Emma Curtis, director, contralto, recorder
" an impressive array of vocal colours ... outstanding "
Emma Curtis studied at the Guildhall School of Music and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California where she worked with Marilyn Horne. She was a full-time member of the Solo Ensemble at the Staatstheater Stuttgart from 2003 to 2006.
She debuted at the Staatstheater Stuttgart as Nutrice (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and then in 2001/02 sang Ericlea (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria). In 2003/04 she sang Pastore II in Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Jean-Claude Malgoire, Eine Kranke and 4. nackte Jungfrau in Schönberg’s Moses und Aron conducted by Lothar Zagrosek, and Poklízecka in Janáçek’s The Makropolous Case, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling.
As a Baroque specialist Emma has performed the title role in Cavalli's Giasone for Aspen Music Festival conducted by Harry Bicket, Irene in Handel’s Atalanta at the International Handel-Festival in Göttingen, Germany, conducted by Nicholas McGegan, Eduige (Handel’s Rodelinda) for Portland Opera, USA and Bertarido (Handel’s Rodelinda) in Santa Barbara, and Cleofe in Handel’s La Resurrezione at the Lufthansa Baroque Festival in London, with Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert, Les Leçons de Ténèbres by Marc Antoine Charpentier, plus the world premiere of Les Leçons de Ténèbres by Philippe Fénelon, with La Grand Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy and Au temps de Port Royal with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie
Other operatic appearances include Geneviève (Pelléas et Mélisande), La principessa (Suor Angelica), Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Modestina (Il viaggio a Reims) in Santa Barbara, Quickly (Falstaff) for Festival Opus a Gattières, and Mother Goose (The Rake’s Progress) and Maddelena (Rigoletto). Emma's concert appearances include Sibelius’s Jokamies with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Adès and Janáçek’s Diary of One who Disappeared at the Aldeburgh Festival, and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the BBC Proms 2001.
Emma also created the role of Galatée in the world premiere of L’Astrée (Pastorale) by Gérard Pesson for Staatstheater Stuttgart, and the leading role of L'Ainée in the world premiere of Jacques Lenot's J'étais dans ma maison et j'attendais que la pluie vienne at Opera de Genève.
Emma founded The Frolick with Andrew Maginley in 2005 in Germany. The group's base moved to the UK in 2007. Their first recording, Calliope - volume the first, was awarded Best Classical Vocal Album of 2006 by AllMusic.