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.

CCM News

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 News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Drama Students Present New Works in Sixth Annual TRANSMIGRATION Festival This Week

CCM TRANSMIGRATION 2014 logo.

CCM TRANSMIGRATION 2014 logo.

Students in CCM’s Department of Drama flex their writing, editing, designing, directing and acting muscles with the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works, taking place March 6-8 throughout CCM Village. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The sixth-annual festival allows audiences to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of drama majors, who create all aspects of their productions from start to finish.

“As a faculty member, I’m making an active effort to stay out of their way,” says Brant Russell, Assistant Professor of Drama and producer of this year’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival. “The audience will get a real sense of what our students are reacting to in their world, and we want that rawness to come through in each show.”

TRANSMIGRATION came into being in response to the dynamic careers of today’s professional actors. “There are two very important lessons TRANSMIGRATION gives us the opportunity to learn,” asserts Shaun Sutton, senior drama major from Overland Park, Kansas. “First, we don’t choose our groups – they’re assigned. It’s important for us to learn how to negotiate and work with new people in a medium we’re all so passionate about. Second, in the world of YouTube and Vine where anyone can be an actor, we need to develop our skills to tell a more powerful story. TRANSMIGRATION is our time to play with an unprecedented lack of structure in an intense professional training program.”

Each year, TRANSMIGRATION is different. This year’s shows include a soundscape in a dark room, a piece about dream creation, the story of a cosmic post office box and a work about community and sticking to your roots. See below for more information on this year’s original works.

CCM News

CCM’s Mainstage Production of ‘Les Miserables’ Receives 5-Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

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.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s production of the long running musical classic Les Misérables with a Five Star Rating! Congratulations to everyone involved with the show!

Panelists praised the production as, “Spectacular… an outstanding and phenomenal production… Bravo for everyone involved for taking a musical I have seen multiple times and making it as fresh, exciting and powerful as the first.”

Director Aubrey Berg was praised for his “seamless” direction: “Aubrey Berg said he had waited over 20 years to direct this musical at CCM and he could not have done it more effectively, with some masterful choices.” Musical Director Steve Goers also was commended for his, “direction of these fine voices and in the outstanding orchestral accompaniment;” he did a, “wonderful job with taking a beast of a show and making it sing beautifully”.

The panelists were impressed by the entire ensemble: “the show absolutely showcased the incredible depth of CCM‘s students… the talent level continues to amaze.” Blaine Krauss, as Jean Valjean, “gave a sensitive, true portrayal of the character… his voice was moving… he should go directly to Broadway.”

Panelists also singled out Colin Kessler, as Javert, for his “outstanding” performance and “remarkable voice”, as well as Matthew Paul Hill’s portrayal of Thenardier: “hilarious in an evil and unctuous manner. He almost stole the show.”

Note: this review was based on the opening night cast. On alternate nights, the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert are also played by Julian Decker and Noah Ricketts, respectively.

Final LCT awards will be determined at the end of the season and announced at the LCT gala in the spring. You can learn more about CCM’s production of Les Misérables here.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Slideshows: Les Misérables

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Tonight through March 9, CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. In honor of opening night, we present a stunning preview slideshow courtesy of photographer Mark Lyons!

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production.

CCM News CCM Slideshows

‘Hear the People Sing’ in CCM’s Highly Anticipated Mainstage Production of ‘Les Misérables’

Seniors Blaine Krauss as Jean Valjean and Kimber Sprawl as Fantine in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Les Misérables.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Seniors Blaine Krauss as Jean Valjean and Kimber Sprawl as Fantine in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Les Misérables.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series presents the CCM debut production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, this iconic show runs Feb. 27 – March 9 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now.

Set in France in the early 19th-century, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean and his quest for salvation after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his starving sister’s child. Relentlessly tracked and hounded by police inspector Javert, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a student revolution, as a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.

Les Misérables was first presented at the Palais des Sports in Paris in 1980. Its English language adaptation opened at the Barbican Centre in London in 1985, overcoming bad notices through word of mouth and launching the beginning of what has turned out to be a global sensation. The Broadway production opened in 1987 and ran until 2003, closing after 6,680 performances. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, directs this new production. He explains, “I have been waiting not-so-patiently to present Les Misérables with the students at CCM for over twenty years, since I first saw it at the Barbican Theatre in 1985. It is an ideal vehicle for our talented students and production staff. We are extremely excited to bring a ‘local’ production of this master work to Cincinnati audiences.”

With a score by Schönberg that has risen to pop-culture status, Les Misérables presents an incredible learning opportunity to CCM students. “Needless to say,” continued Berg, “the musical theatre majors were thrilled at the prospect of working on these meaty parts.” In order to involve as many students as possible, the notable roles of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert are double-cast. The cast for a particular performance will be displayed in the lobby prior to each show.

CCM News

CCM Presents Free Performances of Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les Sortilèges’ Feb. 21-23

LEnfantSortilegesThe University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s award-winning undergraduate opera series (also known as “CCM Opera d’arte”) presents Maurice Ravel’s one-act opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges from Feb. 21-23 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The title of Ravel’s second opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges: Fantaisie lyrique en deux parties translates to The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts. The opera tells the story of a young boy who, after being scolded by his mother, throws a destructive tantrum in his room. He is then surprised to watch the furniture and decorations become plants and animals that begin to talk. The child is left to fend for himself in a garden of creatures that remember the harm he inflicted on them before they could speak. It is a fantastical voyage for the whole family that not only showcases vast imagination, but also reminds us of the consequences our actions can have.

Directed by CCM Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw and CCM Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson with music direction by Assistant Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott, L’Enfant et les Sortileges is being produced in collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). This collaboration between CCM and DAAP grew largely from student interest, according to Shaw

“We met, developed ideas and then called on students to submit designs for sets and costumes. We selected aspects from three submissions and distilled the project into a Co-Op for DAAP position, filled by student Katie Iles,” Shaw explains. “The production presents the title role of the Child as a young, budding artist, so his paintings come to life, along with other inanimate objects. It’s just another dramatic device that seems to work well for this piece.

“Because each role, except for The Child, is brief,” Shaw continues, “our students can concentrate on their work and focus their energies more efficiently on singing well, acting with specificity and going beyond the normal human range of emotions into the world of the surreal.”

This production promises to bring light and warmth to an otherwise very chilly winter. Join Opera d’arte for a delightful escape!

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