“For idle hearts and hands and minds, the Devil finds a work to do.” The CCM Opera department discovers just how true that adage is in their rendition of Stravinsky’s comedic opera The Rake’s Progress. Unique to this production is a first-time collaboration between CCM’s Departments of Opera and Theatre Design & Production with the Division of Electronic Media, providing an updated technological aspect. Mark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Robin Guarino. This outrageous tale of love, lust, greed and the repercussions of a life of sin plays May 10, 12 and 13 in Corbett Auditorium on the University of Cincinnati campus.
The subject matter of The Rake’s Progress is adult in nature and the production of the opera is intended for mature audiences. This production also makes use of haze, smoke and strobe lighting effects.
Arguably the most important opera of the 20th century, The Rake’s Progress is a comical outpouring from the century’s most prolific and influential composer. Stravinsky’s inspiration for The Rake’s Progress came from a series of paintings and engravings by William Hogarth entitled A Rake’s Progress, which Stravinsky viewed in Chicago in 1947 at an exhibition. The opera is known for its incredible wit, charm, brashness and musical innovation. At this time in his career, Stravinsky was reexamining the works of Mozart, J.S. Bach and the music of the 18th century, using these “classical period” influences with his modern ear in an innovative way. During this “Neoclassical” period, Stravinsky created some of his other well-known works, including Pulcinella and Symphony of Psalms.
When asked about the innovative E-Media collaboration for The Rake’s Progress, Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Peter DePietro provided interesting insight into the process of infusing a sixty year-old opera with modern technology. Under DePietro’s guidance, several E-Media students have been working for the last two quarters of the academic year to create video projections using a state-of-the-art digital media production and delivery system. “The projections are mostly video with some animated components. The kinetic visuals are integrated into the production, projected on the physical set’s large angled wall, which itself will move at times during the production. The projections are meant to work with the lighting design and complement the overall visual aesthetic of the production,” explains DePietro.
The Rake’s Progress tells the story of Tom Rakewell, a country boy who aspires to live large in London. He leaves the dear Anne Trulove, who loves him, with an unknown stranger named Nick Shadow and seeks out the delights of the city. Along his rise to power and catastrophic fall from fame, he meets the brusque brothel leader named Mother Goose, marries the Bearded Lady and discovers that his enigmatic new mate is in fact the Devil himself, claiming Tom’s soul as payment for assisting him in discovering London’s seamy underbelly. Will Tom repent his ways? Stravinsky’s music beautifully encapsulates Tom Rakewell’s transformation from bawdy to brazen and from insane to wise.
- 8 p.m. Thursday, May 10
- 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12
- 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13
Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati
Tickets & Parking Information
Tickets to The Rake’s Progress are $29 for adults ($27 matinee) and $17-$19 for students. $11 student rush tickets become available for the Sunday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on May 13.
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (at the base of Corry Boulevard off of Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus.
For complete ticket and parking information, visit ccm.uc.edu or call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.
Note: The subject matter of The Rake’s Progress is adult in nature and the production of the opera is intended for mature audiences. This production also makes use of haze, smoke and strobe lighting effects.
The Rake’s Progress Cast List
- Jacqueline A. Echols* (First-year Artist’s Diploma student from Detroit, MI) and Meghan Tarkington‡ (First-year Artist’s Diploma student from Chicago, IL) as Anne Trulove
- Daniel Ross* (Second-year graduate student from Salem, OR) and Dashiell Waterbury‡ (Second-year graduate student from Redding, CA) as Tom Rakewell
- Thomas Richards* (Second-year graduate student from Minneapolis, MN) as Father Trulove
- Charles Z. Owen* (Second-year graduate student from Stillman Valley, IL) and Hunter Enoch‡ (Second-year graduate student from Paris, TN) as Nick Shadow
- Leah De Gruyl* (Second-year graduate student form Sutton, WV) and Deborah L. Nansteel‡ (Second-year Artist’s Diploma student from Havelock, NC) as Mother Goose
- Brandi Samuel* (Second-year Artist’s Diploma student from Los Angeles, CA) and Jill Phillips‡ (Second-year graduate student from Pocahontas, Iowa) as Baba the Turk
- Sean Mlynek* (Second-year graduate student from Toledo, OH) as Sellem
- William Tvrdik* (First-year graduate student from Vacaville, CA) as Keeper
- Ensemble: Michael Alcorn, Tyler Alessi, Melisa Bonetti, Douglas Easterling, Elizabeth Gautsche, Meryl Gellman, Trevor Gomes, Lindsey Grebeldinger, Jasmine Habersham, Jessine Johnson, Andrew King, Andrew Lovato, Chelsea Major, Simone McGaw, Marie McManama, Christopher Morales, Reilly Nelson, Keegan Rice, Adrienne Sereta, Nicole Spoltore, William Tvrdik, Nicholas Ward, Chabrelle Williams
* Thursday, May 10, Sunday, May 13
‡ Saturday, May 12
The Rake’s Progress Production Team
- Mark Gibson, conductor
- Robin Guarino, director
- Paul Shortt, scenic designer
- Amanda Rae Janke, costume designer
- Terri Nikolits, wig & make-up designer
- Weston G. Wetzel, lighting designer
- Caitlyn Scott, sound designer
- k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
- Marie-France LeFebvre, musical preparation
- Diane Lala, movement specialist
- Kathryn LaBouff, diction coach
- Lisa Oswald, supertitles
- Peter DePietro, media design & production
- Adam Moser, stage manager
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
Be there Saturday night. I can hardly wait!