. “It’s never been easier or harder to be seen or heard,” Owens says. “Easier in that you yourself can choose to post something on social media or YouTube—but so can anyone else, so it’s harder to be seen because people have to  lter through so much. At 18, 19, I was the same way.

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