PROGRAM

 

 

Aurelien Eulert,
Pianist/Music Director

 

 

Spring Cleaning
from Fugitive Songs

Miller and Tysen
— Katrina Thurman
 

 

One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man
from Wonderful Town 

Leonard Bernstein
— Ashley Marie Robillard
 

 

What Do I Need with Love?
from Thoroughly Modern Millie
Tesori and Scanlan

— Joshua Blue

                                                           
 

 

But All Thoughts Dissipated
from The Bodice Ripper Project

Dunphy and Montalbano
— Maren Montalbano        

                                                           

 

Steal me, sweet thief
from The Old Maid and the Thief

Gian Carlo Menotti

— Katrina Thurman

                                                           
 


To be announced

— Maria TopCatt
                                                   

 


Intermission (10 Minutes)

 

                                  

 

One Thing
from 36 Questions
Littler and Winter

— Ashley Marie Robillard & Joshua Blue

                                                           

 

 

Her Hands Crept Under His
from The Bodice Ripper Project 

Dunphy and Montalbano
— Maren Montalbano        

                                                           


 

The Saga of Jenny (7:00PM show)
from Lady in the Dark

Weill and Ira Gershwin
— Ashley Marie Robillard

                                                           

 

 

Could I leave you? (9:30PM show)
from Follies

Sondheim and Goldman
— Ashley Marie Robillard

                                                           

 

 

A Call from the Vatican
from Nine

Maury Yeston
— Katrina Thurman

                                                           

 

 

She Was Yearning
from The Bodice Ripper Project  

Dunphy and Montalbano
— Maren Montalbano      

                                                           

 

 

The Masochism Tango
Tom Lehrer

— Joshua Blue
                                                                                                 
                                                          

 

To be announced
— Maria TopCatt

                                              

 

                                                         
Getting Married Today
from Company

Steven Sondheim
— The Whole Company
                                                          

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About the Bodice Ripper Project

The Bodice Ripper Project is a one-woman show by mezzo-soprano Maren Montalbano exploring sexuality through the lens of humor, storytelling, and original music. At the intersection of romantic tropes and operatic gender power dynamics, Maren reads her own romance novel aloud to her audience (her fellow opera choristers) as they all wait backstage to perform. It was digitally premiered at the 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival; more information and a replay is available at bodiceripperproject.com.

Artist Biographies

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Joshua Blue, tenor

During the 21-22 season, British-American tenor Joshua Blue makes his Metropolitan Opera debut as Peter in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and his LA Opera debut as the Evangelist Bach's St. Matthew Passion. He returns to Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York in Handel's Messiah and debuts with the Cecilia Chorus for the Carnegie Hall premiere of Margaret Bond's The Ballad of the Brown King and as the tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah. This summer, he reprises Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Operatic highlights of previous seasons include debuts at the Kennedy Center as Alfredo in La Traviata and Act I of La bohème in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, his role debut as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Washington National Opera, Harlekin in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Wolf Trap Opera, and joining the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival for their production of Eugene Onegin. Previous concerts engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with the National Symphony Orchestra, and a program called Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do: Songs from Gay Harlem with the New York Festival of Song.

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Aurelien Eulert, pianist/music director

Hailing from Alsace, France, Aurelien Eulert was named Opera Delaware’s Head of Music Staff in 2019 and was instrumental in launching the company’s new Young Artist Program. He had previously held the position of Chorus Master and Principal Pianist since 2017. Mr. Eulert 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. Equally versed in both opera and musical theater, his other recent engagements have included serving as music director with Tidewater Opera Initiative (The Marriage of Figaro, The Medium, The Old Maid and the Thief), Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (Cendrillon, The Last Five Years) and the Kahilu Theatre, Hawaii (Godspell). 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. He 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.

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Maren Montalbano, mezzo-soprano

Maren Montalbano is a mezzo-soprano, business coach, and writer, whose voice appears on 3 GRAMMY Award-winning albums. When live performances disappeared during the pandemic, she turned her focus to the online world: writing, producing, and premiering a one-woman show called The Bodice Ripper Project as an interactive digital performance at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. That show, along with the accompanying podcast of the same name, became an exploration of sexuality, feminism, and the journey to self-empowerment through the lens of romance novels. A graduate of Tufts University and New England Conservatory of Music, Maren has sung at Carnegie Hall in NYC, Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, multiple theaters in Europe, and even performed on stage with the Rolling Stones. She is passionate about uplifting and amplifying diverse voices in classical music, which has fueled her work as a business coach for musicians.

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Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano

Praised for her "fresh-brook lyric soprano" and "crystalline vocal sparkle" (Parterre Box), soprano Ashley Marie Robillard has been winning hearts in the opera house, cabaret hall, and everywhere in between. This season she debuts with the Amarillo Symphony, Washington Concert Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Opera Lafayette. She previously joined the Merola Opera Program for the past two summers and was a Studio Artist with the esteemed Wolf Trap Opera in 2019, debuting as Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos). 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 passionate chamber musician, Ashley spent a summer with Music from Angel Fire premiering Wei Dai’s The Wind May Know. She toured the USA with Hugo Wolf’s Italianisches Liderbuch from 2016-19. 

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Katrina Thurman, soprano

Soprano and ePOP General and Artistic Director 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 American musical theatre. Her repertoire encompasses over 45 roles in six languages and has taken her to theaters including The Metropolitan Opera where she makes her stage debut in Akhnaten this spring, as well as Opéra de Lyon and Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile en Mer (France), Oper Bonn (Germany), Opera Philadelphia, The Dallas Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Florentine Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, American Opera Projects, Syracuse Opera, Sacramento Opera, Anchorage Opera, Shreveport Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival. Follow her on Instagram @katrinasoprano.    

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Maria TopCatt, cabaret artist

Maria TopCatt is South Philly’s Disco Dancing Diva and Saucy Showgirl. By way of South Jersey, Maria has been entertaining throughout the tri-state area for about a decade, starting in the Philly Drag Wars circuit, to a DollStar in the Dollhouse Review, Philly’s Foxes and now working in the wonderful world of burlesque. You can catch her hosting TopCatt Cabaret at Concourse Dance Bar, La Maison Rose Burlesque at Franky Bradley’s, and the Boom Boom Room at the Blind Barber along with other burlesque shows throughout Philadelphia. You can also catch her at Fabrika, Philly’s premier dinner theatre and nightlife club. She’s had the honor of working at both the Box NYC, House of Yes in Brooklyn with Rox Republic, and with NYC’s Susanne Bartsch.  She hosts monthly “Drag Queen Storytime” at Mister John’s Music, voted Best of Philly 2019 for Children’s Events. She’s a mix of old Hollywood, the Silver Screen, Studio 54 and now, all wrapped up in a gaudy flashy leopard print box!!! Follow her on IG @mariatopcatt.    

Special Thanks to:

Bobb Hawkey – Stage Manager & Strategic Advisor

Marissa Chalker 
Capri Dessecker

Our Friends at Opera Philadelphia

With Thanks to Our Sponsors:

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...and Our Donors:

$500 and above:

David & Jill Whitman

$250 and above:
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Allen & Judy Freedman
Jill Handy
Quint & Caryn Thurman
Edward & Pamela Zenzola

$100 and above
Ana De Archuleta
Jason & Vivian Brock

Matt Hotz & Ellen Rockower
Alex Chan & Megan McGinley
Conrad Cummings
Charles & Judy Freyer

Kevyn & Lindsey Gero
Emi & Don Hawkey

Michael Knight
Darin Pemberton
Sylvia Plyler
John & Sharon Stetz

Tom & Heather Whitman

$50 and above
Nicole Ameduri- Gonal
Margaret Anisiewski & Jonnie Kedj
Dorothy Byrne
Ginger Fries

Peter & Tiffany Grech
Joan & Manny Guelho
Allison Hawkey
Ali Shott & Joshua Karstendick

Don Marrazzo
Christine McDonough
Nurjahan Noaz

Gabrielle Rubinstein-Cheong
Jennifer Seal

Randy & Judith Swartz
John& Eva Toia

Tony & Roe Varallo
Jason Williams