CCM Welcomes Kathleen Kelly as New Associate Professor of Opera Coaching

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the addition of Kathleen Kelly as the college’s new Associate Professor of Opera Coaching. An accomplished opera coach, conductor, pianist and teacher, Kelly’s appointment begins on Aug. 15, 2018.

Kelly currently serves as an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. She joined the faculty in 2015 as the school’s first coach/conductor of opera. While there, she conducted performances of Giulio Cesare, Così fan tutte, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dinner at Eight, the difficulty of crossing a field and L’heure espagnole/Gianni Schicchi, which won the American Prize in Opera Performance. She also led workshops for The Dream of the Red Chamber, Kept and Black Clown and oversaw the musical preparation for the university-wide performances of the new critical edition of Porgy and Bess.

Kelly was the first woman and first American named as director of musical studies at Vienna State Opera, where she oversaw the daily musical life of more than 50 ensemble singers in more than 50 operas from 2010 to 2013. She also curated a recital series in the opera house’s famous Mahlersaal and served as the series’ principal pianist. She was the recitative accompanist for new productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, and assisted Maestro Franz Welser-Möst on new productions of Kát’a Kabanová and Z mrtvého domu.

Before moving overseas, Kelly served as the music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio as well as the company’s head of music staff from 2006 to 2010. Highlights of these years include conducting her own chamber music arrangement of Hansel und Gretel in a remarkable production by Basil Twist, serving as pianist for the Eleanor McCollum competition and curating the HGOS recital series at Rienzi.

From 1997 to 2006, Kelly served as an assistant to the music director at the Metropolitan Opera, specializing in the works of Wagner, Strauss and Berg. During that time, because of her success as a prompter and musical assistant, she was the focus of a Wall Street Journal article and a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast feature. From 2005 to 2008 Kelly was also the music director of the Berkshire Opera, conducting two productions each summer and overseeing the young artist program.

As a conductor, Kelly has led the 2018 Schwabacher Concerts at the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Francesca Zambello’s critically acclaimed Ariadne auf Naxos at the Glimmerglass Festival (nominated for an International Opera Award), The Marriage of Figaro at Wolf Trap, the premiere of Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady at Arizona Opera, Carmen and Madama Butterfly at Opera Columbus, Hansel und Gretel at El Paso Opera and the Alexandria Symphony in Virginia. She also conducted the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, starring Frederica von Stade.

Kelly earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Arizona State University and received a Fulbright Scholarship in Music to study at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in Germany.

She has performed internationally as a recital pianist, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Musikverein and Tucson’s Desert Song Festival. Her recital partners have included Jamie Barton, Thomas Hampson, Renee Fleming, Christine Goerke, Albina Shagimuratova, Valentina Nafornita, Patrick Carfizzi, Michael Kelly, Jill Grove and Troy Cook.

Kelly has taught master classes in the United States and internationally, including at Interlochen Academy, CCM, Baylor University, Vanderbilt University, Arizona State University, Western Ontario University, Peabody Conservatory and Moscow Conservatory, among others. She is also a regular guest coach for Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz program, and works regularly with young artist programs nationally, notably at the Los Angeles Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Seattle Opera and in the CoOperative Training Program at Westminster Choir College.

Additionally, Kelly is gaining recognition as a writer of articles, translations and original texts. She has written lead program articles for Wolf Trap, Houston Grand Opera and Arizona Opera. For the Arizona Lady performances, she created a new trilingual adaptation of the libretto. She also wrote the text Texanische Liebeslieder, a song cycle by David Hanlon, which premiered in 2015.

Most recently, Kelly wrote a new English translation Hansel und Gretel for Tri-Cities Opera. She was also commissioned by Wolf Trap Opera to write the libretto for Listen Wilhelmina!, a children’s opera that premiered in May 2017.

Interim dean mcclung thanks the search committee, co-chaired by Alan Yaffe and Robin Guarino, and committee members Amy Johnson, Marie-France Lefebvre and Michelle Conda for their work on finding CCM’s new associate professor of opera coaching. He adds,

“Professor Kelly brings a wealth of experience and artistry both nationally at the Metropolitan Opera and internationally at the Vienna State Opera to CCM’s nationally ranked and internationally renowned opera program.”

Please join us in welcoming Kathleen Kelly to the CCM family!

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In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member Richard Morris

We are saddened to share news of the passing of CCM Professor Emeritus Richard Morris, a piano faculty member from 1976 to 2004 and former chair of the Piano Department. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and two adult children Kevin and Kerry.

Professor Morris accepts a plaque signifying him as an "honorary alumnus of CCM" thanks to his work as faculty coordinator of the CCM Alumni Association.

Professor Morris accepts a plaque signifying him as an “honorary alumnus of CCM” thanks to his work as faculty coordinator of the CCM Alumni Association.

Morris earned his BM and MM from Indiana University and was a soloist with the university’s Philharmonic for three consecutive years. He studied with Walter Robert, Bruno Eisner and Sidney Foster.

Before coming to CCM in 1976, Morris taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 16 years, where he also served as head of the piano faculty. He was also a past president of the Music Teachers National Association. His former students hold faculty positions throughout the United States and Europe.

A featured clinician, adjudicator and master teacher, Morris performed extensively both as a chamber musician and with orchestras, acquiring a repertoire of 30 different concerti spanning from Bach to Norman Dello Joio.  As a genre recitalist, he performed the 24 Chopin Études and the 24 Debussy Préludes numerous times and was often asked to give workshops on either set.

Professor Morris was a beloved member of the CCM family for nearly three decades. In 1979, he was honored by the CCM Alumni Association for his instrumental work in regrouping that organization. To celebrate his life and legacy, the CCM Piano Department has planned a memorial concert and reception on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Professor Morris’ family and friends during this time.

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CCM Village in the spring of 2014. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM Welcomes Susan Felder to Drama/Acting Faculty

Susan Felder

Susan Felder will join CCM faculty as an assistant professor on August 15, 2016.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren is proud to announce a new addition to the Drama/Acting program’s faculty, Susan Felder.

As full-time assistant professor of acting and movement, Felder’s appointment at CCM will begin on August 15, 2016. With 12 years of university-level teaching experience, Felder is a professional actor and director, produced playwright and a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association.

She holds a BA in theatre arts from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA in acting from the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. For the past two years, Felder has taught movement, period styles and multi-level acting courses at Bradley University.

Felder has previously taught acting and movement at Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame and graduate-level courses at Oklahoma State University and Montana State University.

With more than 20 years experience as a professional actor, Felder has performed in numerous roles with The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Indiana Repertory, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Northlight Theatre, Boarshead Theatre and the Attic Theatre among others.

Felder received a Thespie Award for Best Supporting Actress as Wendy in Mother’s Day at Boarshead Theatre. She also received the Joseph Jefferson Award and After Dark Award for Best Ensemble in The Laramie Project at Next Theatre.

Felder holds two certificates of achievement from the Linklater Voice Center in Scotland, where she studied under world-renowned vocal coach Kristin Linklater.

As a verse and language direction coach, Felder has worked with actors and directors to help them better understand Shakespearean language at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Montana Shakespeare, Writer’s Theatre, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Shakespeare and Loyola University Chicago.

Her extensive directing credits range from the classical repertoire to more contemporary work. At Montana Shakespeare, Felder directed Macbeth, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. Other directing credits include The Quiet Man Tales at The Chicago Theatre, A Love Lost Life – The Marlon Brando Story at the Theatre Building Chicago, Waiting for Godot, the American premiere of The Blue Hour, A Son at the Front, and House of Butterflies at Loyola University Chicago and Beyond Therapy at Oklahoma State University.  Most recently, Felder directed The Seagull, Mountaintop, and Our Country’s Good for Bradley University.

As a playwright, Felder’s original work has seen much success. Her play Wasteland received a critically acclaimed world premiere at Chicago’s Timeline Theatre. The Chicago Tribune said the show was “involving and strikingly emotional.” Her other works include Swimming with Van Gogh, which was chosen for the 2012 Arkansas New Play Festival and Milky Way and Main, which was chosen for the Judith Karman Hospice Play Festival. Most recently was the world premiere of Felder’s play Temple Spirit at Echo Theatre Dallas.

In his announcement of Felder’s appointment, Landgren observed:

“As she continues to successfully develop original work across the nation, we are fortunate that Ms. Felder has decided to make Cincinnati her home and CCM’s acting students the focus of her talents.”

Join us in welcoming Susan Felder to the CCM family!
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CCM’s Studio Series Production of ‘Speech and Debate’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

League of Cincinnati TheatresWe are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Speech and Debate with a 4.5 star recommendation.

Written by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Stephen Karam, Speech and Debate feels ripped from today’s headlines. What begins as a story of on-line stalking quickly snowballs into a play that is part mystery, part coming-of-age story; a smart comedy and an insightful reflection of what it means to be young in America today.

Panelists called Speech and Debate “a wonderful production… contemporary, real and sometimes raw.” They were unanimous in praising CCM Drama Chair Richard Hess’ direction: “tight and economical, allowing his actors to bond together in their awkwardness while slowly revealing their secrets.”

The ensemble in the show “couldn’t be better… they worked marvelously together as a seamless unit.” Panelists singled out actress Katie Langham’s performance as Diwata: “brilliant, quick-delivery, comic in the truest sense.”

Critics have heaped praise on this production, with David Lyman calling the show “glorious to watch” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Kirk Sheppard observed that Langham is “on track to be a major comedic star” in his review for The Sappy Critic.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher wrote that, “The show features excellent direction by Richard E. Hess, and is extremely well-cast with a committed and fearless leading trio.”

MacKenzie Bower concluded that Speech and Debate was “a lovable show for all” in her review for The News Record.

CCM Drama will next present a free play reading series from Nov. 17 – 20, focusing on dramatic treatments of war and aggression. From England to Vietnam to Africa and beyond, this series will allow CCM’s Dramatic Performance majors to consider global and historical conflicts through the lens created by the playwright. All readings will begin at 7 p.m. in room 4735 of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. The schedule includes:

  • Monday, Nov. 17: Shirley Lauro’s A Piece of My Heart, directed by k. Jenny Jones
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18: Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, directed by Richard E. Hess.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19: William Shakespeare’s Henry V, directed by Diane Kvapil
  • Thursday, Nov. 20: Charise Castro Smith’s The Hunchback of Seville, directed by Brant Russell

CCM’s Drama Season then resumes Feb. 11 – 15 with a Mainstage Series production of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, directed by Richard E. Hess. Tickets are on sale now.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

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Become a CCM Insider: Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS

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Click here to subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS.

What’s the best way to keep up with CCM’s remarkable faculty, students, alumni, friends and benefactors? Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS, CCM’s new electronic newsletter.

  • Learn about the CCM student and alumni-led Whiz Kids Music Program, which is making a difference in disadvantaged schools throughout Cincinnati.
  • Watch all 75 current Musical Theatre majors perform CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty’s (BM, 1982) “On the Wings of a Dream” in tribute to UC alumnus and supporter Otto M. Budig Jr.
  • Find out where CCM’s latest Fulbright grant-recipient will be studying next year.
  • Read what the New York Times had to say about CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet.
  • Get to know CCM’s newest faculty members.

Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS and we will deliver these transformational stories to your inbox throughout the year. If you missed our SUMMER 2014 issue, sign up today and we’ll send you a copy!

Have a story of your own? Share it with us today.

And don’t worry: we will continue to provide you with breaking news through the CCM Blog, too!

Find out more about THE VILLAGE NEWS by visiting ccm.uc.edu/villagenews.

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LISTEN: WVXU Previews CCM’s Concert Production of John Adams’ ‘El Nino’

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WVXU contributor Anne Arenstein recently spoke with CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers about our upcoming concert production of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ American oratorio El Niño.

You can listen to audio of the full interview here.

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael ManiaciEric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance.

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Cincinnati Public Radio, Cincinnati Enquirer and Gramophone Magazine Preview CCM’s February Performances

The latest installment of WVXU’s Around Cincinnati features a number of upcoming CCM performances! First up, guest artist D. Lynn Meyers gives Jim Stump a preview of this week’s Mainstage Production of Metamorphoses (Feb. 5 – 9). You can listen to their full conversation here.

Later on in the program, Brian O’Donnell speaks with CCM faculty members Awadagin Pratt and Michael Chertock about the Bearcat Piano Festival and Pianopalooza (Feb. 6 – 16). You can listen to the interview here.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s list of Top Arts Picks for February is also filled with CCM happenings, including the Bearcat Piano Festival, Metamorphoses, and Les Misérables (Feb. 27 – March 9). Read the full preview here.

Even Gramophone Magazine’s latest podcast features an upcoming CCM performance, as James Jolly speaks with guest artist Gerald Finley about his current tour with pianist Julius Drake, which comes to CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on Feb. 5! You can download the podcast here.

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