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 Slideshows: Don Pasquale

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Mary Ellyn Hutton calls CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale a “fast-moving delight start to finish, with beautiful singing, lively acting and a lovely-to-look-at, period production” in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer! Read the full review here.

This week’s issue of CityBeat features an excellent profile of Don Pasquale‘s director, CCM graduate student Omer Ben-Seadia. You can read that Anne Arenstein-penned story online here.

Don Pasquale plays through this Sunday, April 6, and tickets are still available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/donpasquale. Continue reading

CCM’s Mainstage Opera Series Presents Donizetti’s ‘Don Pasquale’ April 3-6

William Tvrdik as the title character in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Don Pasquale.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

William Tvrdik as the title character in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Don Pasquale.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Opera Series proudly presents Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale from April 3–6 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. This beloved opera buffa is conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by accomplished artist’s diploma student Omer Ben-Seadia. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

A comedic masterpiece that has captivated audiences since its 1843 premiere, Don Pasquale remains one of the most popular of Donizetti’s nearly 70 operas. On its surface, the opera details the plight of Ernesto, who fights to follow his heart rather than marry the woman his haughty old uncle Don Pasquale thinks he should. Outraged, the lifelong bachelor Pasquale decides to cut Ernesto out of his will and simply father his own heir, instead! A series of uproarious twists and turns ensues as a raucous ensemble of characters begin to take over the Pasquale homestead.

While it is easy to root for Ernesto and true love to prevail, Ben-Seadia suggests that it is Don Pasquale who serves as the true hero of this opera. She explains, “With all that is at stake, Pasquale is the one willing to risk it all… not just for love but for life. Sure we love to see him fail, but after all is said and done we look at Pasquale not with pity, but with the hope that he in fact will try again.”

Don Pasquale's house staff. Photography by Tom Umfrid.

Don Pasquale’s house staff. Photography by Tom Umfrid.

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CCM Video: A Sneak Peek at CCM’s Scenic Design for ‘Metamorphoses’

CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater recently underwent a dramatic metamorphosis of its own in anticipation of our upcoming production of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses. Today, CCM student Alexi Ortiz provides us with a time-lapse video of last weekend’s load-in, which includes an early look at Metamorphoses‘ much-talked-about on-stage pool.

Scenic Designer Dana Hall and Technical Director Christian Mikkelsen (both of whom are students at CCM) provide additional insight on this process to the News Record‘s Jake Grieco here.

Based on the classic myths of Ovid, Metamorphoses runs Feb. 5 (preview) – 9. Guest artist D. Lynn Meyers directs. The production is intended for mature audiences.

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Getting to Know Wesley Fay Yount, CCM Graduating Senior and Stage Management Major

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

This December, Wesley Fay Yount of Centerville, Ohio will graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from CCM’s highly selective stage management program. At the age of 20, Yount will be the youngest recipient of a bachelor’s degree in UC’s Fall Commencement Ceremony. Thanks to CCM’s immersive stage management program, she has already gained a wealth of professional experience in her field of choice.

Yount was first drawn to the performing arts through Centerville High School’s theatre program and she found the role of the stage manager particularly intriguing. “Stage management always appealed to me because I saw it as the perfect blend between the artistic and the technical,” she says.

“The stage manger’s task is to take care of the details so that the director, designers and cast can be free to develop the art of the production,” explains CCM Professor of Stage Management Michele Kay. In many ways, the stage manager serves as the logistical nexus for complex productions and is often called upon to think and react quickly in critical situations.

In short, Yount characterizes a stage manager as “a leader, confidant, facilitator, conductor, puzzle-solver, handyman and encyclopedia.”

Coming to UC was an easy choice for Yount. “When I discovered in my college search that one of the top technical theatre schools in the country was less than an hour from my hometown, it was a no-brainer,” she says. “The faculty’s real-world experience and connections, the resources available to students and the scale and sheer number of productions set CCM apart from other BFA programs.” Continue reading

‘Hunger Games’ Film Series Features Make-Up Design By CCM Alumnus Bradley Look

CCM alumnus Bradley Look.

CCM alumnus Bradley Look.

Fans of the Hunger Games film series have another opportunity to see CCM alumnus Bradley Look’s handiwork in action. Look (MFA, 88) served as one of the makeup artists for the original film phenomenon and returns for the long-awaited sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in theatres now!

Since studying Make-Up and Wig Design at CCM, Look has become an Emmy-winner and one of the most sought-after make-up artists in the industry.

Learn more about Look’s work on both popular television programs and on major motion pictures courtesy of UC Magazine.

CCM Lighting Design Student Receives Electronic Theatre Controls’ 2013 Student Sponsorship Award

Lighting Design graduate student Angelina Vyushkova.

Lighting Design graduate student Angelina Vyushkova.

Congratulations to MFA Lighting Design candidate Angelina Vyushkova on receiving Electronic Theatre Controls‘ (ETC) 2013 LDI Student Sponsorship. Now in its 14th year, this program awards exceptional lighting design and stage technology students an all-expense-paid trip to the LDI 2013 trade show, where they will get a behind-the-scenes look at new technology and get to network with industry professionals.

Vyushkova and six other sponsorship recipients are also matched with industry luminaries, who offer individual support, advice and encouragement to the students as they launch their careers. You can learn more about ETC’s 2013 LDI Student Sponsorship recipients here.

Now a CCM graduate student, Vyushkova received a bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis on theatre design and production from Texas Christian University in 2012. Originally from Russia, she earned a diploma from Perm Art College #1 in 2004. Her light designs have been seen on stage at the Hardy and Betty Sanders Theatre, the W.E. Scott Theatre, and Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Spend Your Halloween in Hollywood with ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

CCM presents SINGIN' IN THE RAIN.

Seniors Katie Wesler and Max Clayton are Kathy Selden and Don Lockwood in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, running Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. Diane Lala directs. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Join us for the opening night performance of the beloved film musical Singin’ in the Rain at 8 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 31.

This joyous stage adaptation of what the New York Times calls, “the happiest movie musical ever made,” is directed by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala and promises to be full of films, flashbacks and (of course) plenty of falling rain! No tricks – we promise you’re in for a “treat!”

Tickets are still available for the opening night performance, which will be held in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Learn more about CCM’s production of Singin’ in the Rain here.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Continues With a Joyous Stage Adaptation of ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ Oct. 31 – Nov. 3

Senior Musical Theatre major Max Clayton is Don Lockwood in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Singin' in the Rain,' running Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 in Corbett Auditorium.

Senior Musical Theatre major Max Clayton is Don Lockwood in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 in Corbett Auditorium.

CCM brings one of Hollywood’s most-loved musicals to life with a graceful stage adaptation of Singin’ in the Rain, running Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

Based on the 1952 American musical comedy film of the same name, Singin’ in the Rain offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood during the transition from silent films to “talkies.” The story centers on popular silent film star Don Lockwood (originally portrayed by Gene Kelly, who also choreographed and co-directed the classic film), his shallow leading lady Lina Lamont, his sidekick Cosmo Brown and aspiring actress Kathy Selden.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre and resident choreographer Diane Lala directs this production, which she describes as a “wonderful revisiting of a true classic.” The recipient of the 2012 Big Easy Theater Award for Best Choreography and the 2011 Big Easy Theatre Award for Best Director, Lala also collaborates with Adjunct Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre/Dance Patti James on the choreography of this dance-filled production, which she promises will showcase a wide variety of different dance forms, from ballet to tap and beyond.

Graduate student Ryan Sigurdson provides musical direction under the supervision of Associate Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky. With a glorious score by Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Arthur Freed, standards such as “Good Morning,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” “You Are My Lucky Star” and the legendary “Singin’ in the Rain” will have audience members leaving the theater humming.

Of course it wouldn’t be Singin’ in the Rain without buckets of rain, silent films and “talkies” from the original movie. Before proposing this production, Lala approached CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production and Division of Electronic Media to ensure that her vision for the show was possible. “For a show like this to be able to happen, it takes a village,” Lala explains. With scenic design by Mark Halpin, technical direction by Steve Miller, multimedia expertise of Electronic Media Professors Kevin Burke and Lakshmi Tirumala and student video director Sam Pennybacker, this production has provided ample opportunities for interdepartmental and interdisciplinary collaboration. This production of Singin’ in the Rain even involved Professor of Drama and resident Fight Master k. Jenny Jones, who choreographed the fighting and stage combat for one of the silent movies featured in the show. The result is a live performance that will be filled with films, flashbacks and falling rain.

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CCM Alumnus Travis Hagenbuch Nominated For Fourth Primetime Emmy

CCM Alumnus Travis Hagenbuch with the first two Emmys he won.

CCM Alumnus Travis Hagenbuch with the first two Emmys he won.

CCM alumnus Travis Hagenbuch (BFA, 2007) was nominated for his fourth primetime Emmy award this year (ceremonies were held on Sept. 22).

Nominated in the category of “Lighting Design,” Hagenbuch has designed lighting for such live televised events as the Olympics, President Obama’s inaugural celebration, a Super Bowl halftime show with Tom Petty, the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, BET Awards, as well as TV specials for Lionel Richie, Betty White’s 90th birthday and Celine Dion.

The three Emmys has won to date are for the Vancouver Olympics’ opening ceremony in 2010 and for two Grammy ceremonies in 2011 and 2012.

You can learn more about Travis Hagenbuch courtesy of UC Magazine.