Voice Alumni Compete in 2017 Met Opera National Council Auditions Semi-Final

Four UC College-Conservatory of Music alumni will compete in the Semi-Final round of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, which will take place in New York on Sunday, March 12.

The prestigious competition for young singers has four rounds: District, Regional, Semi-Final and Final. Ten of the semi-finalists will move on to the final round, where five of them will be pronounced winners. Each winner receives $15,000, and the other finalists receive $5,000 each. This year’s final round will take place on Sunday, March 19 on the stage of the Met Opera.

The four CCM alumni who will participate in the Met Council Semi-Finals are Jessica Faselt, soprano (MM Voice, 2016); Summer Hassan, soprano (MM Voice, 2014); Andrew Manea, baritone (MM Voice, 2016); and Cody Quattlebaum, bass-baritone (BM Voice, 2015). Read their bios below to learn more about these outstanding young musicians.

Known for her “keen expression and impressive delivery” (Music in Cincinnati), soprano Jessica Faselt hails from Iowa. Faselt completed her master’s degree at CCM, where she was the recipient of the Corbett Award, and she earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa. Faselt has sung with the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, studying with mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, and will return there in 2017. She was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2015 and was engaged there in 2016 to cover the role of Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos. Other roles include: Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Hanna in The Merry Widow, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito and Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw.

Soprano Summer Hassan is a member of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. She made her company debut in 2014 as the Second Lady in Dido and Aeneas and returned as the Ghost Quartet Soprano in The Ghosts of Versailles in 2015. Her LA Opera appearances in the 2015/16 season include the Second Lady in The Magic Flute.  Recent performances include Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle under the baton of Placido Domingo, as well as Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Colburn Orchestra. She was featured as Musetta in Wolf Trap Opera’s 2016 production of La Bohème and in recital with Steven Blier at The Barns at Wolf Trap. Ms. Hassan made her Carnegie Hall debut as Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony, and in 2014 she made her debut as the Second Lady in The Magic Flute with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where she was a Gerdine Young Artist. Other roles have included Mimì in La Bohème, Betty in The Threepenny Opera and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito. She received her Master of Music from CCM and her Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory.

Lauded for his, “charming…robust baritone…,” Romanian-American baritone Andrew G. Manea has been continually rising to the top of the opera world at an impressively young age. Andrew’s recent roles include Marcello in La Bohème, No. 7 in Transformations, Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Escamillo in Carmen, Danilo in The Merry Widow and the Father in Hansel and Gretel. In a very successful 2016 season, Andrew was awarded first place and audience favorite in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition with Shreveport Opera, second place and audience favorite in the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition, Finalist in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition and he was a Career Grant recipient in the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition. Continuing to rise to success, Andrew has been awarded a position as a new member of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship program. This coming season at San Francisco Opera, he will be performing Marullo in Rigoletto, covering Marcello in La Bohème, performing Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata, performing in a world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West and performing a Schwabacher Debut Recital with esteemed pianist Warren Jones. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a master’s degree from the CCM, where he studied with Bill McGraw.

Bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum from Ellicott City, Maryland, is currently earning a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Juilliard School. He received his bachelor’s degree from CCM. He has performed Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lautsprecher in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Der Fischer in Matsukaze, Melisso in Alcina and Colonel in a premier workshop of Daniel Catán’s Meet John Doe. He recently performed Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte with Merola Opera. He won the Seybold-Russell Award in the 2015 Corbett Opera competition, first place and “Audience Favorite” award at the 2016 James Toland competition and second place in the 2016 Gerda Lissner Liederkranz competition. He recently performed Claudio in Handel’s Agrippina in Alice Tully Hall and Wilson Theater in New York City. He will also perform under the baton of Maestro Michael Morgan with the Oakland Symphony next season.

About the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. Known as the venue for the world’s greatest voices, the Metropolitan Opera holds National Council Auditions throughout the United States and Canada each year. The goal of the National Council Auditions is to discover promising young singers, give singers from around the country a chance to be heard by the major opera companies of the U.S. and Canada, and find potential participants for the Lindemann Young Artist Development program, an opera training program sponsored by the Met.

For more than six decades, this competition for exceptionally talented singers from across the country has helped launch the careers of some of opera’s greatest stars, including Stephanie Blythe, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Patricia Racette and Deborah Voigt — as well as, more recently, Lawrence Brownlee and Angela Meade.

View a full list of this year’s National Council Auditions Grand Finals Winners at www.metopera.org/about/auditions/nationalcouncil.

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CCM Partners with Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank on New Concert Series

Student and faculty performers will use their artistry to fight hunger through a new concert series at CCM. Working in collaboration with the Music for Food national hunger relief initiative, these chamber music concerts benefit Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank.

CCM’s Music for Food concert series commences at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28, with a program of works by Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Mozart performed by CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet, along with faculty artist Lydia Brown and graduate student Andrew Manea. The series continues at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 3.

Both performances take place in Room 300 of CCM’s Dieterle Vocal Arts Center, an intimate space that provides the perfect setting for an afternoon of chamber music.

In lieu of paid admission, concert attendees are asked to provide non-perishable food items or a cash donation. All proceeds benefit the Freestore Foodbank.

CCM’s Music for Food concert series is coordinated by the members of the Ariel Quartet, along with Associate Professor of Opera Lydia Brown and Associate Professor of Voice Gwen Coleman Detwiler.

About Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank
The Freestore Foodbank is the largest emergency food and services provider to children and families in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. The organization distributes 20 million meals annually to low-income individuals and families. The Freestore Foodbank supports more than 250 community partners in 20 counties throughout Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, including food kitchens, homeless shelters, emergency food pantries and social service centers.

By providing emergency food distribution, the Freestore Foodbank responds to the issue of poverty and food insecurity in our community and provides an array of services (emergency clothing, housing services, SNAP assistance, Medicaid outreach and others) aimed at creating self-reliance. The Freestore Foodbank is a member of Feeding America and United Way.

The Freestore Foodbank is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more by visiting www.freestorefoodbank.org.

About Music for Food
Music for Food is a musician-led initiative for local hunger relief. The organization’s concerts raise resources and awareness in the fight against hunger, empowering all musicians who wish to use their artistry to further social justice.

Now in its sixth season, Music for Food has created over 250,000 meals through donations made at concerts on behalf of more than a dozen hunger-relief organizations. Started in Boston, Music for Food now has chapters in nine US cities. More than 100 artists and ensembles have performed for Music for Food worldwide.

Music for Food is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Learn more by visiting www.musicforfoodboston.org.

Concert Repertoire for Feb. 28
BACH: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 – Jan Grüning, viola
MOZART: Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, K. 493 – Gershon Gerchikov, violin; Jan Grüning, viola; Amit Even-Tov, cello; Lydia Brown, piano
MAHLER: Selections from Rückert-Lieder – Andre Manea, baritone; Lydia Brown, piano
BRAHMS: String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2 – Ariel Quartet

Performance Time
4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28

Location
Room 300, Dieterle Vocal Arts Center
CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Admission
Non-perishable food items or a donation to the Freestore Foodbank. Suggested donation: $20 general, $15 students.

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.

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CCM's Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’ Receives Glowing Reviews

CCM's Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The critics have weighed in with unanimous praise for CCM’s recent production of Hansel and Gretel!

In her review of the fairy tale opera for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Janelle Gelfand calls the production “magical” and “breathtaking.” She singles out the performance of the CCM Philharmonia, writing that “you could get lost in the glowing orchestral score, so beautifully led by Mark Gibson.”

Mary Ellyn Hutton‘s review for Music in Cincinnati was similarly enthusiastic. “Highlights of the performance were many,” she writes, “One was the prayer scene… where Hansel and Gretel knelt and sang, with snow falling in the background. Another came during the dream pantomime… where the 14 angels, all children, cavorted on an angelic playground, with a swing, a seesaw and bicycles hanging over the stage, as the children looked on.”

Rafael de Acha calls the production a “sweet treat” in his review for Seen and Heard InternationalRobin Guarino sets the story during the Depression in America,” he observes, “but surprisingly, this setting undermines neither the lush Romanticism of the music nor the innocent fairytale story, and the results are nothing but happy.”

Hansel and Gretel concluded its run on Sunday, Nov.  23. CCM’s Opera Season resumes in February with a Studio Series production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea running Feb. 20-22 and a CCM Opera d’arte Series production of Handel’s Alcina running Feb. 27 – March 1.

The season concludes April 9 – 12 with a Mainstage Series production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Robin Guarino.

Last fall, Guarino directed the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, which also served as James Levine’s highly anticipated return to the Met. In his review of the opera for the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini noted that “Guarino worked with this cast of gifted actors to inflect their characters with telling comic bits and hapless human touches.”

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CCM's Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Hansel and Gretel

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CCM’s Mainstage Series resumes this evening with a contemporary production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s timeless opera Hansel and Gretel. Running Nov. 20 – 23, this magical production also features the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, ensemble-in-residence at CCM. Mark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Robin Guarino.

Above, enjoy a preview slideshow of the opera that Richard Strauss regarded as “a masterpiece of the highest quality.”

WCPO calls the opera the number one thing to do in Cincinnati this weekend, and the Cincinnati Enquirer and CityBeat have also highlighted the production! Learn even more about Hansel and Gretel here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to CCM’s Mainstage production of Hansel and Gretel are $31-35 adults, $20-24 non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with 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/hansel-and-gretel-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News

CCM’s Mainstage Series Presents the Fairy Tale Opera ‘Hansel and Gretel’ Nov. 20-23

Talya Lieberman as Gretel and Adria Caffaro as Hansel. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Talya Lieberman as Gretel and Adria Caffaro as Hansel. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents Engelbert Humperdinck’s timeless opera Hansel and Gretel from Nov. 20 – 23 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. This magical production also features the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, ensemble-in-residence at CCM.

Based on the German fairy tale popularized by the Brothers Grimm, this contemporary production is conducted by CCM Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson with stage direction by the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera Robin Guarino. This opera will be sung in English with supertitles.

Composed by Humperdinck, with a libretto by his sister Adelheid Wette, the perennially popular opera premiered in 1893 to instant success. Showing the influence of German folksong, along with harmonic and textural influences of Richard Wagner, the opera was hailed by fellow German composer Richard Strauss (who conducted the premiere) as “a masterpiece of the highest quality.” The opera has since become a holiday tradition throughout the world.

Guarino’s production transports the classic fairy tale to the 1930s Depression Era. The precocious brother and sister duo are poor, hungry and dreaming of tasty treats. When their overworked mother sends them into the world to find food, they lose their way in the forest and encounter a scary witch with a deliciously sinister plan.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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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.

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