CCM highlights alumni guest artists who will return to campus for the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase in a series of alumni spotlight stories.
CCM Orchestral Conducting alumnus Christopher Allen (MM, 2011) leads the CCM Philharmonia in playing Strauss’s overture to Die Fledermaus, which opens an evening of special performances presented during the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase on Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Corbett Auditorium.
The recipient of the 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Allen has been featured in Opera News magazine as “one of the fastest-rising podium stars in North America.” His conducting career was launched by the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant and has been fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as an Associate Conductor.
In the 2017-18 season, Allen returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to conduct a new production of La traviata directed by acclaimed soprano Patricia Racette, and leads the North Carolina premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at North Carolina Opera. He debuts at the Atlanta Opera leading La fille du régiment, featuring Stephanie Blythe, and returns to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts to helm Impressions de Pelléas, before conducting The Barber of Seville at the Aspen Music Festival.
Allen serves as music director of the Bel Canto Trio’s 70th anniversary tour, featuring today’s internationally acclaimed rising opera stars in the program originally toured by Mario Lanza, George London and Frances Yeend. Future engagements include a debut with Opera Philadelphia’s critically acclaimed Festival O leading a reimagined La voix humaine, and an all-Bernstein program with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Named the John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Allen returned in the summer of 2017 to conduct Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute. He has previously been seen conducting the new production of Tosca, the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star and, for three seasons, the Cincinnati Opera’s Washington Park Concert leading the Cincinnati Symphony.
In the 2016-17 season, Allen made his Washington National Opera debut in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment and Florida Grand Opera debut in Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls. He led the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in a National Opera Association Award-winning production of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and debuted at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, named Opera of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Allen’s well-received Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut, conducting a program of Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, led to an immediate re-engagement.
Recently, Allen made his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera and debuted at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in a production of The Elixir of Love directed by James Robinson. He was nominated as a finalist for 2015 International Opera Awards in London in the “Newcomer” category, and was named Musical America Artist of the Month in July 2015.
Allen made his Los Angeles Opera conducting debut in Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires. He also returned to the company as Associate Conductor in La traviata with Plácido Domingo as Germont, and was in charge of musical preparation for The Ghosts of Versailles, which won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. He made his debut with Opera Santa Barbara in Rigoletto and returned to Intermountain Opera Bozeman in Montana, to conduct a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, as well as Don Giovanni.
Allen made his Asian debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the Daegu Opera House. He prepared I due Foscari for Theater an der Wien assisting James Conlon with Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari, and was the associate conductor to James Conlon on Lucia di Lammermoor, Falstaff, and the Britten Centennial Concerts at LA Opera. He returned to the Atlanta Symphony to assist Robert Spano on Britten’s War Requiem, as well as preparing a world premiere with Spano at the Ojai Music Festival. Other past assignments at LA Opera include productions of Don Giovanni, Tosca, Carmen, The Rape of Lucretia, Holdridge’s Dolce Rosa and Madama Butterfly.
The recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Christopher Allen has also been a recipient of numerous piano awards which have led to debuts in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Juilliard School and the Tenri Cultural Institute.
While a student at CCM, his production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw was awarded a National Opera Association prize. He returns to his alma mater to conduct in the CCM Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase on April 21, 2018.
Learn more about the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase concert and view a complete list of guest artists at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/save-the-date/sesquicentennial-alumni-showcase.
SESQUICENTENNIAL ALUMNI SHOWCASE CONCERT
STRAUSS: Overture to Die Fledermaus (1874); featuring the CCM Philharmonia led by Christopher Allen
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82 “Emperor” (1811); featuring Anton Nel, piano
SAINT-SAENS: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 61; featuring Yang Liu, violin
WAGNER: “Mild und leise,” from Tristan und Isolde (1859); featuring Tamara Wilson, soprano
Work for saxophone and jazz combo; featuring Janelle Reichman, saxophone
ROSSINI: “Cruda sorte,” from L’Italiana in Algeri (1813); featuring Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano
SCHUMANN: Konzertstück for Four Horns, Op. 83 (1849); featuring Allene Hackleman, Julie Beckel Yager, Nathaniel Willson, Jennifer Paul, soloists
Musical Theatre numbers; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
STRAUSS: Champagne Song from Die Fledermaus
8 p.m. Saturday, April 21
Please note: UC’s Nippert Stadium will also host an FC Cincinnati game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The full FC Cincinnati Soccer game schedule can be found at www.fccincinnati.com/2018-schedule.
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets for CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase Concert are $20 general, $15 non-UC students, and FREE for UC students with a valid ID.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.
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 uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation