Announcing CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre and Drama

'Metamorphoses,' from CCM's acclaimed 2013-14 Mainstage Series.

‘Metamorphoses,’ from CCM’s acclaimed 2013-14 Mainstage Series.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is pleased to announce initial details for its 2014-15 Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre and drama productions.

The 2014-15 Mainstage Series features a dazzling collection of both classic and contemporary masterworks, including a gender-bending new production of Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy Macbeth, an extended run of the high-energy romantic-comedy Legally Blonde – The Musical and a magical production of the opera Hänsel and Gretel.

In early 2015, CCM’s student and faculty artists will also present Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and zeitgeist-dominating The Heidi Chronicles and a soaring musical production of Peter Pan. Mozart’s Così fan tutte will close out the series, with a new production directed by Robin Guarino, who recently staged this masterpiece at the Metropolitan Opera.

This year’s must-see Mainstage Series features six fully staged works guaranteed to fill audiences with delight, with performances scheduled from Oct. 1, 2014, through April 12, 2015. All performances take place in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Cincinnati campus.

Production and ticketing details are below. Priority subscription packages go on sale May 2014. Single tickets become available in August, but subscribing is the only way to guarantee your seats for these must-see shows!

Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183. For additional information, visit ccm.uc.edu, email boxoff@uc.edu or call the Box Office.

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The Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle Concludes with Performances on March 25, 27 and 29

CCM_ArielQuartet_Epic_Conclusion_forblog

Join us next week for the stunning conclusion to the Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle! The Ariel Quartet will finish its first complete tour of Beethoven’s string quartets with a trio of performances on March 25, 27 and 29.

To celebrate the occasion, we are delighted to present an excerpt of Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Minor Op. 95, “Serioso,” recorded live in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium in January of 2014. Watch the video embed below or view it on YouTube here!

Please see the schedule below for complete details.
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CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

CCM’s Mainstage Production of ‘Les Miserables’ Receives 5-Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s production of the long running musical classic Les Misérables with a Five Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised the production as, “Spectacular… an outstanding and phenomenal production… Bravo for everyone involved for taking a musical I have seen multiple times and making it as fresh, exciting and powerful as the first.”

Director Aubrey Berg was praised for his “seamless” direction: “Aubrey Berg said he had waited over 20 years to direct this musical at CCM and he could not have done it more effectively, with some masterful choices.” Musical Director Steve Goers also was commended for his, “direction of these fine voices and in the outstanding orchestral accompaniment;” he did a, “wonderful job with taking a beast of a show and making it sing beautifully”.

The panelists were impressed by the entire ensemble: “the show absolutely showcased the incredible depth of CCM‘s students… the talent level continues to amaze.” Blaine Krauss, as Jean Valjean, “gave a sensitive, true portrayal of the character… his voice was moving… he should go directly to Broadway.”

Panelists also singled out Colin Kessler, as Javert, for his “outstanding” performance and “remarkable voice”, as well as Matthew Paul Hill’s portrayal of Thenardier: “hilarious in an evil and unctuous manner. He almost stole the show.”

Note: this review was based on the opening night cast. On alternate nights, the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert are also played by Julian Decker and Noah Ricketts, respectively.

Final LCT awards will be determined at the end of the season and announced at the LCT gala in the spring. You can learn more about CCM’s production of Les Misérables here.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

CCM Adds Naumburg Competition Winner Soyeon Kate Lee to Piano Faculty

CCM welcomes Assistant Professor of Music in Piano Soyeon Kate Lee to its faculty. Her appointment begins in August of 2014.

CCM welcomes Assistant Professor of Music in Piano Soyeon Kate Lee to its faculty. Her appointment begins in August of 2014.

Dean Peter Landgren today announced the appointment of pianist Soyeon Kate Lee to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Piano. First prize winner of the prestigious Naumburg International Piano Competition in 2010, Lee has been hailed by the New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style,” while the Washington Post has lauded her for her “stunning command of the keyboard.”

Lee joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Music in Piano beginning in August of 2014. Her appointment gives CCM the rare distinction of having two Naumburg Piano Competition winners on faculty (CCM Piano Department Chair Awadagin Pratt also took first prize in 1992).

Lee has been rapturously received as guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, symphony orchestras of Columbus, Bangor, Bozeman, Boca Raton, Wyoming, Bozeman, Cheyenne, Napa Valley, Scottsdale, Abilene, Naples, Santa Fe and Shreveport in the United States; the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), Ulsan Symphony Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta de Valencia (Spain) and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Dominican Republic), including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jahja Ling, Jorge Mester and Otto-Werner Mueller.

An active Naxos recording artist, her third CD featuring Liszt opera transcriptions was released earlier this year and she will return to the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto for a two-CD recording of Scriabin’s piano works in April.

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CCM Slideshows: Les Misérables

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Tonight through March 9, CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. In honor of opening night, we present a stunning preview slideshow courtesy of photographer Mark Lyons!

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production.

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CCM Opera Chair Robin Guarino Discusses Latest Projects with the ‘New York Times’

Ryan Howell, a 2013 graduate of CCM's Set Design program, in character in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court for Gotham Chamber Opera's new production of Monteverdi's 'Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda.' Photography courtesy of Robin Guarino.

Ryan Howell, a 2013 graduate of CCM’s Set Design program, in character in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court for Gotham Chamber Opera’s new production of Monteverdi’s ‘Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda.’ Photography courtesy of Robin Guarino.

The New York Times recently featured Gotham Chamber Opera‘s bold new double-bill production of Claudio Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You, which is being staged at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York this week (Feb. 26 and 27).

Robin Guarino, CCM’s J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera, directs both works and discusses the unique experience of staging operas in an art museum in the New York Times piece, which you can read online here.

Guarino’s cast for this highly anticipated double-bill production includes three CCM alumni: Craig Verm (MM, ’04), Sarah Tucker (MM, ’11) and Ryan Howell (MFA, ’13). You can learn more about this production by visiting www.gothamchamberopera.org.

‘Hear the People Sing’ in CCM’s Highly Anticipated Mainstage Production of ‘Les Misérables’

Seniors Blaine Krauss as Jean Valjean and Kimber Sprawl as Fantine in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Les Misérables.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Seniors Blaine Krauss as Jean Valjean and Kimber Sprawl as Fantine in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Les Misérables.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series presents the CCM debut production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, this iconic show runs Feb. 27 – March 9 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now.

Set in France in the early 19th-century, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean and his quest for salvation after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his starving sister’s child. Relentlessly tracked and hounded by police inspector Javert, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a student revolution, as a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.

Les Misérables was first presented at the Palais des Sports in Paris in 1980. Its English language adaptation opened at the Barbican Centre in London in 1985, overcoming bad notices through word of mouth and launching the beginning of what has turned out to be a global sensation. The Broadway production opened in 1987 and ran until 2003, closing after 6,680 performances. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production. He explains, “I have been waiting not-so-patiently to present Les Misérables with the students at CCM for over twenty years, since I first saw it at the Barbican Theatre in 1985. It is an ideal vehicle for our talented students and production staff. We are extremely excited to bring a ‘local’ production of this master work to Cincinnati audiences.”

With a score by Schönberg that has risen to pop-culture status, Les Misérables presents an incredible learning opportunity to CCM students. “Needless to say,” continued Berg, “the musical theatre majors were thrilled at the prospect of working on these meaty parts.” In order to involve as many students as possible, the notable roles of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert are double-cast. The cast for a particular performance will be displayed in the lobby prior to each show.

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NBC’s 2014 Olympic Coverage Features the Iconic Music of CCM Alumnus Randy Edelman

NBCSochiLogoTelevision viewers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have a CCM alumnus to thank for the rousing theme music featured in NBC’s coverage of the games.

Beginning with the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the NBC television network has used music originally composed by distinguished alumnus Randy Edelman (CCM ’69, HonDoc ’04) extensively in its televised sports broadcasts.

A prominent singer, songwriter, arranger and film scorer, Edelman has led a prolific career since concluding his studies at CCM and has regularly seen his film and television scores find a second life in NBC’s sports coverage. Below, you can listen to the closing credits soundtrack for NBC’s Olympics coverage, which features Edelman’s “World of the Heart” and “Finale.”

As the Los Angeles Times has previously reported, the heroic music used by NBC to promote upcoming Olympic competitions was originally the theme for the comedy-western television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. You can view the original title sequence for that program (complete with Edelman’s score) below:

This theme has come to soundtrack NBC’s Olympic coverage for nearly 20 years and has also been used in the network’s coverage of Major League Baseball playoffs and other major sporting events.

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CCM Presents Free Performances of Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les Sortilèges’ Feb. 21-23

LEnfantSortilegesThe University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s award-winning undergraduate opera series (also known as “CCM Opera d’arte”) presents Maurice Ravel’s one-act opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges from Feb. 21-23 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The title of Ravel’s second opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges: Fantaisie lyrique en deux parties translates to The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts. The opera tells the story of a young boy who, after being scolded by his mother, throws a destructive tantrum in his room. He is then surprised to watch the furniture and decorations become plants and animals that begin to talk. The child is left to fend for himself in a garden of creatures that remember the harm he inflicted on them before they could speak. It is a fantastical voyage for the whole family that not only showcases vast imagination, but also reminds us of the consequences our actions can have.

Directed by CCM Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw and CCM Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson with music direction by Assistant Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott, L’Enfant et les Sortileges is being produced in collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). This collaboration between CCM and DAAP grew largely from student interest, according to Shaw

“We met, developed ideas and then called on students to submit designs for sets and costumes. We selected aspects from three submissions and distilled the project into a Co-Op for DAAP position, filled by student Katie Iles,” Shaw explains. “The production presents the title role of the Child as a young, budding artist, so his paintings come to life, along with other inanimate objects. It’s just another dramatic device that seems to work well for this piece.

“Because each role, except for The Child, is brief,” Shaw continues, “our students can concentrate on their work and focus their energies more efficiently on singing well, acting with specificity and going beyond the normal human range of emotions into the world of the surreal.”

This production promises to bring light and warmth to an otherwise very chilly winter. Join Opera d’arte for a delightful escape!

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