From Oct. 23 – 25, CCM’s Department of Opera will present the cabaret songs of acclaimed American composer and pianist William Bolcom in a series of special performances in CCM’s intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater. Cincinnati audiences will have a rare opportunity to hear all of the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer’s cabaret songs in one evening during this Studio Series production.

Admission to William Bolcom: Cabaret Songs is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, Oct. 19.

Illustration by Edward Sorel, courtesy of known for his work on the operas McTeague and A View from the Bridge, Bolcom and his longtime collaborator/lyricist Arnold Weinstein wrote 29 cabaret songs from 1963 to 1996.

Rarely performed in one night, CCM Opera has combined these witty, thought-provoking and frequently hilarious songs into a showcase of one of the greatest living composers of our time.

CCM Associate Professor of Music in Opera/Voice Coaching Lydia Brown  is the music director for this Studio Series production. A personal friend of Bolcom’s, Brown chose CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater as the setting for this show because of the intimacy of the music.

“These songs are a real hybrid of concert song and musical theatre,” she explains. “Like traditional cabaret, these songs are text-centered so I wanted a space where the audience would be able to feel the emotion. In a space like CCM’s Studio Theater, the choices about each word become really important.”

Bolcom’s compositions are deftly set to Weinstein’s lyrics. In 2003, New York Times Chief Music Critic Anthony Tommasini observed, “In these works Mr. Bolcom always finds apt, smart and evocative music to convey the shifting moods and often elaborate predicaments in Mr. Weinstein’s lyrics.”

Brown agrees with Tommasini’s assessment. “Bolcom instinctively knew how to set Arnold’s words,” she says. “ When you hear these songs, you can’t imagine any other music for them.”

A Professor Emeritus of Composition at University of Michigan, Bolcom is in residence at CCM for the week prior to the show to extensively coach the cast and attend opening night. In addition, he will give two master classes, one to voice students and the other to the composition department.

With free admission and limited seating, CCM’s Studio Series productions remain one of the hottest tickets in town. Learn more about how secure your tickets by visiting

This production contains mature subject matter.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, October 23
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, October 24
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, October 25

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 19. 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 and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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