A short film produced by UC's innovative Production Master Class is a finalist in the 2016 New York City Drone Film Festival.

Student Produced Film Nominated Alongside Works By National Geographic, NBC News and ‘Good Morning America’ For NYC Drone Film Festival

A short film created in the University of Cincinnati‘s groundbreaking Production Master Class has been selected as an official nominee by the prestigious New York City Drone Film Festival.

The student and alumni produced film shares elite company in the festival’s News/Documentary category, as it is nominated alongside films by Good Morning America, NBC News and National Geographic!

A still from the UC Production Master Class short film, 'The Making of Expedition Alaska.'

A still from the UC Production Master Class short film, ‘The Making of Expedition Alaska.’

Produced by McMicken College graduate Mackenzie Houston (2015), edited by CCM senior Electronic Media major Nelson Mustain and directed by CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA E-Media, 2001), the film details a group of UC students’ experiences filming in the Alaskan wilderness in the summer of 2015. Titled The Making of Expedition Alaska, the five-minute short will premiere in New York City this March.

The second annual New York City Drone Film Festival, presented by GE, will feature an interactive discussion panel, guest speakers, screenings of nominated films and an awards ceremony. This unique festival allows for drone cinematographers and storytellers from across the globe to showcase their work to industry professionals and drone cinema community. The #NYCDFF has been featured by Good Morning America, The New York Times, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and more. Festival schedule and ticket information can be found at www.nycdronefilmfestival.com.

A still from the UC Production Master Class short film, 'The Making of Expedition Alaska.'

A still from the UC Production Master Class short film, ‘The Making of Expedition Alaska.’

About the UC Production Master Class
The UC Production Master Class involves an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty from the University of Cincinnati who work with nationally recognized television and film professionals to produce digital media content that reaches a national and global audience.

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

UC Production Master Class.Developed by CCM Professor Kevin Burke and UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer Brian J. Leitten, the UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Last year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which allowed the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period.

The goal was to create a transformative, “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce the documentary series that could be distributed to a national television audience.

The project’s initial three years focused on the Gold Rush Expedition Race, a grueling 275-mile race through the California wilderness. Three 90-minute films were produced to document that race. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

UC’s Production Master Class changed venues from California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to the pristine wilderness of Alaska this summer to document 350 mile long “Expedition Alaska” adventure race from June 28 to July 5, 2015. A crew of seven UC student worked with media professionals to film the extraordinary sporting event.

CCM Alumni Applause Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
The Torrential Saxophone Quartet, comprised of CCM students Mark Harrison, Samuel Lana, Caleb Burkhardt and Kyle Kidwell.

CCM Winds’ Concert Series Resumes Jan. 31 With Performance By Chamber Players And Torrential Saxophone Quartet

CCM’s Department of Wind Studies celebrates a diverse collection of repertoire this semester, ranging from Bach to brand new works by CCM’s own talented student composers!

Under the direction of Professor Glenn D. Price, the CCM Chamber Players kick off the performance series at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 31, with a collaborative concert featuring the Torrential Saxophone Quartet, an award-winning CCM student ensemble. The concert’s program includes Philip Glass’ monumental Glassworks, along with original works by CCM student composers. Later on in the semester, the Chamber Players present Saint-Saëns’ cherished Carnival of the Animals (March 6) and Stravinsky’s beloved L’histoire du soldat (April 17).

The CCM Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble join forces in the Masterworks concert on Thursday, February 4, with a program of J.S. Bach’s infamous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and Ives’ patriotic Variations on “America,” featuring guest artist Craig Kirchhoff at the podium.

CCM Doctoral student George Carpten makes his Wind Orchestra debut performing Marco Pütz’s Trumpet Concerto on Tuesday, March 15.

Learn more about the Department of Wind Studies’ spring concert series below!

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

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 more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. 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.uc.edu/about/directions.

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2016 SPRING WINDS SERIES

4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31
CCM Chamber Players
Glenn D. Price, music director and conductor
Featuring the Torrential Saxophone Quartet
Featuring Philip Glass’ Glassworks and original works by CCM Composition students.
Location: Cohen Family Studio Theater
Admission: FREE

____

8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4
MASTERWORKS
CCM Wind Orchestra & Wind Ensemble
Glenn D. Price and Angela Holt, music directors and conductors
Featuring guest artist Craig Kirchhoff, conductor
J.S. BACH: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
SCHWANTNER: …and the mountains rising nowhere
IVES: Variations on “America”
Feat. Craig Kirchhoff
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

____

4 p.m. Sunday, March 6
CCM Chamber Players
Glenn D. Price, music director and conductor
SAINT-SAËNS: Carnival of the Animals
VAN OTTERLOO: Sinfonietta
HINDEMITH: Kammermusik
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

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8 p.m. Tuesday, March 15
THE MUSIC OF EUROPE
CCM Wind Orchestra
Featuring guest artist George Carpten, trumpet
Glenn D. Price, music director and conductor
STRAUSS: Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare
SWEELINCK: Variations on “Mein junges Leben hat ein End”
STRENS: Danse Funambulesque
PÜTZ: Trumpet Concerto
LUKAS: Musica Boema
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

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8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16
A SPRING POTPOURRI
CCM Wind Ensemble
Featuring the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble with music director and conductor Ann Porter
Angela Holt, music director and conductor

Spring is in the air! Join the CCM Wind Ensemble and CYWE as they collaborate for a concert assortment of musical sounds and colors.
Location: 
Corbett Auditorium
Admission: 
FREE

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7 p.m. Sunday, April 10
CONDUCTOR’S CHOICE
CCM Chamber Winds
Glenn D. Price, music director and conductor
Prof. Glenn Price journeys into his library of wind works to find some of his favorites to share!
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

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8 p.m. Tuesday, April 12
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
CCM Wind Ensemble
Angela Holt, music director and conductor
This is your opportunity to hear the creative minds of CCM’s composition students debut a variety of new music with help from the CCM Wind Ensemble – you will not want to miss out!
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: FREE

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8 p.m. Wednesday, April 13
SKETCHES
CCM Wind Orchestra
Glenn D. Price, music director and conductor

ZUK: Scherzo
TULL: Sketches on a Tudor Psalm
Feat. the winner of the CCM Wind Orchestra Young Artists Concerto Competition
MASLANKA: Give Us This Day
VALENCIA: Suite Colombiana No. 2
Location: 
Patricia Corbett Theater
Tickets: 
$15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

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4 p.m. Sunday, April 17
CCM Chamber Players
Glenn D. Price, music director and conductor
STRAVINSKY: L’histoire du soldat
PINKHAM: Music for an Indian Summer
LIGETI: Chamber Concerto
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM's 'Moveable Feast' benefit event returns on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016!

A Moveable Feast Returns to CCM Village on Jan. 22

CCM's 'Moveable Feast' benefit event returns on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016!

CCM’s ‘Moveable Feast’ benefit event returns on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016!

Cincinnati’s premier fundraiser returns in early 2016 when CCM presents its Moveable Feast! Help fuel the future of the arts by joining the Friends of CCM for this unique benefit event!

Moveable Feast showcases students and faculty members from all corners of CCM in an evening of live entertainment and by-the-bite cuisine. The festivities begin at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22!

Logo for CCM's 2016 Moveable Feast.

Order your tickets today!

A star-powered showcase of CCM’s world-class performing and media arts programs and state-of-the-art facilities, the fundraiser features samplings of artistic and culinary delights throughout CCM Village. In the spirit of ONECCM, Dean Peter Landgren will also announce exciting news about the future of the Friends of CCM and the Alumni Governing Boards during this year’s event!

Guests can explore the remarkable CCM Village and plan their own schedule of 20-minute samplings of student and faculty entertainment, including the Ariel QuartetCostume & Make-Up StudiosDanceJazzElectronic MediaMusical TheatreOperaOrchestraChamber ChoirPiano and more all while dining by the bite.

Event Time
6:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22

Location
CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to “Moveable Feast” are on sale now and can be purchased online at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/MoveableFeast2016 or over the telephone at 513-556-2100.

  • Host Tickets: $125 (ticket price includes valet parking)
  • Friends of CCM Member Tickets: $50
  • General Public Tickets: $75 (ticket price includes a Friends of CCM Membership)
  • Young Professional (40 and under) Tickets: $35
  • CCM Alumni Tickets: $35

Seating is limited. Event proceeds raised by the Friends of CCM, a group of 600 volunteers and an active board, support student scholarships for CCM’s “stars of tomorrow.”

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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. 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.uc.edu/about/directions.

____________________

2016 MOVEABLE FEAST SPONSORS

Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Jeff Thomas Catering

PNC

Trish & Rick Bryan

Keating, Muething & Klekamp P.L.L.

Rhonda & Larry Sheakley

Susan & David Eltringham

Florence & Ron Koetters

Dick Rosenthal & Kitty Strauss

Anne & Jim Shanahan

Graeter’s

Susan & John Tew

Mary Ellen & Tom Cody

Gloria Giannestras

Drs. Lesley Gilbertson & William Hurford

Liz Grubow & Jerry Kathman

David C. Herriman

Bob Hockenberger

Karen & David Hoguet

Sandra & Stephen Joffe

Arlene & Bill Katz

Diana & Tom Klinedinst

MAC Productions

Patti Myers & Alan Flaherty

Jen & Jay Rueger

Ellen & Ray vander Horst

Lori & David Wellinghoff

John G. Avril

Buddy Roger’s Music

Al Campbell

Amy & Trey Devey

Freeman Durham & Dean Clevenger

Tim Giglio

Donna Sontag Grummich

Mark Haggard & Daniel Brown

Barbara & Jack Hahn

Peter Landgren & Judith Schonbach

Susan & Richard Lauf

Warren Liang & Fred Martens

Robbie & John Michelman*

Leo Munick & Alice Fegelman

Matt Nitzberg & Family

Vicky & Rick Reynolds

Carole & Edwin Rigaud

Drs. Jay & Janalee Rissover

Uptown Rental Properties

Barbara & Jay Wittenbaum

*Donation through The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

2016 MOVEABLE FEAST PROMOTIONAL SPONSORS & PARTNERS

ArtsWave Young Professionals


Young Professionals’ Choral Collective


Young Philanthropist Society


Attitude: Cincinnati Ballet Young Patrons


HYPE

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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
CCM doctoral student Olivier Ochanine receives first prize at the 2015 Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition.

CCM Student Olivier Ochanine Takes First Prize at Inaugural Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition

We are thrilled to announce that CCM student Olivier Ochanine has returned home from Budapest with first prize in hand from the inaugural Antal Doráti International Conducting Competition. Ochanine is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of CCM Professor Mark Gibson.

In addition to a cash prize of €1.500, Ochanine has been offered a career-advancing contract proposal with Contempoars International Artists Agency.

This exciting new competition for conductors is open to all ages and nationalities. Over the course of six days competitors advanced through five rounds in total. While the eliminatory round welcomed an unlimited number of applicants, jurors only advanced 30 people to the first round. By the end of the competition, jurors eliminated all but three outstanding contestants who advanced to the final round.

In the final round, contestants rehearsed for 60 minutes with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV. Each rehearsed two pieces, Béla Bartók’s Hungarian Peasant Songs Sz.100, and either Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 movement I, Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 movement IV or Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune. Directly following the rehearsal each contestant performed a work from their assigned repertoire in concert for a public audience.

The competition was judged by some of Europe’s finest conductors:

  • Tamás Vásáry (Hungary), president of the jury
  • György Lendvai, managing director of Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV
  • Pietro Borgonovo (Italy), artistic director of Giovine Orchestra Genovese and chief conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Savona
  • Vittorio Parisi, teacher of orchestra conducting at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan
  • Márton Rácz (Hungary), conductor, music director, Eszterháza Centre of Culture, Research and Festivals, Esterházy Castle; Szigligeti Theatre, Szolnok
CCM doctoral student Olivier Ochanine.

CCM doctoral student Olivier Ochanine.

About Olivier Ochanine
Regularly praised for his charisma on and off the podium as well as for his breadth of orchestral repertoire, Olivier Ochanine is the youngest music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in the orchestra’s history.

A native of Paris, Ochanine began music studies in France. He continued his studies in the US, and expanded his focus to orchestral conducting, taking up graduate studies and attending master classes with some of the best conducting mentors, including Mark Gibson, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, Larry Livingston, Robert Baldwin, John Barnett, John Farrer and Achim Holub. He obtained his Master of Music degree in Conducting from the University of Southern California (USC), where he was given the Conducting Department Award in 2003. In 2009, he began his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at CCM.

A flutist and bassist, Ochanine earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kentucky. He has also played as bassist for the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ochanine has been invited to the California Conductors Institute several times. In 2009, Ochanine was among a handful of conductors nationally to be invited by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop to conduct in the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, California and to participate in a conducting workshop. He has also been a participant in CCM’s prestigious conducting workshops.

Ochanine’s term with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the nation’s leading orchestra, started with the 2010-11 performance season. Under his leadership, the orchestra has performed numerous Philippine premieres. In the Philippines, Ochanine is an active clinician, leading chamber music master classes at schools; he has also led conducting master classes for the Cultural Center of the Philippines. As part of his outreach mission, Ochanine serves as head visiting conductor for the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth, a program geared toward talented youth that stem from severely unfortunate financial backgrounds. Ochanine is a strong believer in advocacy and heritage, and recently won a campaign he spearheaded to save the best performance hall in Manila – the Philamlife Theater – from demolishment by a large commercial developer.

Olivier is second prizewinner in the 2015 London Classical Soloists International Conducting Competition, where he conducted the orchestra in various Beethoven symphonies. He was also selected as semi-finalist for the American Prize (2015) in the Professional Orchestra Conducting division. Finalists are announced later in the year.

Guest conducting appearances have led him to the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, CCM orchestras and regular engagements with the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and a Russian debut with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

Learn more about Olivier Ochanine by visiting www.olivierochanine.com.

Learn more about CCM’s Department of Orchestral Studies by visiting ccm.uc.edu/music/orchestra.

 

CCM News Student Salutes
Flutes!

CCM Flute Students and Alumni Achieve Clean Sweep at North Carolina Flute Competition

We are thrilled to report that current and former CCM students took all three top prizes at the inaugural Artist Competition held by the Raleigh Area Flute Association (RAFA)! The competition took place on Nov. 14, 2015, during the organization’s annual Flute Fair in Raleigh, North Carolina.

All three winners are current or former students of famed performer and CCM faculty member Randolph Bowman:

  • First Place: Matthew Ross. Ross is a current master of music student at CCM. For winning the competition, he received a $1,000 cash prize and will be invited to perform a full recital during RAFA’s 2016–17 season.
  • Second Place: Lindsay Leach-Sparks. Sparks, who currently resides in Chapel Hill, N.C., is a 2012 graduate of CCM, earning her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree. She was awarded a $500 prize for finishing second.
  • Third Place: Jennifer Gosack. Gosack is currently pursuing her DMA at CCM; she also previously earned a 2011 Artist Diploma (AD) and 2010 MM from the college. For her third-place finish, she won a $250 cash prize.
From left to right, RAFA President Rosene Rohrer, Jennifer M. Gosack (3rd place winner), Matthew Ross (1st place winner), Lindsay Leach-Sparks (2nd place winner), and Artistic Competition Coordinator Catherine LeGrand. Photo by Darryl Kessler/Riverview Photography.

From left to right, RAFA President Rosene Rohrer, Jennifer M. Gosack (3rd place winner), Matthew Ross (1st place winner), Lindsay Leach-Sparks (2nd place winner), and Artistic Competition Coordinator Catherine LeGrand. Photo by Darryl Kessler/Riverview Photography.

About the RAFA
RAFA, formerly the Raleigh Area Flute Association, is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1985. In addition to our extensive family of teachers and students, we have several flute choirs that perform throughout the Raleigh and Greater Triangle Areas. Our parent organization, the Raleigh Flute Choir, is home to some of the best flutists in Raleigh and beyond, but RAFA with its membership roster of over 300 flutists encourages everyone to strive for their best flute playing.

RAFA presents workshops, masterclasses, and competitions all year, but our favorite event is our annual Flute Fair, held in mid-fall, where all our members gather together for presentations, guest artists, recitals, and flute-related vendors all in one! We support activities through membership dues and contributions from both individuals and businesses throughout the area as well as nationwide.

The mission of the Raleigh Area Flute Association is to:

  • promote flute playing in the Raleigh area,
  • promote the enjoyment and appreciation of the flute,
  • assist members in achieving musical excellence, and
  • provide scholarships for worthy students.

Join us in congratulating these current and former students on their achievements!

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Named ‘Best Musical Theatre College For Broadway Success’

The educational news site Learn U has placed CCM at the very top of its list for Best Musical Theatre Colleges for Broadway Success. The report states:

“In terms of bang for your buck, CCM’s program comes out the winner – it’s the school we gave the #1 ranking to in our list of the best MT programs, and it’s also one of the more affordable options.”

Long lauded as the “gold standard” of BFA musical theatre programs, CCM Musical Theatre is the oldest program of its kind in the country. Establish in 1968 by Helen Laird, with Jack Rouse serving as its first chairman, the program served as the model for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) in creating their guidelines for the accreditation of musical theatre programs in the United States.

Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Carousel.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

The Learn U report observes, “The thing that really makes CCM stand out is the tremendous success that alumni have had on Broadway. The list of alumni who have gone on to have careers in the entertainment industry is extensive and reads like a who’s who of Broadway stars.” You can learn more about the impressive successes of our alumni by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre/musical_theatre/alumni.

You can read Learn U’s full report of top musical theatre programs here.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
'The Merry Widow' photography by Mark Lyons.

Discussing ‘The Merry Widow’ Costumes with Student Designer Greta Stokes

The Merry Widow Costume Designer Greta Stokes recently sat down with CCM Public Information Assistant and DMA student Charlotte Kies to discuss the work that went into this delightful new production of Franz Lehár’s most popular operetta.

Charlotte Kies: Hi Greta! What can you tell me about your inspiration for these costumes?

Juliana Rucker draped and built this charming blue dress for Valencienne. Photography by Steve Shin.

Juliana Rucker draped and built this charming blue dress for Valencienne. Photo by Steve Shin.

Greta Stokes: Although the opera was written right around the turn of the 20th century, we knew we wanted to create a more modern silhouette for the women’s garments, like the same kind of idea behind Dior’s new look of the 1950s.

But when we began working with the text and thinking about how the actors are interacting we kind of let go of the design being so strict. It became more 50s, 60s, 90s, now. It became looser and less of a period piece, because it’s not a stiff opera. It doesn’t need to be historical.

When I first got assigned this show I watched an old production of it, I looked at old stills and I got a feel for what the opera used to be. At this point we had already decided on the 50’s. If you look at my Pinterest board it starts with these beautiful black and white photos. And then you can see how after every conversation I had with [Merry Widow director] Professor Emma Griffin the board gets crazier and crazier, and brighter, and begins to include things that aren’t from the 50’s at all, like these modern fashion collections and this weird art. It started out very demure, with lots of little black dresses. And then it just got wild, and the cast is really into it. It has been a great kind of build up to that and I think that the result is really interesting and different and fun.

Greta Stokes' design concept for Hanna's dress.

Greta Stokes’ design concept for Hanna’s dress.

CK: So the costumes are not specific to one decade?

GS: They’re mid-century flavored. There are a lot of brighter colors, and we took a lot of inspiration from more modern fashion houses. There’s a lot of Prada and Dolce & Gabbana resort lines right now that are very colorful. Our costumes are those two ideas [vintage and modern] married together.

When people come in for a fitting for a period piece and they’re putting high-fitted pleated pants on you, they look great if you’re doing a strictly 50’s show. Even though they look great on stage, you can tell the actors are uncomfortable in them. So to have a modern cut with a vintage feel, I know my performers will go on stage feeling comfortable and good about how they look, and you can really see that in their movements.

CK: Can you tell me about your design process?

GS: We started looking at research in the middle of last semester before it was cast. All of the designers got together to discuss concepts, colors schemes and how we would interact with each other. We built research collages and talked about what inspired us. From there I decided what pieces needed to be built for the performers. Our lead character’s costume is getting built from scratch. We discussed how the characters are in this made-up country at an embassy in Paris and what that might look like. We got to decide what and where that country was. We decided on something eastern European, but I incorporated little bits of different European cultures into a made-up folk costume so you’ll see elements of that. There are two characters that are wearing kilts and one in lederhosen. There are little flavors of recognizable folk traditions scattered among the Petrovenians. It’s off the wall but still a little controlled. When I’m in the costume shop and all around me are flower crowns and lederhosen and kilts and a bunch of tuxedoes, I feel I should be telling people “I swear I’m not crazy, I promise this will make sense!” Fingers crossed!

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photography by Steve Shin.

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photo by Steve Shin.

CK: Does Hanna have a costume change in the middle of the show?

GS: She kind of does, she has this outer shell made with beautiful pink dupioni. The shell comes off later in the opera as the acts and the parties go on. And there are so many crystals on that black skirt, it’s gonna be on fire.

CK: How are these costumes different from costumes you might see in another version?

GS: In the original versions there are HUGE choruses and they’re all wearing these crazy costumes that are all very expensive and lavish. Older productions were all about the costumes, and the performers just kind of walk around the stage going “lalala, look at my giant hat, lalalalala.”

Ours is a condensed, smaller cast. It’s still a lot of people, but because we have created more modern clothing, it has become really more about their movement. The idea is that they’re drinking, moving from one party to the next. They’re having a really good time.

CK: How much liberty do you have? Do you get to design whatever you want? Do you have any restrictions or guidelines?

In Act II, the party guests reconvene at Hanna Glawari’s house for a garden party. Brian Horton built these hats for the characters, who decide that Hanna’s garden is better suited for their outfits. Photography by Steve Shin.

In Act II, the party guests reconvene at Hanna Glawari’s house for a garden party. Brian Horton built these hats for the characters, who decide that Hanna’s garden is better suited for their outfits. Photo by Steve Shin.

GS: We operate under the guidance of Professor Dean Mogle, head of the Costume Design and Technology program at CCM. I would say we are restricted by what we are able to get. Obviously there are time restrictions, as well. I couldn’t ask them to build every single tuxedo, so we purchased tuxedos. I designed Hanna’s costume to look like a mix between Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith.

As for the dancers, I actually found these vintage dresses that we had in stock that were specifically dance dresses. Because we are not doing a traditional can-can we can use these really full, floofy skirts with all these sparkles and stuff. In Act II they’re all at Hanna’s house for a garden party and the women take these flowers off of the set and put them on their hats. They are completely ruining her garden, and she totally does not care.

Professor Griffin is incredible to work with. She is so great at letting designers have liberties, while still reining us in or pushing us forward. It is really nice to have all those liberties, to be able to create this world out of nothing and figure out what exists in it.

CK: Is it the same dress design for the two Hanna’s?

GS: Yes, but they are built to fit each performer. The design will be the same, but the fit will be different just because the bodies are.

CK: How much work are you doing outside of CCM while you’re also a student?

GS: Oh, not a lot, because I’m a little busy! I am working on The Little Prince right now for Cincinnati Chamber Opera as the costume designer/coordinator.

I also work for New Edgecliff Theatre. We just closed Frankie & Johnny in the Clare de Lune and we’ll be back in the spring with The Shape of Things.

CK: Have you enjoyed your time as a student at CCM?

GS: Of course yes! I am from Columbus, so I’m not too far from my family. This school is incredible. I love how hands-on it is and how we’re really working as a professional theatre would. We are learning to interact with each other and not just in our own little worlds.

CK: How did you get into costume design?

GS: I am a non-traditional student, so I ‘m quite a bit older. I did theatre in high school. I worked in the costume shop. I did a little acting, but I wasn’t very good! I stitched. I was friends with all of the theatre kids and I really liked it. My grandmother was a dress designer so I would always go play with her dressmaking tools and pocket a few of them. I continued to work in vintage stores for a long time doing alterations for vintage clothing.

I have always been working with clothing, and this made more sense than fashion. I have always really loved the theatre community and I feel like it has a really good turnover. It’s not like “oh, polka-dots are so in right now.” It’s a constant challenge.

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photo by Steve Shin.

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photo by Steve Shin.

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Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow runs Nov. 19 – 22 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID. $12-$15 student rush tickets will become available one hour prior to each performance; limit two student rush tickets per valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/merry-widow.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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