Maestro Mark Gibson, leading the CCM Philharmonia through rehearsals.

Photography by Jing Huan.

CCM begins its Winter Orchestra Series with a concert version of Puccini’s thrilling opera Turandot. The story of the beautiful but cold princess and the prince who wishes for her love is presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 28 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on the University of Cincinnati campus.

This production of Turandot is quite unique. A collaboration between Central Opera, Beijing, the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society and CCM, this massive undertaking will include the talents of CCM’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Brass Choir, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir, as well as the talents of a CCM alumna (Helen Lyons), a student from Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, several current CCM Opera students and local Chinese singers. The basis of the project is a 12-year-long partnership between CCM’s Orchestral Studies program and several Chinese conservatories, namely the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.

Mark Gibson, professor of music and director of Orchestral Studies, knows just how beneficial the collaboration between Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society and CCM is for the talent level of the school. Gibson explains, “This relationship has blossomed in a dozen years,” with several Chinese students coming to CCM for further study and one CCM student studying in China. Several of the Chinese students have received large acclaim after receiving their degrees from CCM. “After two years as a doctoral student, my first conducting student at CCM (who previously studied at Central Conservatory in Beijing) was hired as a second conductor here,” says Gibson. This student (Xian Zhang) then went on to win the prestigious Maazel-Vilar Competition and has “gone on to stardom.”

The excitement of a cross-cultural partnership is not lost on Gibson. “This is one of the most exciting projects done here at CCM during my tenure,” he explains. Not only does it provide an opportunity for CCM students to perform an opera rarely performed at the college-level, but it also opens the door for a new perspective on music-making. “It’s a transformative experience – I believe in transformative experiences,” Gibson argues. He also credits the success of the project to the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society. “We couldn’t be doing this at all without their help.”

Founded in 1994, the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society is an independent, nonprofit organization.  Its mission is to promote Chinese culture through music and education and young Chinese artists. Since its inception, the society has presented a series of cultural events in light of its mission such as the Chinese music concert in Memorial Hall in 1995, two galas in 1997 and 1998, and a New Year celebration at Union Terminal in 1999. Since 2002, the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society has collaborated with CCM’s orchestras for its annual Chinese New Year concert.

To help accomplish its stated mission, the music society has also provided scholarships and grants to institutions and programs including CCM, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Cincinnati Youth Orchestra, local Chinese schools and the Chinese Language Program at Northern Kentucky University. The Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society is a sponsor of CCM’s Turandot and a host to the concert’s guest artists.

The opera will be sung in Italian.

Turandot Cast:

Princess Turandot – Helen Lyons (CCM alumna, ‘08, artist diploma)
Il Principe Ignoto – Wang Feng (guest artist; Central Opera, Beijing)
Liù – Xi Wang (acts 1 and 2), Amanda Woodbury (act 3)
Mandarin – Jonathan Stimson
Timur – Timothy Bruno
Ping – Michael Young
Pang – William Compton
Pong – Wesley Lawrence
Principe di Persia – Ian Ramirez
L’Imperatore Altoum – William Reed

Performance Date:
7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28

Location:
Corbett Auditorium
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Tickets:
$20 reserved seating, $10 non-UC students, UC students free.
UC student tickets available the day of performance only.

Ordering and Additional Information:
Box Office: 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu

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