DENNIS CHMELENSKY BARITONE

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Five Minahan Songs

by Ya-Jhu Yang for Baritone, Cello and Piano, commissioned by Chuck and Judy Freyer. Poetry by Dr. Jeanne Minahan McGinn. World premiere at The Curtis Institute of Music's Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street with the composer on the piano and Jean Kim playing the cello. 

04/14/2018 at 8pm


The Medium

by Gian Carlo Menotti presented by the Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman Theatre 300 S Broad Street Kimmel Center Philadelphia. Role: Mr. Gobineau. 

05/05/2018 at 7.30pm; 05/06/2018 at 7.30pm


Bernstein in Concert

featuring arias and songs by Leonard Bernstein and others. Performed with pianist Mikael Eliasen and soprano Ashley Robilliard at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 710 Dulaney Valley Road Chamber Music Society of Maryland. 

05/27/2018 at 2pm


about

Berlin-native baritone Dennis Chmelensky studies at the Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage                                     of renowned instructors Mikael Eliasen and Marlena Malas currently in his fifth year.

Following his return to Vienna to study with Robert Holl, Helmut Deutsch, Julius Drake, Elly Ameling and to perform in several Schubertiaden around Vienna under the leadership of Prof. Deen Larsen, highlights of the young baritone’s 2017-18 season include role debuts such as Golaud (Impressions of Pelléas) performances of Hugo Wolf's hauntingly beautiful Italienisches Liederbuch performed in full with pianist Mikael Eliasen and Ashley Robilliard in San Diego California, Montauk Long Island and Philadelphia, Junior (A Quiet Place), Mr. Gobineau (The Medium) as well as a chamber music recital for the chamber music society of Maryland.

Recent scholarship recipient of the Kempinski Young Arts Program, He was awarded scholarships by the Gerda Lissner Liederkranz Foundation in New York (2016), Opera Libera Inc (2016), James T. Townsend Foundation (2016), Richard Wagner Society (2013), and the Bürgerstiftung Siegen under the patronage of Rolf H. Brunswig (since 2013).  Chmelensky is a first prize winner of the national council competition Jugend Musiziert Germany (2008), he has received the Engelbert Humperdinck Prize (2008), the Europäischer Hoffnungspreis by the European Foundation for Culture (2009) and the Bärenreiter Verlag Prize (2008).

He began violin lessons at the age of six, and voice and piano lessons at the age of seven. He previously attended the Universität der Künste Berlin where he studied with Heide Görtz, Kai-Uwe Jirka, and others. As a boy-soprano, Dennis Chmelensky has performed with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Staats und Domchor Berlin, Deutsches Symphonieorchester and Kapellsoloist's Dresden in such prestigious venues as Phiharmonie Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie Köln and Berlin State Opera. Recitals and Concerts brought him to Schottland, Spain, Russia, Serbia and the US. His debut album, DENNIS, was released in 2009 by Sony Music.

press

David Patrick Stearns March 08, 2018

"As the mentally ill Junior, Dennis Chmelensky articulated his fractured vocal lines in ways that perhaps set a new standard for the role, while also projecting a flamboyant battiness that suited the character well."


David Wright March 14, 2018

"Dennis Chmelensky brought a potent, edgy baritone to the emotionally unstable role of Junior, provoking and romancing the other characters in equal measure."


Cameron Kelsall March 13, 2018

"Junior remains the piece’s most complicated character. As costumed here by Terese Wadden, his appearance suggests what we would now call gender fluidity: he makes his entrance in fishnets, a sequined top, and makeup. But it seems little else has evolved in 35 years — the libretto reinforces queer stereotypes that link gay identity with mental illness, predatory behavior, and disturbing sexual peccadillos. Despite these alarmingly reductive traits, baritone Dennis Chmelensky works hard to give the character an inner life. He also sings with beautiful (if not always clarion) diction."


Toby Zinman March 13, 2018

"Junior, who is aggressively gay in both manner and costume seemed to me the dominant role, and Dennis Chmelensky’s moving, rich baritone accompanied by real acting provided a fierce center to the piece and to the family’s dysfunction."


David Fox March 08, 2018

"Junior is a problematic part for sure, a troubled (and troubling) compendium of tics and oddities—this is often how “gay” was signified in writing from an earlier time, but one hoped for more from Bernstein and librettist Stephen Wadsworth. Nonetheless, Dennis Chmelensky was often captivating in the role—a presence for sure, decked out here with androgynous ellusiveness, and also seeming appropriately vulnerable. Chmelensky’s dark baritone has a strikingly individual timbre..."


Cameron Kelsall October 08, 2017

"...But Chmelensky emerged as the evening’s unquestionable discovery. His superbly produced lyric baritone lifted the already stellar production to the musical stratosphere, while never sacrificing a connection to the text for mere tonal beauty. Though still an undergraduate, he gave the impression of a fully formed artist, ready to claim his place on the world stage."  


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past performances

2017-2018

The Time of our Singing Workshop

by composer Kris Defoort and librettist Peter van Kraaij. Based on a novel by Richard Powers. Workshop for Opera Philadelphia before its world premiere in Belgium in 2020 with the composer Kris Defoort and conductor Ryan Kwamé. Role: Joey 03/20-03/24/2018


A Quiet Place

by Leonard Bernstein presented by the Curtis Opera Theatre at Playhouse Counter College 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue in New York City.

Role: Junior 03/13/2018 at 8pm


A Quiet Place

by Leonard Bernstein presented by the Curtis Opera Theatre at the Perelman Theatre 300 S Broad Street Kimmel Center PhiladelphiaRole: Junior

03/07/2018 at 7.30pm, 03/09/2018 at 7.30pm & 03/11/2018 at 2.30pm


You've Got to Be Taught

a program of songs and spirituals focused on themes of love, tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness.

01/23/2018 at 8.00pm


Ruminations

world premiere. Music and poetry by Aiyana Tedi Braun. Dennis Chmelensky (Baritone), Claire Bourg (Violin), Adé Williams (Violin), Erika Gray (Viola), Young In Na (Cello), Aiyana Tedi Braun (Piano).

12/13/2017 at 8.00pm


Italienisches Liederbuch

by Hugo Wolf performed in full with pianist Mikael Eliasen and soprano Ashley Robilliard in dramatic dialogue at the Athenaeum Arts Library La Jolla, San Diego California.

10/21/2017 at 7.30pm


Impressions of Pelléas

after Pelléas et Mellissande by Claude Debussy arranged for two pianos by Marius Constant presented by the Curtis Opera Theater 1726 Locust Street Philadlephia.

Role: Golaud 

10/05/2017 at 7.30pm, 10/06/2017 at 7.30pm, 10/07/2017 at 7.30pm & 10/08/2017 at 2.30pm