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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CCM Dance Makes its Mainstage Debut with ‘Giselle’ April 17-19

Photography by Will Brenner.

Photography by Will Brenner.

CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents the romantic ballet Giselle from April 17–19 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. This lavish production is being presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of CCM’s dance program.

Giselle is directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and features accompaniment by the CCM Concert Orchestra, conducted by Assistant Professor of Conducting Annunziata Tomaro.

One of the most romantic and beloved ballets about love’s triumph over treachery and death, Giselle continues to stir the emotions of audiences of all ages. When a young peasant girl is seduced and betrayed by a nobleman, she dies of a broken heart and joins the ranks of the Wilis, female spirits scorned before their wedding days and doomed to take their revenge upon men by dancing them to death. In the end, Giselle’s ghost tries to protect her lover from the vengeance of this group of evil female spirits.

“The traditional choreography that has been passed down to the present day derives primarily from the revivals staged by Marius Petipa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg,” explains director Jiang Qi.

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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.

‘Metamorphoses’ Earns Four Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM's presents ' Metamorphoses' Feb. 5 (preview) - 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s presents ‘ Metamorphoses’ Feb. 5 (preview) – 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized our Mainstage Series production of Metamorphoses with a Four Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised Metamorphoses as “a rare, exemplary experience to behold in a theater. The pool, lighting, use of space, direction, transitions, performances and the stories–Myths of Ovid–were compelling, touching, sad, hopeful and even risky.”

D. Lynn Meyers was commended for her direction: “In her hands, Ovid’s dreams ‘were magically realized and lushly furnished with a vision as tender as it was daring’.”

Dana Hall, for scenic design, and Wes Richter, for lighting design, were singled out for designs that were “beautifully evocative, integral to the story-telling, and well-executed”.

Finally, the entire ensemble was lauded for their work: “Bravo to the cast who cast a spell upon this audience member.”

Metamorphoses plays through tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, Feb. 9). For more information about the production, visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/metamorphoses.

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Cincinnati CityBeat Shows CCM Student, Alum and Upcoming Production Some Love in Latest Issue

CityBeat's "Love List" issue is on newsstands now.

CityBeat’s “Love List” issue is on newsstands now.

The Feb. 5 – 11 issue of CityBeat is on newsstands now and we are delighted to report that the magazine’s “Love List” features CCM alumnus Drew Klein and senior musical theatre major Blaine Krauss!

A graduate of CCM’s Electronic Media program, Klein has been making a name for himself as the Contemporary Arts Center’s first-ever performance curator. You can read his full profile here.

Krauss can next be seen as Jean Valjean in CCM’s upcoming Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables, playing Feb. 27 – March 9 in Patricia Corbett Theater. You can read his full profile here.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Rick Pender also previews this week’s production of Metamorphoses at CCM (also in Patricia Corbett Theater) and NKU’s upcoming production of Arabian Nights, both written by Mary Zimmerman.

Visit citybeat.com/cincinnati to view the full issue online.

From Ovid to Mary Zimmerman: A Classicist Introduces the Metamorphoses

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This Saturday at 1:15 p.m., UC’s Department of Classics will host a FREE “Classical Conversation,” presented in conjunction with CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Metamorphoses.

Come and take a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Ovid and myth that inspired Mary Zimmerman’s award-winning drama with UC Professor of Classics Lauren Ginsberg.

Zimmerman has often noted how Ovid’s epic of mythological transformations inspired her Tony Award winning stage production. In particular, she is fascinated by how stories removed from us in time and space can help articulate timeless truths about human nature. Ginsberg’s talk will further explore the fascinating Ovidian background to Zimmerman’s text.

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Cincinnati Public Radio, Cincinnati Enquirer and Gramophone Magazine Preview CCM’s February Performances

The latest installment of WVXU’s Around Cincinnati features a number of upcoming CCM performances! First up, guest artist D. Lynn Meyers gives Jim Stump a preview of this week’s Mainstage Production of Metamorphoses (Feb. 5 – 9). You can listen to their full conversation here.

Later on in the program, Brian O’Donnell speaks with CCM faculty members Awadagin Pratt and Michael Chertock about the Bearcat Piano Festival and Pianopalooza (Feb. 6 – 16). You can listen to the interview here.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s list of Top Arts Picks for February is also filled with CCM happenings, including the Bearcat Piano Festival, Metamorphoses, and Les Misérables (Feb. 27 – March 9). Read the full preview here.

Even Gramophone Magazine’s latest podcast features an upcoming CCM performance, as James Jolly speaks with guest artist Gerald Finley about his current tour with pianist Julius Drake, which comes to CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on Feb. 5! You can download the podcast here.

Familiar Myths Take on Magical New Forms in CCM’s Mainstage Production of ‘Metamorphoses’

Senior drama major Madeline McKenzie in CCM's production of 'Metamorphoses,' playing Feb. 5 (preview) - 9, 2014. Photography by Stirling Scot Shelton.

Senior drama major Madeline McKenzie in CCM’s production of ‘Metamorphoses,’ playing Feb. 5 (preview) – 9, 2014. Photography by Stirling Scot Shelton.

CCM’s Mainstage Series resumes in February with a new production of Mary Zimmerman’s award-winning Metamorphoses. Based on the classic myths of Ovid, this entrancing drama runs Feb. 6 – 9 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, with a special preview performance at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Guest artist D. Lynn Meyers directs. The production is intended for mature audiences.

From a simple, rippling pool of water, Metamorphoses conjures a series of familiar myths into gorgeous theatrical imagery. The winner of two Drama Desk Awards and one Tony Award after its Broadway run in 2002, this entrancing theatrical event retells the classic stories of King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, Narcissus and more.

To realize Zimmerman’s bold vision for Metamorphoses, an on-stage pool fills 576 square feet of Patricia Corbett Theater for this production. This pool holds 4,000 gallons of water, weighing roughly 10 tons, and ranges in depth from just a few inches to nearly two feet. Although the element of water is central to all of the myths featured in Metamorphoses, the pool’s function changes from vignette to vignette, sometimes serving as a simple washing basin or swimming pool, while other times standing in for the River Styx or the sea.

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CCM Presents Mary Zimmerman’s ‘Metamorphoses’ Feb. 5 – 9, 2014

CCM presents Mary Zimmerman's METAMORPHOSES Feb. 5 - 9, 2014.

Next month, CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes with Mary Zimmerman’s Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning Metamorphoses, directed by guest artist D. Lynn Meyers.

Based on the classic myths of Ovid, this entrancing drama runs Feb. 5 (preview) – 9 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production is intended for mature audiences only.

For more information, visit ccm.uc.edu.

CCM Performances and Collaborations Highlighted on Several “Best of 2013″ Lists

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As we ring in a new year, several local arts writers have released their “year in review” lists for 2013. Rafael de Acha, Mary Ellyn Hutton, Kirk Sheppard, Rick Pender and Janelle Gelfand help us take a look back at the year that was:

In his “best of” roundup for Music for All Seasons, Rafael de Acha commented, “(CCM) consistently achieves professional level in its numerous productions of operas, musicals and concerts which approached the four-digit mark this past year.” Last spring’s original production of Into a Lamplit Room: The Songs of Kurt Weill and the recent concert production of Verdi’s Don Carlos, along with CCM’s Mainstage Series productions of Singin’ in the Rain and Owen Wingrave, all received special mention in de Acha’s review.

Mary Ellyn Hutton presented her top 16 performances for Music in Cincinnati, which included three CCM productions: Verdi’s Don Carlos, Bach’s St. John Passion and Britten’s Owen Wingrave. Of Verdi’s Don Carlos, Hutton commented, “This gets my vote as perhaps the single finest concert of 2013 in Cincinnati.”

Compiled for The Snappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard‘s list of favorite theatre productions of 2013 included last spring’s Mainstage production of The Threepenny Opera and the Studio production of Parade produced in collaboration with the Carnegie in Covington. This past fall’s CCM productions of Carrie and Singin’ in the Rain also made Sheppard’s list.

Rick Pender included two CCM productions in his 2013 round up of theatre in Cincinnati for CityBeat. Last spring’s co-production of Parade with the Carnegie and the recent Mainstage production of Singin’ in the Rain received special attention.

Janelle Gelfand also included CCM’s massive concert production of Don Carlos in her list of “Top 13 Classical Music Shows in 2013″ for the Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition to her performance-specific list, she published a summary of “arts highlights” for the year, which included the work of the MYCincinnati after-school program in East Price Hill (learn more about CCM’s connection to the organization here) and the new partnership between Cincinnati’s World Piano Competition, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM.

What were your favorite performances of 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014? Get a first look at what’s coming up at CCM in 2014 here!