3rd Anniversary House Concert
December 14, 2022
ePOP is thrilled to return to our roots with this event! We're bringing back performers from our first ever house concert: Ashley Marie Robillard, Katrina Thurman, and pianist Aurelien Eulert, and have invited ePOP favorite and rising star tenor, Joshua Blue, to join in the revelries!
This promises to be a wonderful evening of song, celebration, and an opportunity to support us as we look toward ePOP's future.
Seating is extremely limited and proof of vaccination is required to attend.
East Passyunk Opera Project (ePOP) was developed to create opportunities to bring opera off the stage and into Philadelphia communities. ePOP is the brainchild of Katrina Thurman—an opera singer who has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Aurelien Eulert—pianist and head of music for Opera Delaware, and Robert Hawkey. Their desire is to bring the art form up close and personal in order to build a more intimate level of engagement between audiences, the artists, and the music.
From their first packed house concert in December of 2019, ePOP quickly pivoted to alternative venues in 2020 and staged successful outdoor performances in partnership with East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District as well as digital productions such as their 2021 Love Notes. They collaborate with exceptional visual and performance artists and unique venues in order to find innovative ways to bring free or low-cost performances of opera, musical theater, and art song to Philadelphia audiences.
Joshua Blue, tenor
During the 2022-23 season, British-American tenor Joshua Blue makes his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut as the tenor soloist in Beethoven's Symphony #9 performed at the Hollywood Bowl with Eva Ollikainen on the podium. Mr. Blue returns to Opera Philadelphia to make his role debut as Rodolfo in the Yuval Sharon production of La bohème before reprising the role at the Glimmerglass Festival in the summer. Mr. Blue also returns to the Metropolitan Opera to sing the Royal Herald in David McVicar's production of Don Carlo under the baton of Carlo Rizzi and cover Chevalier de la Force in John Dexter's production of Dialogues des Carmélites led by Bertrand de Billy. In concert, he performs in two engagements of Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall with Musica Sacra and Oratorio Society of New York. Mr. Blue will perform in the world-premiere of Another City, a new commission by Houston Grand Opera featuring composer Jeremy Howard Beck and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann.
Additional career highlights include role and house debuts including the Metropolitan Opera as Peter in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; Los Angeles Opera singing the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion conducted by James Conlon; Opera Philadelphia as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto; Virginia Opera as Loge in Das Rheingold; and the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Tamino in The Magic Flute with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Aurelien Eulert, pianist/music director
Hailing from Alsace, France, Aurelien Eulert made his U.S. house debut in 2014 with Palm Beach Opera as diction coach for their production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann and head coach for the Young Artist Program. Since then, he has been on the music staff of Charlottesville Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Roanoke, Palm Beach Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, USC Thornton Opera, UCLA Alpert School of Music, Pacific Opera Project and the Los Angeles Opera Education department. Aurelien has played for acclaimed singers such as Marilyn Horne, Phyllis Curtin, Dawn Upshaw, Frederica von Stade and Rod Gilfry. He has assisted and performed under conductors such as James Conlon, Robert Spano and John Williams. In 2019, Aurelien was named Head of Music Staff at OperaDelaware, and was instrumental in launching the company’s Young Artist Program. He had previously held the position of Chorus Master and Principal Pianist since 2017. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, he was instrumental in OperaDelaware’s switch to digital and outdoor performances and continues to manage the acclaimed Pop-Up Opera program with outdoor presentations on the company’s mobile stage. Aurelien’s 2021/22 season included a return to the theatre stage with OperaDelaware’s productions of Don Pasquale, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, and a debut with Opera Southwest for Pelléas et Mélisande. His 2022/23 season includes debuts with Opera Baltimore and Intermountain Opera Bozeman. Aurelien holds degrees from the Conservatoire National de Strasbourg, Syracuse University and the University of Southern California, and attended the Tanglewood Music Center in the summer of 2010.
Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano
Heralded by Parterre Box for her “fresh-brook lyric soprano”, Ashley Marie Robillard is making waves as a passionate interpreter and committed storyteller in the world of opera, concert, chamber music, and cabaret. She has performed with operatic and symphonic institutions across the USA including Opera Philadelphia, Washington Concert Opera, the Amarillo Symphony, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Lafayette, the Merola Opera Program and Wolf Trap Opera. An alumna of Opera Philadelphia’s Emerging Artist Program, credits with the company include Musetta (La bohème), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), a headliner in the cabaret series Late Night Snacks, and several recitals with the company, including the Fridays at Field series. A frequent collaborator with EPOP, Ashley first performed in their inaugural house concert and went on to star in their Love Notes concert during the lockdown of 2020. A passionate chamber musician, Ashley spent a summer with Music from Angel Fire premiering Wei Dai’s The Wind May Know. Her staged rendition of Hugo Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch toured alongside pianist Mikael Eliasen and baritone Dennis Chmelensky with Curtis on Tour, Music for Montauk, and the La Jolla Athenaeum. She was an encouragement award winner of the Gerda Lissner Lieder/Art Song Competition, the Opera Index foundation, and a semi-finalist of the Orpheus Music Competition.
Katrina Thurman, soprano
Soprano Katrina Thurman has been praised for her “remarkably vibrant and flexible voice” (Gramophone) and her “wonderfully clear sound and natural warmth of character” (Opera News). She is a versatile artist who has built a solid reputation performing traditional operatic repertoire while also specializing in contemporary opera and musical theatre. Her repertoire encompasses over 45 roles in six languages and has taken her to theaters including The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon and Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile en Mer (France), Oper Bonn (Germany), Opera Philadelphia, The Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Florentine Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, American Opera Projects, Anchorage Opera, and Indianapolis Opera.
Ms. Thurman is a noted specialist in contemporary opera and created the roles of Liz in Cummings’ The Golden Gate (American Opera Projects), Blanche Ingram in Karchin’s Jane Eyre (Center for Contemporary Opera & recording on Naxos label), Isabella Beecher in Bond’s Mrs. President (Anchorage Opera), and Martha in Karchin’s Romulus (American Opera Projects) which was also recorded on the Naxos label. The 2021-2022 season saw her debut with Opera Naples as Hildy in On the Town and her stage debut with The Metropolitan Opera as Meretaten in Akhnaten. Upcoming engagements include her debut with Virginia Opera as Miss Lightfoot in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers.