Here's a peek at rehearsals for L’Étoile, which runs Feb. 14 - 16, 2014.

Here’s a peek at rehearsals for L’Étoile, which runs Feb. 14 – 16, 2014.

CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series continues this month with a vivacious new production of Emmanuel Chabrier’s three-act opera L’Étoile. Performed in French with English supertitles, L’Étoile runs Feb. 14-16 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Conducted by guest artist Kevin Murphy with stage direction by CCM’s J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera Robin Guarino, L’Étoile is set in a mystical fairy tale kingdom where lovelorn hopes, turned tables and comedic misunderstandings inevitably lead to a happy ending.

“It’s a story of ‘boy meets girl’ after wishing on a star,” Guarino explains. Audiences will delight in this comedic opera, full of outlandish characters who know how to deliver an aria. Guarino describes CCM’s production as “an elegant and absurdist romp with a hint of political satire.”

CCM welcomes guest speaker and dramaturg Cori Ellison for a pre-performance lecture at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, in Mary Emery Hall Room 3225. This talk is free and open to the general public.

About Robin Guarino
Professor and J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera at CCM, Robin Guarino’s sphere of activity continues to expand beyond conventional opera production. Following CCM’s production of L’Étoile, Guarino will direct a new production of Orlando Paladino at the Manhattan School of Music. This spring she joins music director and conductor James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera for the HD production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and a revival of her staging of Der Rosenkavalier. In the summer of 2014 she directs a new production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

This past season she directed a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro for the prestigious San Francisco Merola Program and a new staging of Falstaff at Jacobs School of Music in addition to an acclaimed new production of The Threepenny Opera at CCM. Since joining CCM’s faculty in 2008, Guarino has also directed award winning new productions of Falstaff, Alcina, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Rape of Lucretia, Le Mamelles de Tiresias, The Rake’s Progress and Cabaret: Letters Home. She also directed The Telephone, Il Signor Bruschino and The Rape of Lucretia for the CCM Opera Spoleto Summer Festival in Spoleto, Italy.

A proponent of contemporary opera, Guarino is co-artistic director and founder of Opera Fusion: New Works, a collaboration between CCM and Cincinnati Opera that cultivates, develops and workshops new operas. As part of Opera Fusion: New Works she developed and directed the first workshop for the opera Doubt, working with composer Doug Cuomo and librettist and playwright John Patrick Shanley.

Lincoln Center has long been an artistic home for Guarino, as she has staged numerous productions at the Metropolitan Opera (including Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze di Figaro and Lohengrin) since 1992. Nationally, her work has been featured at such companies as San Francisco Opera (Merola and Adler Programs), Glimmerglass Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera and Virginia Opera.

Dedicated to young singer training, Guarino served as Dramatic Advisor of the Juilliard Opera Theater from 2005-2008 where she directed critically received productions of Die Zauberflöte, La Calisto, Iphigénie en Aulide and Idomeneo. She has also been a guest master teacher/director at Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, UCLA and New York University.

A distinguished Alumni of Bard College, Guarino has collaborated with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra/Bard Music Festival on numerous productions. Her innovative staging of Janácek’s Diary of One Who Vanished with pianist Ken Noda opened the Bard Music Festival’s first season at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by architect Frank Gehry. Other productions include Schumann’s Manfred, Orff’s Carmina Burana at Avery Fisher Hall and Janácek’s From the House of the Dead at Alice Tully Hall.

In addition to her career directing opera and theatre, Guarino has produced and directed four independent films, including Crossing the Atlantic, which was shown on PBS’s “Independent Focus.” She has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards and fellowships, including the Hamburg Filmhaus Production Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Artist’s Fellowship Award, the Jerome Foundation Fellowship and the New York State Council on the Arts Production Grant.

About Kevin Murphy
Pianist Kevin Murphy is director of coaching and music administration for IU Opera Theater and professor of practice at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In 2011, he was appointed director of the program for singers at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and 2013-2014 marks his first season as artistic consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Previously, Murphy was director of music administration and casting advisor at the New York City Opera and Director of Musical Studies at the Opera National de Paris. Kevin Murphy was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by James Levine into the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera and from 1993-2006, he was an assistant conductor at the Met. In his capacity as a member of the music staff, Murphy played continuo harpsichord for many productions and toured Japan with the company. Murphy also performed in Carnegie Hall with the Met Chamber ensemble and Met Orchestra and frequently played chamber music with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

In addition to his on- and off-stage partnership with soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, Murphy has collaborated in concert and recital with artists such as Michelle DeYoung, Bejun Mehta, Gary Lakes, Kathleen Battle, Nathan Gunn, Elina Garanca, Cecilia Bartoli, Frederica von Stade, Placido Domingo, Paul Groves, Renee Fleming, Gerald Finley, Kiri Te Kanawa, Lawrence Brownlee and Pinchas Zuckerman. He is respected for his work as a private vocal coach and teacher and has taught at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute, Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood and the Juilliard School. He has also assisted Seiji Ozawa in Japan in his Mozart/Da Ponte series, and has been a guest opera coach and at opera companies such as the Netherlands Opera, Canadian Opera Company and the Ravinia Festival. In addition to playing and teaching, Murphy recently conducted and produced a staged concert performance of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor at Indiana University and conducted the Schwabacher concerts at San Francisco Opera’s Merola program. Other chamber music and concert appearances include La Jolla’s Summerfest, Music@Menlo, Vin et Musique Festival, Wigmore Hall, Suntory Hall, Spivey Hall, Edinburgh Festival, Salzburg’s Mozarteum and Carnegie Hall.

Murphy has appeared on the Tonight Show with Gary Lakes, Good Morning America with Cecilia Bartoli and the Today Show with Renee Fleming and has recorded for the EMI, Centaur, Arabesque and Koch labels. He is a frequent adjudicator for competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where he also has served as official accompanist on stage at the Met.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Kevin Murphy received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University and his Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from the Curtis Institute of Music. He resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife and four children.

About Cori Ellison
A leading creative figure in the opera world, Cori Ellison currently serves as Dramaturg at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and recently joined the Vocal Arts Faculty at the Juilliard School to teach the History of Singing. Active in developing new American opera, she teaches opera dramaturgy for American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program, and was the first dramaturg invited to participate in the Yale Institute for Music Theatre in 2009. She was Dramaturg at New York City Opera from 1997-2010 and has served as production dramaturg for projects including Washington National Opera’s Ring cycle, Opera Boston’s The Nose and Offenbach!!! at Bard Summerscape.

Ellison creates supertitles for opera companies across America and helped launch Met Titles, the Metropolitan Opera’s simultaneous translation system. Her English singing translations include Hansel and Gretel at New York City Opera, La vestale at English National Opera and Shostakovich’s Cherry Tree Towers at Bard Summerscape. She also writes for the New York Times, and has contributed to books including The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Metropolitan Opera Guide to Opera on Video and The Compleat Mozart. She regularly appears on the Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts, teaches master classes for young singers worldwide and has lectured at venues including the Smithsonian Institution, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Santa Fe, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Seattle and Canadian Operas.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14*
  • 8 p.m.Saturday, Feb. 15
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16

* The Friday performance of L’Étoile will be preceded by a lecture by guest speaker and dramaturg Cori Ellison beginning at 7 p.m. in Mary Emery Hall Room 3225. This talk is free and open to the general public.

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to L’Étoile is free but reservations are required. Visit the CCM box office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave 

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