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’s Production of ‘Living Dead in Denmark’ Recognized by League of Cincinnati Theatres

We are happy to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Living Dead in Denmark for its fight choreography and make-up, and for the work of lead actress Anna Stapleton!

In this hilarious spoof set five years after the tragic events that ended Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a resurrected Ophelia, Juliet and Lady MacBeth must save Denmark from an overwhelming zombie horde. Anna Stapleton, portraying “Lady M,” was a panelist favorite, conjuring up “a bouncy sword wielding Xena: Warrior Princess in her shorty short leather skirt and her blunt blonde cut, festooned with at least seven knives, a sword and a shield.”

Panelists also praised Professor of Make-Up Kelly Yurko for “outstanding” make-up, special effects and wigs, as well as Professor of Drama k. Jenny Jones and Andrew Dylan for exemplary fight choreography including rapier and dagger work and plenty of zombie killing in a graphic superhero comic book style. Continue reading

CCM Welcomes Dancer and Choreographer Andre Megerdichian to its Dance Faculty

Please join us in welcoming Andre Megerdichian to CCM's Department of Dance! Photography by Robert Polkosnik.

Please join us in welcoming Andre Megerdichian to CCM’s Department of Dance! Photography by Robert Polkosnik.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of dancer, choreographer and arts educator Andre Megerdichian to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Dance. Megerdichian joins CCM as an Assistant Professor of Dance beginning in August of 2014.

Megerdichian was born in New York City and raised in Beirut, Athens and Geneva. He has performed for over a decade with such companies and choreographers as the Jose Limon Dance Company, Janis Brenner and Dancers, the Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Soundance Repertory Company, Reidel Dance Theatre, Daniel Charon and Sean Curran. He was a principal dancer with Dance Kaleidoscope, under the artistic direction of David Hochoy (former rehearsal director of the Martha Graham Dance Company) for seven seasons. During his time in Indiana, Megerdichian was awarded the 2003 Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship by the Indianapolis Arts Council, for his sustained artistic contributions to the community. Continue reading

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 Prep Presents ‘Xanadu, Jr.’ and ‘Peter and the Wolf’ This Spring

The CCM Youth Ballet Company performed 'Peter and the Wolf' at Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra earlier this season.

The CCM Youth Ballet Company performed ‘Peter and the Wolf’ at Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra earlier this season.

CCM’s Preparatory Department proudly presents its annual spring productions with the CCM Prep Ballet and Junior Musical Theatre. Tickets for both productions are on sale now.

On Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater, the CCM Youth Ballet Company, Jr. Company and Mini company perform traditional and contemporary works including Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

The Junior Musical Theatre will perform Xanadu, Jr. the following weekend at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 2, and at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

The CCM Youth Ballet Company consists of the Mini, Junior and Senior Youth companies with 50 dancers total, ranging from age 8 through adult. This year they will perform Sergei Prkofief’s beloved Peter and the Wolf. Soloists are Hannah Musser and Andrea Springman as the bird, Helga Paris-Morales and Jackie Sidow as the duck, Vera Bostwick and Juju Stojanovic as the cat, Lucas Wilmes and Blake Funk as Peter, Samuel St. John as the wolf and guest dancer John Wilmes as grandfather. CCM Preparatory faculty Tricia Sundbeck and Thomas Bell choreographed this production. The CCM Youth Ballet Company recently performed Peter and the Wolf at Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as part of the Lollipops music series.

The Junior Musical Theatre Intensive program provides a challenging and disciplined educational experience for students ages 9-14 who have a special interest in musical theatre. Last fall, 30 students were selected and then traveled to Atlanta the following January for the Junior Theater Festival, which included over 3,000 middle school students from all over the country. The CCM Junior Musical Theatre students presented a scene from Xanadu, Jr. and the group was given an “Excellence in Music” award. Margot Grom, Tanner Gleeson, Henry Howland, Nora DeGreen and Jonah Sorcher are the featured students in this disco-inspired musical, directed by Dee Anne Bryll, with musical direction by Becky Childs. Continue reading

League of Cincinnati Theatres Spotlights CCM Musical Theatre Major Brianna Barnes

Current CCM Musical Theatre major Brianna Barnes as Louise.

Current CCM Musical Theatre major Brianna Barnes as Louise. Photography by Mikki Schaffner.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized the work of Brianna Barnes as Louise and Sherry McCamley as Mama Rose in the Covedale Theatre’s Gypsy, playing now through May 4. Barnes is a current student in CCM’s Musical Theatre program.

One panelist noted, “Brianna Barnes (Louise) captured my attention from the moment she entered the stage. She managed to give us a range of emotion carrying us through self-consciousness humbleness, rage, pity, sorrow, and love, played with truthfulness and energy.”

Another noted, “the highlight of this show was Brianna Barnes as Louise who was completely authentic and charismatic throughout this show, has great poise and vocal talent, and made a stunning transformation from Louise to Gypsy Rose that never seemed forced or faked. She is truly a star.” Continue reading

CCM’s 2013-14 Studio Series Concludes This Week With Zombie Drama ‘Living Dead in Denmark’

Something wicked this way comes... as CCM presents 'Living Dead in Denmark' April 17-19, 2014! Photography by Una Lin.

Something wicked this way comes… as CCM presents ‘Living Dead in Denmark’ April 17-19, 2014! Photography by Una Lin.

CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series comes to a dramatic conclusion with a thrilling production of the irreverent Shakespearean zombie mash-up Living Dead in Denmark, playing April 17-19 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. CCM’s very own resident Fight Director and Professor of Drama k. Jenny Jones directs this can’t-miss production, which is intended for mature audiences.

Written by Qui Nyguen, a founding father of the OBIE Award-winning “geek theatre” company the Vampire Cowboys, Living Dead in Denmark is described as the “perfect storm of horror and geek obsessions” by Time Out New York. The action of the play is set five years after the tragic events of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as a resurrected Ophelia, Juliet and Lady Macbeth must save Denmark from an overwhelming zombie horde.

First staged in 2006, the play has been hailed by the New York Times as “a crazy quilt of pop reference, dueling blades and scattershot anachronisms,” with figures from both Shakespeare’s canon and the 21st century pop cultural zeitgeist making appearances. This entertaining and comical zombie drama is sure to be the perfect antidote to exam week blues! Continue reading

CCM Alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury Named Grand Finalist Winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 National Council Auditions

From left to right, CCM alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury.

From left to right, CCM alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumni Yi Li (AD, ’13) and Amanda Woodbury (MM, ’12) have been named Grand Finals Winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 National Council Auditions.

A tenor, Li is a member of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Woodbury, a soprano, is in her second year at the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera.

Li and Woodbury were among nine singers competing in the Met’s prestigious and highly competitive Grand Finals Concert this past Sunday, March 30. The finalists were accompanied by the Met Orchestra led by Marco Armiliato. You can learn more about all of the 2014 National Council Winners here.

This marks the second consecutive year that CCM trained singers have won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions: bass-baritone Thomas Richards was named a Grand Finals Winner in 2013.

WQXR, New York’s Classical Music Radio Station, will broadcast performances and interviews with all of this year’s winners at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1. Learn more by visiting www.wqxr.org/#!/story/video-webcast-metropolitan-opera-national-council-award-winners.

Learn more courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer here.

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LCT Awards ‘PO 11259: Sincerely Yours’ Top Prize in CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized PO 11259: Sincerely Yours as the best production at CCM’s 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, CCM Drama’s annual presentation of student written and produced work. Congratulations to that show’s creative team of Jaclyn Chantel, Hannah Halvorson, Spencer Lackey, Laura McCarthy, Fabiola Rodriguez and Anna Stapleton!

Panelists awarded second place to The 17th Annual Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival, and honorable mentions to Dreams R Us: Tonight’s Answers to Tomorrow’s Questions and Complex: A Structure of Sound, An Organism of Vibrations.

The sixth-annual festival allows the audience to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of Drama majors, who create and design all aspects of their productions from start to finish. The festival is an exciting event for both guests and the presenters, as audiences get the opportunity to see up to four very different pieces of new theatre in a single night and the students premiere works that are entirely their own. This year, six shows were presented.

PO 11259 was praised for being “funny and poignant” and “a cool concept,”while The Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival allowed its actors to show “a lot of dimensions in a short play.”

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CCM Professor Roger Grodsky Explores the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals for ‘Absolute Sound’ Magazine

TAS_242_Cover.png.200x275_q85The April 2014 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine features an in-depth look at the Golden Age of Broadway musicals on record, written by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky!

A member of CCM’s faculty since 1996, Grodsky has served as musical director for a number of recent CCM productions (including Singin’ in the Rain earlier this season) and has also participated in performances, PBS broadcasts and recordings of the Cincinnati Pops.

He has also worked with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization on restoring classic shows by Rodgers and Hart.

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music. The magazine’s April issue is on newsstands now and available online here.