A mask from CCM's 2016 production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Presents ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ April 8 – 10, 2016

CCM brings you Leoš Janácek’s anthropomorphic opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, from April 8 – 10 as part of this year’s Mainstage Series. Instead of the typical protagonists of kings, queens and courtly staff, the stars of Janácek’s opera are foxes, dragonflies and badgers, and a host of woodland creatures, as well as the humans who try to tame them. Mark Gibson conducts with stage direction and choreography by Vince DeGeorge. This production will be sung in English, with a new translation by CCM Professor Emeritus David Adams.

The story begins with a Forester who, asleep at the base of a tree after a long night of drinking, awakens to the sight of a playful vixen cub. Delighted with his newfound furry friend, the Forester stumbles home to his farm to show his family. Discontent with her life in captivity, the cunning Vixen plots her escape, ruffles some feathers among the farm animals, and flees into the night. The Forester is then devastated and left alone to pine after his lost treasure.

Meanwhile, the Forester’s drinking buddies have troubles of their own. The Schoolmaster lusts after a young woman engaged to another man, and the Priest struggles to reconcile a misstep in his past with his present life of piety. Each man finds himself tormented by his own obsession, and struggles to accept the natural progression of life and death when it is out of his control.

One of the design inspriations for CCM's new production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN.

One of the design inspriations for CCM’s new production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN.

Inspired by a serial comic strip printed in the local paper, Leoš Janácek uses music and dance to breathe life into the characters he saw on the page. DeGeorge said a muse in the form of a little wooden vixen, gifted from his wife 10 years ago, inspired his vision for CCM’s production of the opera.

The geometric nature of the figurine, which is featured on the program cover, is reflected in the masks worn and carried by the characters as they transform throughout the opera.

“One of the things that is most prevalent in this opera is the relationship between humans and animals. The actors come on stage as humans and they transform into animals in front of the audience,” DeGeorge said. “There’s a sort of formalism about this little creature that I love but there’s also a playfulness that embodies the spirit of this production.”

It’s that very spirit, the transformative essence and flow of cycles within the opera, that Janácek masterfully elicits in your ears. Janácek will mesmerize you with his lush harmonies and sweeping melodies, Hollywood strings, flittering elfin-like woodwinds solos, and powerful romantic brass, in this fantastical tale of the intimate relationship between man and nature.

Join us in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium, this April 8-10, to explore the human condition within the enchanted world of music and dance.

Leoš Janácek’s
THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
An Opera in Three Acts
Critical revised version by Jiri Zahrádka
Used by arrangement with European American Music Distributors Company, U.S. and Canadian agent for Universal Edition Vienna, publisher and copyright owner.

The Creative Team

  • Mark Gibson, conductor
  • Vince DeGeorge, stage director and choreographer
  • Marie-France Lefebvre, musical preparation
  • Mark Halpin, scenic designer
  • Jeremy Dominik, lighting designer*
  • Oran Wongpandid, costume designer*
  • Kelly Yurko, wig & make-up designer
  • Kristen Budke, properties designer*
  • Susan Moser, choreographer
  • Michael Medina, stage manager*
  • John Murton, assistant conductor (Sunday matinee)*
  • Maria Fuller, rehearsal pianist*
  • Levi Hammer, rehearsal pianist*
  • Michael Medina, rehearsal pianist*

* CCM student

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 8
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to The Cunning Little Vixen are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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 at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/cunning-little-vixen.

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.

____

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News

CCM Presents New Semi-Staged Production of Honegger’s ‘Joan of Arc at the Stake’ on Feb. 13

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies presents four exciting concerts this semester, beginning with a new semi-staged production of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. This concert will be sung in English with surtitles.

Poster for CCM's production of Honegger's 'Joan of Arc at the Stake.'Honegger’s monumental oratorio premiered in Basel, Switzerland, in May of 1938. Over the course of eleven scenes, Joan of Arc at the Stake recounts the timeless tale of 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc. Inspired by both popular and classical music trends of the 1930s, Honegger sprinkled his oratorio with flares of jazz, military fanfares, atonality and Hollywood styles.

CCM’s semi-staged concert production of this imposing work is a massive undertaking, requiring the combined forces of the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Chorale, along with the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. The production also features soloists from CCM’s voice and dramatic performance programs, along with technical support from the Lighting Design and Technology department, all of which allows Joan’s brief life to unfold in a truly dynamic fashion on stage.

CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts this performance. “The drama takes place during Joan’s last minutes on the stake, with flashbacks to her younger days and her trial. Honegger entitled his work a dramatic oratorio, adding speaking roles and actors,” he says. “Joan’s life unfolds in cinematic scenes of heavenly visions, conquests, her trial and her eventual fate at the stake.”

Artist Diploma candidate Marcus Shields provides the stage direction for this production, explaining, “In a typical concert presentation of Joan of Arc at the Stake, the soloists would be using music with music stands. For our production, all of the solo parts are going to be memorized, allowing us to realize Joan’s story in three dimensional space. This allows us to shift the focus to real characters forging real relationships, detached from a music stand.”

This production’s feature soloists include soprano Tara Morrow as St. Catherine, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Narum as St. Marguerite and soprano Ann Toomey as the Virgin, along with tenor Robert Stahley and bass-baritone Junbo Zhou.

Joan of Arc at the Stake‘s two primary roles are actually spoken roles, so Rivers and Shields have also enlisted two actors from CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance: Laura McCarthy as Joan and Landon Hawkins as Brother Dominique.

The last documented performance of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake in Cincinnati was at the May Festival in 1952, making CCM’s new production a very rare treat.

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies also presents three other exciting concerts this spring. On Wednesday, March 30, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers perform Daniel Elder’s The Brightest Heaven and a variety of other celebrated masterpieces.

On Sunday, April 17, the Jazz and Choral Departments share the stage in a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass. Prepare to be dazzled by this fusion of jazz and gospel.

Finally, the Department of Choral Studies concludes this year’s series with a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This concert features talent from CCM’s Drama Department, along with premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio, and Jake Runestad.

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.

____________________

2016 SPRING CHORAL SERIES

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
HONEGGER’S JOAN OF ARC AT THE STAKE AND VERDI’S OVERTURE FROM GIOVANNA D’ARCO
CCM Philharmonia, Chamber Choir and Chorale; UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses; and Cincinnati Children’s Choir Earl Rivers, conductor

Marcus Shields, stage director
CCM showcases the American university premiere of a staged concert production of Arthur Honegger’s 1938 Joan of Arc at the Stake (Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), featuring Joan of Arc in the final moments of her life, with flashbacks to her trial and younger days. Actors, soloists, choristers and children play and sing multifaceted roles in Honegger’s borderline opera and oratorio of classical, popular and jazz styles. This program also features the Overture to Verdi’s take on the Joan of Arc story: 1845’s Giovanna d’Arco.
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Performance Sponsor: Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Foundation

____

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30
UC MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CHORUSES
Christopher Albanese and Alex Sutton, conductors
Comprised of students from all 14 UC colleges, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers present a variety of classical, popular, folk and jazz works. The program will include a newly commissioned work from Daniel Elder titled The Brightest Heaven (with texts from Shakespeare’s Henry V) and highlights from the UC Choruses Spring Break Tour to Washington, D.C., featuring masterpieces by Bernstein, Dickau, Barber, Miller, Belen, Gibbs, Lang, Mendelssohn, Pergolesi, DeCormier, Nelson, Burchard, Sperry and Thompson.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE

____

3 p.m. Sunday, April 17
WYNTON MARSALIS’ ABYSSINIAN MASS: A GOSPEL CELEBRATION
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Chorale and Central State University Gospel Choir
Scott Belck, Brett Scott and Jeremy Winston, directors
Featuring guest artist Damien Sneed, conductor
Commissioned to celebrate the 2008 bicentennial of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, Marsalis’ Mass is a landmark collaboration of jazz, gospel, instrumentals and vocals with “hand-clappin’” and “tambourine-slappin’,” reflecting the form of the African American church service.
Location: Zion Baptist Church, 630 Glenwood Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artists.

____

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
MUSIC OF THE BARD IV – 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF SHAKESPEARE
CCM Chamber Choir and CCM Drama Department
CCM’s Choral Department culminates its two-year Shakespeare Quadricentennial, honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing (April 23, 1616). The Chamber Choir will perform music on Shakespeare’s texts with scenes presented by actors from CCM’s Drama Department. Featured are premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church, Michigan and Observatory Avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

_______________________________

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

Choral Studies Sponsors: Jan Rogers; Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation

CCM News

CCM Announces 2014 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Five voice students were named winners of CCM 2014 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held Saturday, March 15, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. The annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes, and a panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

The 2014 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Edward Nelson (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Saugus, Calif., studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Corbett Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. This award also guarantees a stage audition with New York City Opera.

Talya Lieberman (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Forest Hills, N.Y., studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife, Mrs. Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Christopher Bozeka (Candidate – Master of Music)
From Akron, Ohio, studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500)
This award is supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Alec Carlson (Candidate – Master of Music)
From Red Oak, Iowa, studying with Kenneth Shaw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000)
This award is supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Jasmine Habersham (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Macon, Ga., studying William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000)
This award is sponsored by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The following students also received an award as part of the competition:

Jessica Faselt (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Iowa City, Iowa
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new Master of Music students ($2,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Ann Toomey (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Shelby Township, Mich.
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new Master of Music students ($2,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The judges’ panel for CCM’s 2014 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Cori Ellison, Chief Dramaturg of the Glyndbourne Festival and Dramaturg at American Lyric Theatre in New York;
  • Neal Goren, Artistic and General Director of the Gotham Chamber Opera in New York; and
  • Craig Terry, Music Director of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

About CCM Opera
The Department of Opera at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Furthermore, CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series of Opera have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 nonprofessional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

CCM’s 2013-14 opera season concludes next month with Donizetti’s beloved Don Pasquale (April 3-6), conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Omer Ben-Seadia. Learn more about that production by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/donpasquale.
_____

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Opera Scholarship Competition Brings Bright Young Artists to the Stage on March 15

Corbett Auditorium

Corbett Auditorium

CCM invites local audiences to hear tomorrow’s opera stars today during its prestigious national competition from 10 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

Twenty-five current and incoming young artists will compete for approximately $100,000 in tuition grants and $65,500 in other named awards, including the Corbett Award, Italo Tajo Memorial Award, Andrew White Memorial Award, Seybold-Russell Award and John Alexander Memorial Award. Each contestant will be judged on the basis of voice, acting, language, musicianship and style in a complete dramatic performance of an aria.

A panel of judges composed of world-renowned opera industry professionals will select the winners. The judges’ panel for this year’s competition includes:

  • Cori Ellison, Chief Dramaturg of the Glyndbourne Festival and Dramaturg at American Lyric Theatre in New York;
  • Neal Goren, Artistic and General Director of the Gotham Chamber Opera in New York; and
  • Craig Terry, Music Director of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The winners will be announced on Saturday afternoon, March 15, following the conclusion of the competition.

CCM News