FEATURE: APHASIA
Jan Curtis
 
Starting Here, Starting Now

Never Will I Marry



Jan Curtis a native of Washington State, has sung leading roles with the Opera Company of Boston, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Civic Opera, Houston Grand Opera, St. Louis Opera, Wolf trap Festival Opera, Atlanta Opera, Tanglewood Music Theater, and Kansas City Lyric. Her roles include Ca_en, the Witch in Hansel. und Gretal, Orlovsky in Die Flede_aus, the Old Lady in Candide, Mum in Albert Herring, and the Marquise of Berkenfield in La fille du Regiment. Ms. Curtis was chosen by Harold Prince to create the leading role of Sadie Burke in the world premiere production of Willie Stark by Carlisle Floyd. After successfully premiering on Houston, the opera was produced at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was nationally on PBS-TV for Great Performances. She also performed the role of Maddalena in Atlanta Opera's production of Rigoletto and Mum in Albert Herring. With Kansas City Lyric she performed Mrs. McClean in Susannah by Carlisle Floyd, with the composer directing, Alisa in Lucia di Lamme_oor, and Tisbie in Cenerentola.

Ms Curtis has appeared as soloist with orchestras across the country: the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Boston Pops. She has performed contemporary music with the Boston Musica Viva, as well as in her extensive recital work. Ms Curtis has been a featured recitalist at the Gardner Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the St. Paul Opera Guild, the Minnesota Orchestra Guild, and at Carnegie Hall.

Ms Curtis received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. She then completed her Master of Music and Artist Diploma in Performance degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Ms Curtis also received an MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, in 1986. She received an award for excellence in counseling from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. After returning to the Boston area, she received an MA from Boston College in Pastoral Ministry.

In addition to maintaining an extensive private studio, Ms Curtis joined the faculty at Brandeis University and taught Singing for Actors and Theater in a Psycho-Social Context for playwrights. She lectured frequently for the Brandeis Women's Committee on Theater as Entertainment; Theater as Healer in their University on Wheels program.

After suffering a stroke in 1995 which left her with right sided weakness and aphasia, Miss Curtis has become a visible advocate for people with aphasia and related disorders. In February 2000 she was featured in the Aphasia Community Group of Boston's production "Faces of Aphasia." In June 2000 she was a featured performer at the National Aphasia Association's "Speaking Out" Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She was honored by Senator John and Annie Glenn with the ANNIE GLENN Award from the National Council on Communicative Disorders. She has been featured on the Discovery Channel, New England Cable News, CHRONICLE, WBUR'S “Here and Now,” and has performed at Fenway Park, and at the National Aphasia Association's Spring Benefit at the Yale Club in New York.

The National Aphasia Association 2006 Aphasia Conference will be held at Boston University's Sargent College in June, 2006. For more information, contact Sargent College School of Communication Disorders.

For more information about aphasia, go to the National Aphasia Association's website: www.aphasia.org