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 ‘Owen Wingrave’ Hailed As ‘Breathtaking,’ ‘Immaculate’ and a ‘Triumph’ By Critics!

CCM's Mainstage Series production of Benjamin Britten's OWEN WINGRAVE runs Nov. 21 - 24 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Benjamin Britten’s OWEN WINGRAVE runs Nov. 21 – 24 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The critics are still talking about CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Benjamin Britten’s rarely-seen opera Owen Wingrave!

Janelle Gelfand calls the production “breathtaking” in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer and suggests that CCM’s mounting “brought clarity to an opera that has been nearly forgotten since its debut on British television in 1971.” Read the full review here.

Mary Ellyn Hutton calls the production a “triumph” in her Music In Cincinnati review, declaring, “The production was by all measures outstanding, one which enveloped the listener like few in recent memory in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rafael de Acha calls the production “immaculate” in his Music for All Seasons review, observing that CCM has “mounted a strong, streamlined, subtle, sober and somber production, lit by the bright performances of a youthful troupe.” Read the full review here.

If you missed out on this gem of a production, then mark your calendars now for early 2014. CCM’s Studio Opera series presents a FREE production of Chabrier’s L’étoile from Feb. 14 – 16, conducted by Stefano Sarzani with stage direction by Robin Guarino.

CCM’s Mainstage Series also resumes in February with Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, directed by guest artist D. Lynn Meyers, followed by the iconic musical  Les Misérables! Tickets to these and dozens of other performances are on sale now!

IT’S A SMASH! Rave Reviews for CCM’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin' in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ running through Sunday, Nov. 3. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The reviews are in and the critics are calling CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Singin’ in the Rain a must-see theatre event!

In his review for Theatre Reviews Limited, Rafael de Acha suggests: “the show is one of the best, if not the best production of a musical I’ve seen in my three years in Cincinnati.” Read the full review here.

Rick Pender calls the production “a fabulous recreation of the iconic 1952 movie that featured Gene Kelly” in his CityBeat review. “If you love musicals,” he explains, “you should run, don’t walk to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music this weekend for the short run of Singin’ in the Rain.” Read the full review here.

David Lyman calls the production “a delight” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concluding: “It’s pleasurable and immensely satisfying. It is, as Lala wrote in her program notes, like visiting an old friend.” Read the full review here.

In his review for Talkin’ Broadway, Scott Cain says, “The show flows at a quick pace and has apt tone and blocking. The dances, including lots of wonderful tap numbers, are vibrant, fun, and well-executed. Ryan Sigurdson leads a lush 27-piece orchestra that couldn’t sound any better.” Read the full review here.

Singin’ in the Rain runs through Sunday, Nov. 3, in Corbett Auditorium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Tickets and subscription packages are on sale now, but only a handful of seats remain, so don’t delay – contact the CCM Box Office today!

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CCM Slideshows: Don Carlos

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CCM’s 2013-14 Concert Series opened in grand fashion this past Sunday with the American premiere of the uncut 1867 Paris Opera version of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlos.

In her review for ConcertoNet: The Classical Music Network, Mary Ellyn Hutton called the performance “an amazing accomplishment” and remarked that “the voices were uniformly outstanding.”

In his review for Seen and Heard International, Rafael de Acha observed, “The CCM orchestra and choruses do top-notch work in this challenging and lengthy assignment, playing passionately and when needed providing grounding accompaniment for the singers.”

Our Concert Series continues this week with an “Anniversary” themed performance by the CCM Wind Orchestra on Friday, Sept. 27, and a CCM Jazz tribute to the Rolling Stones on Sunday, Sept. 29.

For a complete calendar of events or to view CCM’s 2013-14 season brochure, visit ccm.uc.edu.

UC’s College Conservatory of Music – Define Your Inspiration

CCM Productions Sweep Cincinnati Theatre Season Round-Ups

'Street Scene' photography by Mark Lyons.

‘Street Scene’ photography by Mark Lyons.

The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) held its annual award ceremony on Monday, May 20, and we are happy to report that CCM productions took home an impressive six major awards for Excellence in Theatre! Continue reading

High Praise for CCM’s Kurt Weill Festival

CCM presents 'The Threepenny Opera.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM presents ‘The Threepenny Opera.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

This weekend is your last chance to catch CCM’s acclaimed productions of both The Threepenny Opera (March 8 – 10) and the brand-new Kurt Weill revue Into a Lamplit Room (March 10).

The critics have had high praise for both productions, with CityBeat’s Rick Pender calling The Threepenny Opera “authentic,” “compelling” and “visually stunning” and Seen and Heard International‘s Rafael de Acha calling Into a Lamplit Room “heavenly!”

See what the critics have said for yourselves here:

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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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The Epic Theatre of CCM’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival resumes this month with a dynamic new production of the iconic musical The Threepenny Opera. Composed by Kurt Weill with book and lyrics by dramatist Bertolt Brecht (adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein), The Threepenny Opera weaves the riveting tale of notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath (“Mack the Knife”) and his seedy companions in London’s underworld. Weill’s innovative score invented a new form of musical theatre, leading the way for such shows as Chicago and Cabaret.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of this jazz-infused musical is directed by Robin Guarino, with musical direction by Roger Grodsky, choreography by Patti James and scenic designs by Tony Award-winning guest artist John Arnone. The Threepenny Opera runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

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‘CityBeat’ Reviews CCM’s Nov. 29 American Voices Concert

CCM Master of Music candidate Kris Rucinski.

First year Master of Music in Piano Performance student Kristofer Rucinski.

Steven Rosen shares his thoughts on the Nov. 29 conclusion to CCM’s month-long Cage Centennial Celebration in a recent CityBeat blog post, writing:

I attended the crowded event to see the group I had featured, Percussion Group Cincinnati, perform Cage’s Music for Three while the CCM Philharmonia played Cage’s Renga. It was as charming and strange, as enigmatically mysterious, as one expects of Cage.

But what was completely unexpected — and absolutely, breathtakingly, thrilling — was the performance before that, CCM student Kris Rucinski’s mastery of the four movements of Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto.

You can read Rosen’s review of the concert here and his original feature here.

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Janelle Gelfand Reviews CCM’s Latest Opera Fusion Workshop

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand shares her thoughts on our latest Opera Fusion workshop production, Morning Star, in today’s installment of the Arts in Focus blog. You can read her review here.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera presented public workshop performances of Ricky Ian Gordon and William M. Hoffman‘s Morning Star earlier this week. The workshop was filmed for a forthcoming documentary focusing on Opera Fusion: New Works, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. You can learn more about this documentary here.

Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by a $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.