CCM Welcomes Acclaimed Director Emma Griffin to its Opera Faculty

Please join us in welcoming Emma Griffin to CCM’s Department of Opera! Photography by Heather Phelps-Lipton.

Please join us in welcoming Emma Griffin to CCM’s Department of Opera! Photography by Heather Phelps-Lipton.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of stage director Emma Griffin to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Opera. Griffin joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Music in Opera/Directing beginning in August of 2014.

Lauded by the New York Times for her “intelligent staging,” Griffin earned her BFA in Theatre from New York University in 1994 and has served as adjunct faculty in directing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts since 1999.

She is the Artistic Director of the OBIE-award winning Salt Theater. Highlights with Salt include Stage Door where she was awarded a FringeNYC Excellence Award for Best Director, Rinne Groff’s Inky, The Cherry Orchard and Conquest of the Universe.

Griffin has also directed work at theaters such as Perseverance Theater, Geva Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor’s Express, Virginia Stage and Williamstown Theater Festival.

She is a frequent collaborator on new music and theater pieces, including Corey Dargel’s Removable Parts, which received an “Outstanding Performance Art Production” at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards and Thirteen Near Death Experiences; Susan Bernfield and Rachel Peters’ Stretch, a fantasia; and Phil Kline’s Out Cold & Zippo Songs at BAM’s Next Wave Festival.

Griffin’s opera credits include The Cunning Little Vixen and Wozzeck at the Opera Philadelphia/Curtis Opera Theater; I Capuleti e i Montecchi, The Rake’s Progress, Postcard from Morocco and The Magic Flute at Curtis Opera Theater; and Les Mamelles de Tirésias and The Cunning Little Vixen at Juilliard Opera. The New York Observer hailed her production of The Cunning Little Vixen as one of the “Top 10 Performances of 2013.”

Griffin is currently developing the performance piece Backstage Door with playwright Sybil Kempson and The Three Christs, a new work by composer Corey Dargel for the NEWSPEAK ensemble.

Learn more about CCM’s accomplished faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

CCM Musical Theatre Presents Annual Senior Showcase on March 13 and 15

Moveable Feast 2012, Musical Theatre Choir

CCM’s Class of 2014 in Musical Theatre, performing during CCM’s 2012 Moveable Feast. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Cincinnati audiences will get a sneak peek of an original showcase created by the 2014 graduating class from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre during the annual “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, which runs on March 13 (Friends of CCM benefit performance) and March 15 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The March 13 benefit performance starts at 7 p.m. and features dinner by the bite and a post-performance celebration. Tickets for this benefit event are on sale now. For tickets and additional information, click here.

The March 15 performances take place at 5 and 8 p.m. and are free, but reservations are required. Tickets for these free performances become available at noon on Monday, March 10.

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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.

CCM Alumnus Todd Almond Hosts Free Master Class on Nov. 22

Alumnus Todd Almond studied voice and drama while at CCM.

Alumnus Todd Almond studied voice and drama while at CCM.

CCM welcomes distinguished alumnus Todd Almond (BM, 99) for a free master class from 10:10 a.m. until 12:10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. This event is open to the general public.

Almond will detail his journey from the University of Cincinnati to New York City and will answer questions about his professional career. Since graduating, he has recorded five albums of original music, written musicals (including Girlfriend, People Like Us, On the Levee) and created original community-based productions of Odyssey for the Old Globe Theatre and The Tempest in Central Park for the Public Theatre.

He will perform some excerpts from his original works during Friday’s master class, too. You can listen to music from Almond’s last albums at www.toddalmond.com/audio.

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CCM Student Named Central Region Winner of the Met Opera’s National Council Auditions

CCM student Sofia Selowsky.

CCM student Sofia Selowsky.

We are happy to report that mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky is the Central Region Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

A Master of Music candidate studying with CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw, Selowsky will compete in the Semi-Final Auditions on March 23, 2014.

You can learn more about the Met’s 2013-2014 National Council Audition Results here.

Earlier this year, Selowsky won the Italo Tajo Memorial Award during CCM’s 2013 Opera Scholarship Competition.

CCM and Constella Festival Present Roig-Francolí and Friends in Concert on Oct. 8

Miguel A. Roig-Francolí Professor, Music Theory & Composition, College-Conservatory of Music. photo/Lisa Ventre

Miguel A. Roig-Francolí Professor, Music Theory & Composition, College-Conservatory of Music. photo/Lisa Ventre

CCM celebrates the work of Music Theory and Composition Professor Miguel A. Roig-Francolí with a concert at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8, presented in conjunction with the 2013 Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts. Held in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, the performance is free and open to the general public.

The evening will feature five of Roig-Francolí’s chamber works performed by CCM faculty and students, including Cincinnati premieres of Songs of the Infinite, for violin and piano, and Songs of Light and Darkness, for piano trio. The concert will feature performances by Timothy Lees and Jennifer Roig-Francolí, violin; Ilya Finkelshteyn, cello; Abigail Santos Villalobos, soprano; and James Tocco, Michael Chertock and Edward Neeman, piano.

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CCM Alumnus David Daniels Profiled in April 2013 issue of ‘Opera News’

Photographed by Michal Daniel as Orfeo in the Minnesota Opera production of Orfeo ed Euridice, 2010  © Michal Daniel 2013

Photographed by Michal Daniel as Orfeo in the Minnesota Opera production of Orfeo ed Euridice, 2010
© Michal Daniel 2013

CCM alumnus David Daniels (BM, 1990) is profiled in the April issue of Opera News, which is on newsstands now. As previously reported, the acclaimed countertenor is a 2012 Opera News Award-winner.

In the lengthy profile, Opera News editor Adam Wasserman writes, “Daniels has the uncanny ability to bridge the gap and make us believe that the composer’s note barely had time to dry on the page before it came forth from his mouth. It seems to me that the highest compliment one can pay Daniels — now in the third decade of an unprecedented career in opera — is that the music he sings sounds both strikingly contemporary and as though it were written precisely for his voice.”

Read the entire profile here.

Daniels will be singing the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Giulio Cesare this month. The production is scheduled to be broadcast as a part of the Met’s “Live in HD” Series on April 27, 2013.

CCM Students Named Finalists in 2013 Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition

Congratulations to current CCM student Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) and alumna Heather Phillips (BM Voice, MM Voice, 2002-08) on being named finalists in the 2013 Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition! Held annually by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singer-actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, and emphasizes the acting of songs and arias within a dramatic context.

The Kurt Weill Foundation awards special prizes at the finals in addition to the top prizes and we are delighted to report that current CCM students Conor McDonald (MM Voice, 2014), Katie Wesler (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) and Sofia Selowsky (MM Voice, 2014) were awarded Emerging Talent Awards. Current Artist Diploma candidate Charles Z. Owen (MM, 2012) received the 2013 Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal Promise.

Congratulations to our two finalists and our four award-winners!

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CCM Slideshows: The Threepenny Opera

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CCM proudly presents The Threepenny Opera, running tonight, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

Learn more The Threepenny Opera here.

“[Stage Director Robin] Guarino fearlessly goes back to the musical satire’s socio-political roots in 1920s Berlin,” Jackie Demaline writes in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everything about The Threepenny Opera carries out Guarino’s vision, as the cast prowl scenic designer John Arnone’s industrial set of catwalks, with the small orchestra (in costume) perched at the top. Musical director Roger Grodsky as always asks much and gets all from singers and musicians.”

Read Demaline’s full review here.

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A New Sneak Peek at the Scenic Design of ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of 'The Threepenny Opera.'

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of ‘The Threepenny Opera.’

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes this week with Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s epic musical The Threepenny Opera. Today, we are happy to provide a preview of the show’s set, courtesy of Alexandra Kuntz, a sophomore in CCM’s Scenic Design program and Assistant to Guest Scenic Designer John Arnone on this production.

Learn more about this dynamic new production, which features set designs by Tony Award-winner John Arnone.

“Set in the mid-19th century, Macheath (otherwise known as ‘Mack the Knife’) runs the town with his rag tag band of ruffians and gets what he wants,” Kuntz explains. “His latest want just happens to be Polly Peachum, daughter of the Beggar’s Lord of London (Johnathan Jeremiah Peachum), who doesn’t take too kindly to Mack the Knife’s interest in his daughter. Doing anything to keep them apart, Peachum uses broads, bribes and blackmails to get Mack out of the picture, while Macheath’s life hangs in the balance.”

This production contains mature subject matter.

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