'Bright Eyed Joy!' composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

‘Bright Eyed Joy!’ composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

This release has been updated. Click here to read the current version.

CCM’s Studio Opera Series presents Bright-Eyed Joy!, a free cabaret of songs by Ricky Ian Gordon, which opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and continues through Saturday, November 5 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Tickets to this free production become available on Monday. October 31 through the CCM Box Office.

As one of the county’s most popular and respected composers of art song, Ricky Ian Gordon is a living legend. Bright-Eyed Joy! features his recently composed songs as well as arias from Gordon’s two acclaimed operas, Grapes of Wrath and Morning Star.

The songs tell relatable stories of survival, inspiration and hope. Gordon has been actively collaborating with the CCM students in this production, and he personally hand-selected the program’s songs for each individual singer.

This will be the second instance in which CCM opera students have performed Gordon’s music. In December 2012, students had the rare opportunity to perform in a workshop of Gordon’s Morning Star, as part of the Opera Fusion: New Works initiative with the Cincinnati Opera. Morning Star later premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2015.

Oussama Zahr of Opera News praised Gordon for his diverse and “distinctive style — one that seems effortlessly to combine Broadway clarity, art-song melodies and jazzy flourishes with a sophisticated approach to harmony.”

Zahr wrote that Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, “has many of the qualities you’d expect from an acclaimed opera in a tonal palette — abundant melody, shining orchestrations — but it is Gordon’s lyrical exuberance that stands out as uniquely his own.”

The audience can expect nothing less from Bright-Eyed Joy!, which opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and continues through Saturday, November 5. Admission is free, but tickets are required. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.

CCM students will have an additional opportunity to work with Gordon later this month in the next installment of Opera Fusion: New Works. The 10-day workshop culminates in a free performance of excerpts from the composer’s newest opera, Intimate Apparel at 7:30 p.m. on November 14 at the Cincinnati Club, 30 Garfield Place, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Once I Was
Morning Star
Poor Girl’s Ruination/The Dream Keeper
Hallie Ann
Afternoon on a Hill
To the Maid of Orleans
The Spring and the Fall
I Seen Snow
Being Small
Home of the Brave
Bound to Be
Kid in the Park
When Sue Wears Red
New Moon

Cast List
TJ Capobianco
Eric Heatley
Chandler Johnson
DeRon McDaniel
Briana Moynihan
Fotina Naumenko
Gabriella Sam
Paulina Villarreal

Maria Fuller
John Combs

Performance Times
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 31. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith


Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

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