Photos courtesy of Moore in Focus Photography
This event has ended.
Love Notes is back!
Love Notes 2.0... Sour Notes is the sequel to Love Notes, which premiered virtually last year.
Last year's show was all about love, love, sweet love.
This year, it's a little different.
ePOP knows that love can get messy. This year, the focus is on the raunchy, the real, the less than ideal, the getting dumped and breaking up, all aspects of the glorious fustercluck that we call love.
Want to raise a glass or a middle finger (we won't judge 😘) to Valentine's Day without leaving your house? We've got a fabulous online show for you. Feeling like experiencing this wildness in person? Then join us live on February 19 for an evening of transgressions and lamentations.
Virtual: ePOP invites you to get cozy, curl up, and watch the virtual premiere of Love Notes 2.0…Sour Notes from the comfort of your home. The virtual concert will feature the return of Philadelphia-based opera singers and real-life couple, Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano, and Joshua Blue, tenor, accompanied by pianist Aurelien Eulert. They will be joined by Philadelphia-based soprano, Katrina Thurman as well as mezzo-soprano, Maren Montalbano, who will offer selections from her one-woman show, The Bodice Ripper Project. In addition, several prominent opera singers will make guest appearances throughout the concert, many of whom are making returns from last year’s show: Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sandra Piques Eddy, Joélle Harvey and her manager and husband Alex Fletcher, Zachary James, and John Riesen, all of whom have sung at venues such as The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center.
The Loves Notes virtual concert will premiere at 7:30PM ET on February 11 via a private link to be sent to ticket holders and will continue to be available through February 24, 2022. Tickets are $25 per household for the virtual performance.
Live Performances: Had your fill of Valentine’s Day and all the syrupy sentiments? On the evening of Saturday, February 19th, once the sappy glow of V-Day has lost its sheen, ePOP will present two back-to-back cabaret performances of Love Notes 2.0... Sour Notes with Philadelphia-based artists at Society Hill Dance Academy. Come to the early show and catch dinner at one of East Passyunk’s neighborhood haunts after. Or, have an early meal and join ePOP for the late show. The modern industrial event space at Society Hill Dance Academy is inspired by the arts and the eclectic energy of the surrounding neighborhood with steel beams, bistro lighting, and a striking, historic brick bar. ePOP is teaming up with Manatawny Still Works and BackYard Originals to offer two complimentary cocktails to each guest over 21 years of age. Proof of vaccination will be required to enter, including booster shot, if eligible.
Artists for the live event include Philadelphia-based opera singers and real-life couple, Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano, and Joshua Blue, tenor. They will be joined by Philadelphia-based soprano, Katrina Thurman, mezzo-soprano, Maren Montalbano, who will offer selections from her one-woman show, The Bodice Ripper Project, pianist Aurelien Eulert, and drag queen cabaret artist and emcee extraordinaire, Maria TopCatt. Artists for the live concerts have performed at venues including The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Opera Philadelphia, and Studio 54.
General Admission- $35 includes two complimentary cocktails. Seating for general admission tickets is on a first-come, first-served basis.
VIP Ticket- $50 includes reserved seating near the stage and two complimentary cocktails.
Showtimes for the Live Performance:
There will be two performances on Saturday, February 19th, 2022. The early show will begin at 7:00PM with doors opening at 6:15PM. The late show will begin at 9:30PM with doors opening at 9:00PM.
Signature cocktails for the live show, conceived by BackYard Originals using spirits from Manatawny Still Works:
Love Notes- Sweet, floral, and fizzy
Manatawny Vodka, BackYard Originals Kaffir Lime Leaf syrup, lime, muddled mint, club soda
Sour Notes- Velvety, tart, and a little bit spicy
Manatawny Gin, BackYard Originals Ginger Lemongrass Syrup, lemon, angostura bitters, egg white.
Repertoire performed will be from the opera, art song, and musical theater oeuvre. ePOP is thrilled to bring #OperaUpFront to audiences whether they attend the virtual performance, see the show live and in person, or both.
*This show includes some adult themes and language. For this reason, this show is most appropriate for ages 14+. Parental discretion is advised.
**Guests must be at least 21 years of age and not visibly inebriated to receive complimentary cocktails at the live shows. Ticket purchase not required for cocktails.
Artists – Live & Virtual Shows
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.
Aurelien Eulert, pianist
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guest Artists – Virtual Show
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor
GRAMMY-nominated countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo has appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. He’s sung at leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and Teatro Real Madrid. In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at a wide-ranging variety of venues including Carnegie Hall, Versailles, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Joe’s Pub, The Guggenheim, The Park Avenue Armory, and Madison Square Garden. Costanzo has begun working as a producer and curator, creating projects for The New York Philharmonic, National Sawdust, Opera Philadelphia, the Philharmonia Baroque, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, and Kabuki-Za Tokyo. Costanzo graduated from Princeton University and received his masters from Manhattan School of Music.
Sandra Piques Eddy, mezzo soprano
Mezzo Soprano, Sandra Piques Eddy, a celebrated Carmen, has performed the role with various companies including Portland Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Chicago Opera Theater, Austin Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera North (UK) tour, and twice with Maestro Seiji Ozawa touring Japan. Career highlights: Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with Vancouver Opera, Arizona Opera, Austin Opera, Atlanta Opera; Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Nashville Opera, Vancouver Opera, Austin Opera, a tour with New Zealand Opera; Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Boston Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera; Poppea in The Coronation of Poppea and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti at Opera North (UK); Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice with Portland Opera. With over 100 performances at The Metropolitan Opera, Eddy’s roles include Fiona in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, La Badessa in Suor Angelica, Mercedes in Carmen, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Zulma in L’Italiana in Algeri among others.
Alex Fletcher, President - Fletcher Artist Management
Alex Fletcher serves as president of Fletcher Artist Management, a firm he founded in December 2009. He has been a member of the jury for the McCammon Voice Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, the Opera Birmingham Competition in Alabama, and since 2019, regularly serves as a judge for The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. Fletcher completed internships with the Washington National Opera and with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Alexandria, Virginia. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, cum laude, from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he also studied vocal performance.
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Joélle Harvey received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She has appeared in operas at many international theaters, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Glyndebourne Festival, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. An avid concert performer, she is closely associated with a number of symphony orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, the New York Philharmonic, has appeared at the BBC Proms, and has been presented in solo recital by Carnegie Hall. Engagements during the 2021-2022 season include debuts at Opernhaus Zürich (Aristea in Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, conducted by Jakub Hrůša), and The University Musical Society at University of Michigan (Handel’s Messiah). Locally, she performed with Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in January 2020.
Zachary James, bass
Zachary James, BroadwayWorld Performer & Vocalist of the Decade, 2022 Grammy Award nominee, created the role of Abraham Lincoln in Philip Glass’ The Perfect American (Teatro Real, English National Opera, Opera Queensland), Terry in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking The Waves (Opera Philadelphia), Oberon in Il Sogno (Teatro Citta della Pieve), Lurch in The Addams Family (Broadway) and the Scribe in the Olivier Award winning English National Opera production of Akhnaten. Additional engagements include The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Theater, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Philadelphia Orchestra, LA Opera, Arizona Opera, Virginia Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Roanoke, Anchorage Opera, Central City Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Shreveport Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Ithaca, Knoxville Opera, American Lyric Theatre, Prototype Festival, Phoenicia Festival and on TV’s 30 Rock, Succession, SNL, Murphy Brown, Live From Lincoln Center, Tony Awards and more. Albums: Call Out, Exordium, Impossible Dream and more. www.ZachJames.com @theofficialzacharyjames
John Riesen, tenor
Hailed as “every inch the hero in stature and voice” (Classical Voice North America), award-winning American tenor John Riesen is consistently impressing audiences with his "impassioned...and vibrant" voice (Opera Today). Riesen’s growing career boasts a variety of roles in which he excels and includes significant work in opera, musical theatre, studio recording and concert at such esteemed venues as the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Detroit Opera House, The Segerstrom Theater and abroad in Italy and China. His recordings have reached well over 1.5 million streams on Spotify and Apple. John is also the head of Spotify promotion and PR for Emitha LLC, building an ecosystem for classical singers around the world to be heard on streaming services.
With Thanks to Our Donors:
$500 and above:
David & Jill Whitman
$250 and above:
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Allen & Judy Freedman
Quint & Caryn Thurman
Edward & Pamela Zenzola
$100 and above
Ana De Archuleta
Jason & Vivian Brock
Matt Hotz & Ellen Rockower
Alex Chan & Megan McGinley
Charles & Judy Freyer
Kevyn & Lindsey Gero
Emi & Don Hawkey
John & Sharon Stetz
Tom & Heather Whitman
$50 and above
Nicole Ameduri- Gonal
Margaret Anisiewski & Jonnie Kedj
Peter & Tiffany Grech
Joan & Manny Guelho
Ali Shott & Joshua Karstendick
Randy & Judith Swartz
John& Eva Toia
Tony & Roe Varallo