CCM and the ‘La Calisto’ Connection

 

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Cincinnati Opera’s season continues this week with a production of Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto (July 17 – 27), a Baroque opera that has a long history with CCM.

Cincinnati Opera’s current production features a number of CCM alumni in the cast, including Michael Maniaci (BM, 1999) as Endymion, Nathan Stark (AD, 2009) as Sylvano, Andrew Garland (MM, 2002; AD, 2004) as Mercurio and Daniel Okulitch as Jove.

La Calisto drew limited audiences during its initial run of 11 performances in 1651. The long-forgotten opera was resurrected by British conductor Raymond Leppard at the 1970 Glyndebourne Festival. CCM actually mounted the American premiere of La Calisto in April of 1972, with a production conducted by Carmon DeLeone with stage direction by the Metropolitan Opera’s Henry Butler.

That production’s cast featured Barbara Daniels, Leigh Dodson, Tom Fox, Brad Liebl, Don Ronci and Nancy Stelling, amongst others. Photos from that 1972 production are featured in the slideshow above!

Learn even more about CCM’s connections to La Calisto courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

CCM Students and Alumni Featured in NANOWorks’ Season Closing Productions June 27 – 29

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley, co-founder of NANOWorks.

We are delighted to report that North American New Opera Workshop’s (NANOWorks) season-closing production of Marie Incontrera’s At the Other Side of the Earth and Eric Knechtges’ Last Call will feature a number of current and former CCM students!

This exciting double-bill production opens with the Midwestern premiere of Incontrera’s riot girl opera, showcasing the talents of sopranos Molly Hanes (MM, 2013), Autumn West (MM, 2013) and Esther Kang (MM, 2012), along with bass-baritone Ben Flanders (MM, 1998). Instrumentalists for this piece include violinists Nick Naegele (BM, 2007; MM, 2008; AD, 2010) and Dylan Firlie (current BM student), along with rehearsal pianist Stephen Variames (AD, 2014).

The production also features the world premiere of Knechtges’ Last Call, an opera loosely based on Cincinnati’s gay bar scene. That work features mezzo-soprano Lauren McAllister (MM, 2014) and sopranos Stacey Sands (MM, 2010) and Katherine Krueger (MM, 2012).

Aik Khai Pung (MM, 2009) conducts both operas.

NANOWorks’ season-closing double-bill runs June 27 – 29 at the Cabaret Room above the Below Zero Lounge. Learn more about both works by visiting www.nanoworksopera.com.

NANOWorks was co-founded by CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (MM, 2009; DMA, 2012) and is dedicated to raising the spotlight on young singers, composers, librettists, directors, choreographers and other company artists in order to give them a stepping stone to national attention.

Last July, Opera News’ Kyle MacMillan profiled Jolly and observed that NANOWorks is based in Cincinnati “partly because Jolley and her collaborators live there and partly because of the rich pool of vocal talent there, due to the presence of the respected University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.”

CCM Spotlights Talented Young Performers and Acclaimed Guest Artists During Summer 2014 Performance Series

Marianna Prjevalskaya, 2013 World Piano Competition Gold Medalist. Photography by David Rafie.

Marianna Prjevalskaya, 2013 World Piano Competition Gold Medalist. Photography by David Rafie.

Young artists from all corners of the globe will make their way to Cincinnati this summer to work with CCM’s world-class faculty and renowned guest artists while in residence at the state-of-the-art CCM Village.

CCM offers a wide array of high caliber summer programs, and the general public can experience the artistry themselves during a series of nearly 50 public performances and guest artist recitals running Monday, June 9, through Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

A complete schedule of summer performances is listed below, with highlights including the World Piano Competition’s Finalists Concert featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on June 28, the Art of the Piano’s Guest Artist Recital Series (curated by CCM faculty member and World Piano Competition Artistic Director Awadagin Pratt) running June 27 – July 11, the Classical Guitar Workshop’s Concert Series running July 13 – 19 and a semi-staged production of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) on Aug. 9.

CCM’s Preparatory Department also hosts a number of workshops and immersion programs at CCM Village and at various off-campus locations throughout the summer, including the Cincinnati Young Artist Chamber Music Workshop Series, which features performances by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra cellist and CCM faculty member Alan Rafferty, CCM Professor of Viola Catharine Carroll and CCM string quartet-in-residence the Ariel Quartet. Other highlights include the Centerstage Workshop production of Hoodie playing June 27 – 28 at UC Blue Ash’s Muntz Theater and the Cincinnati Children’s Choir’s summer concert on Aug. 2.

Learn more about these and dozens of other performing and media arts events by referring to the list below. You can also view a digital copy of CCM’s Summer 2014 Performance Calendar by clicking here. Continue reading

CCM Alumna Amanda Woodbury Makes Solo Debut with Cincinnati May Festival This Weekend

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) will make her Cincinnati May Festival debut as a soloist this Saturday (and will also perform a preconcert recital tonight) and the Cincinnati Enquirer provides a preview in a new Q&A with the soprano.

Earlier this year, Woodbury was named a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions (along with fellow CCM alum Yi Li) and a 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipient (along with fellow CCM alum John Holiday).

She reflects on those recent successes and on her time at CCM in the feature, telling the Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand, “I sang two roles onstage [at CCM], Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites. I can’t tell you how much that has helped my career. It helped me to prepare for the next step, and just everything they did opened up doors for me. I’m so glad I went to CCM, because I passed up Juilliard for CCM.” Continue reading

CCM Students and Alums Featured in Queen City Chamber Opera’s Upcoming Production of ‘Die Walküre’

Queen City Chamber Opera presents 'Die Walküre.'

Queen City Chamber Opera presents ‘Die Walküre.’

A number of current and former CCM students will be featured in Queen City Chamber Opera‘s upcoming production of act one of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre.

Presented at the Dunham Arts Center on May 23 (the day after Wagner’s 201st birthday!) and 25, the fully staged production will last roughly 75 minutes.

CCM alumnus Isaac Selya (DMA, 2014) serves as Artistic Director of the Queen City Chamber Opera and will conduct these performances. Cincinnati Wagner Society President James Slouffman directs.

CCM alumnus and International Wagner Competition finalist Ric Furman sings the role of Siegmund, while CCM artist diploma candidate William Tvrdik sings the role of Hunding. Tvrdik recently sang the title role in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale.

The role of Sieglinde will be sung by Kimberly Buczek, who is currently on the voice faculty of both Wright State University and Wittenberg University.

The production will be accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra, featuring many CCM students and alumni!

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CCM Welcomes Accomplished Pianist Lydia Brown to its Opera Faculty

Please join us in welcoming Lydia Brown to CCM’s Department of Opera!

Please join us in welcoming Lydia Brown to CCM’s Department of Opera!

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of pianist Lydia Brown to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Opera. Brown joins CCM as Associate Professor of Music in Opera/Voice Coaching beginning in August of 2014.

Brown has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the world. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she currently serves as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.

Brown won the Second Prize of the 1996 New Orleans International Piano Competition and was honored as an NFAA Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Her recital appearances include notable venues such as the Salle Cortot, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, the Dusseldorf InselFestival, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd St. Y, Caramoor, the Goethe Institute of New York, the Phillips Gallery and Steinway Hall, among others.

Brown holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School as well as degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. She studied art song with Elly Ameling and pianist Rudolf Jansen and has served on the musical coaching staffs of the Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Cleveland, Chautauqua Institute Voice Program, the Marlboro Music Festival and the Ravinia Steans Institute.

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

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.

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 Alumni Amanda Woodbury and John Holiday Named 2014 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipients

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We are delighted to report that two CCM alumni – Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) and John Holiday (MM, 2012) – have been named 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipients by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation!

Soprano Amanda Woodbury, 25, is a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at LA Opera and was a winner of the recent Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She made her LA Opera debut as Micäela in Carmen and also appeared as Papagena in The Magic Flute. This summer she will make her debut at the Cincinnati May Festival as a soloist in the Mahler 8th Symphony and will join the Merola Opera at San Francisco Opera to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She was a second place winner at the McCollum Competition in Houston and received degrees from Indiana University and CCM.

Counter-tenor John Holiday, 29, has been heard recently as Radamisto at the Juilliard School and will debut with Wolf Trap Opera this summer in the title role of Giulio Cesare and be heard this fall as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with LA Opera. He will also return to the St. Paul Chamber Festival in concert. Other recent engagements include Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” at Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony, covering Nereno in Giulio Cesare at the Met, and Glass’ Galileo Galilei at Cincinnati and Portland Opera. Holiday was an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and holds degrees from SMU and CCM. Continue reading

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