CCM Village at night. Photo by Jay Yocis.

CCM Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Must-See Mainstage Series

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) marks the 150th anniversary of its founding with a year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration beginning in the fall of 2017. Commemorating a tradition of innovation and excellence dating back to the founding of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1867, CCM’s Sesquicentennial programming includes eight must-see masterworks presented as part of the 2017-18 Mainstage Series.

Click the graphic for more information.

Click the graphic for more information.

Between Sept. 27, 2017, and April 14, 2018, CCM’s stars of tomorrow and world-class faculty and staff members will stage eight diverse productions. This year’s Mainstage Series includes cherished classics like William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

CCM’s Sesquicentennial lineup also includes an opera double-bill featuring Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, two mixed-repertoire ballet productions and the Mainstage Series debuts of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens’ Seussical and Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information.

The Mainstage Series is just one part of the yearlong CCM Sesquicentennial Celebration, which will also include world premieres, guest artist performances, a series of off-campus concerts and a one-of-a-kind alumni showcase event. For an initial overview of CCM’s 150th anniversary programming, please visit ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/sesquicentennial-celebration.

The complete 2017-18 Mainstage Series lineup is listed below. Titles and dates are subject to change – rights pending. For the most current calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

Additional Information
Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 5, 2017, but subscribing is the best way to guarantee your seats for CCM’s Mainstage Series! Fully customizable renewal subscriptions are on sale now with priority seating before July 7, 2017. Subscription packages for new subscribers go on sale July 10, 2017.

To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu.
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CCM’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY MAINSTAGE SERIES
Acting, Musical Theatre, Opera, Dance

HAMLET
Written by William Shakespeare
Susan Felder, director

CCM’s anniversary season opens with one of Shakespeare’s most classic tragedies. Hamlet returns from college to find something rotten in his hometown. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between Hamlet and his uncle, the King. Shakespeare’s thriller plunges audiences into the madness of family disillusionment, lost romance, betrayal, murder, suicide and the existential question of what it means to be human. “What a piece of work is a man!”

Performance Dates: Sept. 27 (preview), Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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SEUSSICAL
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Co-conceived by Eric Idle
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss
Vince DeGeorge, director and co-choreographer
Luke Flood, musical director
Christopher Kelley, co-choreographer

The CCM Sesquicentennial celebrates the work of distinguished alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982)! Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza. The Tony Award-winning team of Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Anastasia, Once on This Island, Ragtime) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo. This colorful cast of characters transports us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

Performance Dates: Oct. 19-22 and Oct. 25-29, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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CANDIDE
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book by Hugh Wheeler, after Voltaire
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein
Mark Gibson, conductor
Emma Griffin, director

CCM at 150 celebrates Leonard Bernstein at 100! Now lauded as one of Bernstein’s most characteristic theatrical creations, CCM’s stars of tomorrow proudly present Candide as part of a world-wide celebration leading up to Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. Crossing the boundaries between opera, operetta and stage musical, Bernstein’s Candide journeys through Voltaire’s “best of all possible worlds” with verve and satirical humor. Highlights include the energetic overture and the aria “Glitter and Be Gay.” Presented in conjunction with the official Leonard Bernstein at 100 centennial celebration.

Performance Dates: Nov. 16-19, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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THE ART OF MOTION
Jiang Qi and Deirdre Carberry, co-directors
Alexandria Black, conductor

CCM’s Department of Dance opens this anniversary season with a concert of mixed repertoire featuring the enchanting The Little Mermaid choreographed by guest artist and Missouri Ballet Theatre director Adam Sage with music by Léo Delibes and Antonín Dvoràk. The concert also showcases Paquita (Act II) with music by Ludwig Minkus, restaged by Deirdre Carberry. Additional highlights include the world premiere of Shaker Loops, choreographed by André Megerdichian and featuring music by John Adams performed by CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. This premiere will also include an illuminated collaboration with DAAP faculty member Henry Hildebrandt.

Performance Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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LOVE AND INFORMATION
Written by Caryl Churchill
Brant Russell, directo
r

Described by the New York Times as “thought-churning” and “deeply poignant,” Love and Information premiered in London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2012. In this fast-moving kaleidoscope, more than 100 characters try to make sense of what they know. The play explores the prevalence of technology in today’s culture, the thirst for knowledge and the importance of human connection.

Performance Dates: Feb. 7 (preview), Feb. 8-11, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Diane Lala, director and choreographer
Roger Grodsky, musical director

What’s the buzz? The first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage, Jesus Christ Superstar has wowed audiences for over 40 years. A timeless work, the rock opera is based on the last week of Jesus’ life. Set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally-known series of events, the story is told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. A true global phenomenon, the iconic 1970s rock score contains such well-known numbers as “Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Gethsemane.”

Performance Dates: Feb. 22-25 and Feb. 28-March 4, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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OPERA DOUBLE BILL: GIANNI SCHICCHI & SUOR ANGELICA
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano
Mark Gibson, conductor
Andreas Hagar, director (Gianni Schicchi)
Meredith Kitz, director (Suor Angelica)

The CCM Sesquicentennial pairs two of Puccini’s most popular operas for one can’t-miss Mainstage Series production! CCM’s stars of tomorrow present the farcical Gianni Schicchi and the moving Suor Angelica as a double-bill highlighting Puccini’s mastery of emotional storytelling.

Performance Dates: March 22-25, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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LEGENDS OF DANCE
Jiang Qi, director
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor

Celebrate spring’s arrival with the CCM Ballet Ensemble as they present an exciting mixed bill accompanied by the CCM Concert Orchestra. The program includes one of the most celebrated excerpts in all classical ballets, “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadére, staged by CCM faculty member Deirdre Carberry with music by Ludwig Minkus. In addition, guest artist Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba will restage José Limón’s masterful A Choreographic Offering set to music by J. S. Bach. The program’s rousing finale features The Sleeping Beauty (Act III), after Marius Petipa’s classical ballet with music by Tchaikovsky.

Performance Dates: April 12-14, 2018
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2017-18 CCM Mainstage Series of acting, musical theatre, opera and dance productions includes subscription packages for combinations of six-or-more shows, four-shows or three-shows.

Renewal subscription packages are on sale now. CCM’s fully customizable subscription packages range in price from $69 – $188. Subscribers to CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series can receive priority access to seating by renewing their subscriptions by July 7, 2017.

Subscription packages for new subscribers go on sale July 10, 2017. Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 5, 2017.

To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

CCM Sesquicentennial Performances and Concert Series Options

CCM will present additional special events and public performances celebrating its Sesquicentennial throughout the 2017-18 concert season. As the largest single source of performing arts events in Ohio, CCM will also present its typical lineup of chamber music, choral, jazz, orchestra, percussion, piano and wind ensemble concerts each season.

Beginning in January of 2018, the CCM Sesquicentennial will celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centennial with a collection of performances by students and faculty artists from throughout the college. Subscribers get first access to the Leonard Bernstein Experience, which includes concerts and special events held in the spring and fall of 2018 as part of a world-wide celebration of Bernstein’s 100th birthday.

CCM’s Mainstage subscribers receive priority access to the Bernstein Experience, Ariel Quartet subscription packages, CCM Concert Series flex ticket packages, prepaid parking and other exclusive perks.

Full programming and package details for CCM’s Sesquicentennial Special Event Series, 2017-18 Ariel Quartet Series and Concert Series will be announced in July. Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information.
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Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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CCM Alumni in Seven Tony-Nominated Productions

Tony Awards LogoCCM alumni are involved with at least seven productions that have been nominated in the 71st Tony Awards, which air live on CBS at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 11. This year’s nominees include two Broadway musicals that were not only written by CCM alums, but also feature the work of alumni on stage.

Nominated for two Tony Awards, Anastasia features music and lyrics by alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982) and his long-time writing partner Lynn Ahrens. Alumna Christy Altomare (BFA Musical Theatre, 2008) performs the title role in the production. Musical Theatre alumni Kathryn Boswell (BFA, 2013) and Kyle Brown (BFA, 2008) perform in the show’s ensemble. In addition to the Tony Award nominations, Anastasia has been nominated for one Chita Rivera Award, two Drama League Awards, 9 Drama Desk Awards and 13 Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Also nominated for two Tony Awards is Bandstand: The New American Musical, with music, book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker (BFA Acting, 1993). Greg Anthony Rassen (MM Orchestra Conducting, 2003) is the co-orchestrator, music supervisor and music arranger of the show. He and co-orchestrator Bill Elliott were nominated for Tony Awards and won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations in Bandstand. David Kreppel (BFA Musical Theatre, 1992) is the vocal music arranger of the production. Two musical theatre alumni have roles in BandstandGeoff Packard (BFA, 2004) as Wayne Wright and Max Clayton (BFA, 2014) as an ensemble member. Clayton, who is also the understudy for Bandstand’s lead role Donny Novitski, received a Chita Rivera Award nomination for Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show. Bandstand has been nominated for six Chita Rivera Awards, two Drama League Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Sharon Wheatley (BFA Musical Theatre, 1990) and Josh Breckenridge (BFA Musical Theatre, 2007) perform in Come From Away, which was nominated for seven Tony Awards, two Chita Rivera Awards, one Drama League Award, nine Drama Desk Awards and seven Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Sean Montgomery (BFA Musical Theatre, 2007) and Joseph Medeiros (BFA Musical Theatre, 2006) are in Groundhog Day, nominated for seven Tony Awards, one Chita Rivera Award, two Drama League Awards, one Drama Desk Award and five Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Nicholas Belton (BFA Musical Theatre, 2002) plays Bolkonsky/Andrey in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Blaine Krauss (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) performs in the show’s ensemble. Hair and wig design for the show is by Leah Loukas (BFA Make-Up & Wig Design, 2004). The musical has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards, one Chita Rivera Award, three Drama League Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Eric Santagata (BFA Musical Theatre, 2004) is the associate director of Falsettos, which features Betsy Wolfe (BFA Musical Theatre, 2004) as Cordelia. The musical has been nominated for five Tony Awards, two Drama League Awards, three Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Stephanie Jae Park (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) and Angel Reda (BFA Musical Theatre, 2003) perform in War Paint. The musical has been nominated for four Tony Awards, three Drama League Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards and four Outer Critics Circle Awards.

The Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, will be broadcast live on CBS at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 11. Find out more by visiting www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees/.

Are you a CCM Alumnus with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!

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CCM Director of Development Sarah Mizelle

UC Alumna Sarah Mizelle Joins CCM’s Office of Development and External Relations

University of Cincinnati alumna Sarah Mizelle has been named CCM’s new Director of Development and External Relations. A graduate of UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business (MBA, 2011) and College-Conservatory of Music (MA Arts Administration, 2013), Mizelle begins her new position on Monday, May 22.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah back to the UC Foundation and CCM,” says Karen Tully, CCM’s Senior Director of Development and External Relations. “I had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah while she served as a graduate assistant in CCM’s Development and External Relations Office from 2009 to 2011. She quickly became a valuable member of our team, coordinating many of the outreach and special events sponsored by CCMpower, our volunteer fundraising organization. We are delighted to have her rejoin the CCM family.”

Mizelle returns to CCM with a decade’s worth of leadership experience in building strong school communities through student, alumni and donor engagement. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Madeira Schools Foundation, where she successfully oversaw a $600,000 capital campaign to build a new fitness center at Madeira High School. During her tenure, the Madeira Schools Foundation’s annual auction also achieved the highest gross profit since its inception in 1985.

Prior to her position at the Madeira Schools Foundation, Mizelle was Executive Director of the Friends of the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), an organization dedicated to securing resources that enhance SCPA’s creative environment and enable the development of each student’s artistic potential.

Mizelle worked in CCM’s Development Office during her time as a student in CCM’s Arts Administration graduate program. She also served as manger of social media marketing and public relations for a CCM summer festival in Spoleto, Italy, in 2011.

Mizelle received her BM in Music Education from Miami University, Oxford, in 2004. She has continued her involvement in music and the performing arts throughout her career, volunteering for such organizations as People Working Cooperatively (PWC) Ohio and Cincinnati Music Theatre. At Cincinnati Music Theatre, Mizelle served as vocal director for productions of The Music Man and Sunset Boulevard and artistic director for Crazy For You, each of which won an Orchid Award for Excellence from the Cincinnati Association of Community Theatres.

“The arts have been an enormous part of my life and have shaped who I am today,” says Mizelle. “I am beyond thrilled to return to CCM, an institution where the arts thrive everyday. I am proud to have the opportunity to further the mission of such a truly special place.”

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Mizelle back to the CCM family!

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CCM Alumna Betsy Wolfe to Replace Sara Bareilles in Broadway’s ‘Waitress’

CCM Musical Theatre alumna Betsy Wolfe (BFA 2004) has made a name for herself by winning major roles, including Cordelia in the current Broadway revival of Falsettos, which was recently nominated for five Tony Awards. She will take on her next Broadway role as Jenna Hunterson in Waitress on June 13.

Waitress features music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles, who is currently playing Jenna on Broadway. Bareilles is leaving the show on June 11, and Wolfe will take her place.

The musical is about a waitress and excellent pie-maker (Jenna) who feels trapped in her loveless marriage and small town. A baking contest and the arrival of an attractive young doctor help her realize her dreams, giving her a chance at a fresh start. With a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus, the musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name.

Wolfe was recently awarded CCM’s 2017 Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the outstanding professional achievements of young graduates of the college’s Musical Theatre program. She returned to CCM in March for the annual Musical Theatre Senior Showcase and spoke to students about her career.

Local audiences may remember Wolfe from the enormously successful semi-staged version of The Music Man, which she starred in with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in May 2015.

Since graduating from CCM, Wolfe has starred in 110 in the Shade, Everyday Rapture, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Bullets Over Broadway and Falsettos. She also starred in the off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years and in Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores. She’s been a hot commodity on the concert circuit as well, having soloed with the Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops, New York City Ballet and more.

For more information about Wolfe visit broadwayworld.com/people/Betsy-Wolfe/.

For more information on Waitress visit waitressthemusical.com.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Slideshows: Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’

Here is your first look at CCM Opera’s Mainstage production of Mozart’s Idomeneo. Directed by artist diploma student Marcus Shields, this heroic Greek tale runs Thursday, March 30-Sunday, April 2 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Hailed as Mozart’s first great opera seria, Idomeneo is a classic story of unrequited love, sacrifice and revenge. The plot focuses on a king who is lost at sea during his journey home from war. To survive, he strikes a deal with vengeful god Neptune, but the king is then faced with an impossible decision — to sacrifice his entire nation or his son.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

View the slideshow above for your sneak peek of the production.

For more information on Idomeneo, read our press release and behind-the-scenes interview with lighting designer Oliver Littleton.

IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, March 30
8 p.m. Friday, March 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 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/idomeneo.html.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

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

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

CCM News CCM Slideshows Student Salutes
A model of the scenic design for CCM's production of 'Idomeneo.'

CCM Behind-the-Scenes: Lighting Design for Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’

First-year graduate student Oliver Littleton’s first lighting design work was in churches, small theaters and tiny clubs. Now his designs will be seen in the Mainstage production of Idomeneo at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music.

The opera opens on Thursday, Mach 30 and continues through Sunday, April 2 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are available through the CCM Box Office.

Littleton began his theatre training in Alabama at the age of 12. He wanted to be an actor, but always had an interest in lighting design. After earning a BFA in technical theatre from Adelphi University in New York, Littleton chose to pursue his graduate studies at CCM. He enrolled in CCM’s Theatre Design and Production program, where he studies lighting design and technology.

Light plays a key role in creating the “gods and monsters” in CCM’s production of Idomeneo. In an interview with CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies, Littleton shared some of his thoughts on the expressive power of lighting and its effect in Mozart’s first great opera seria.

What drew you to the lighting design program at CCM?
I loved the opportunity to be the lighting designer for a huge variety of genres including dance, opera, theatre and musicals. I value our large production scale and commitment to modern technology in all areas of the technical and design departments. Most important is probably my comfort within the culture of the CCM community.

It’s a hardworking environment that demands excellence, and does its best to surpass being just an educational institution in order to produce great art in a variety of fields.

How does your lighting design for Idomeneo compare to your work in other CCM productions?
This is my first Mainstage production at CCM so obviously scale is the big one! I designed Middletown in the fall and Transformations just a month ago, both in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre. Though they presented unique challenges, the sheer size of those productions was much smaller than this.

We’ve heard that lighting plays a significant role in establishing the abstract setting and in creating the “gods and monsters” of Idomeneo. Can you describe how you use light to create these “special effects?”
The metaphors of gods and monsters in this production of Idomeneo, in my mind, are far more important than their physical presence in the opera. To this end the “gods and monsters” are expressed in lighting with the contrast between restraint and excess.  Using color, intensity and texture to contrast between safe comfort, otherworldly mystery and grimy disappointment helps tell the story of monsters and heroes.  Our sea monster is of the mind.  It is doubt, hate, selfishness and it gets expressed with rich vivid color and powerful waves of light.  I want the lighting to drive this change and make the audience question who really are the monsters and gods of the piece.

A god-like face can be seen in Littleton's lighting design concept for 'Idomeneo.'

A god-like face can be seen in Oliver Littleton’s lighting design concept for ‘Idomeneo.’ Photo provided by Oliver Littleton.

What other roles does the lighting play in this opera?
When you start looking at abstract or ethereal lighting design, the first pitfall you see lighting designers take is forgetting that the point of the production is for audience members to sit in seats and watch people do things. All the fancy design in the world doesn’t amount to anything if the patrons can’t see the performers and understand what is going on in the story. The first job of every lighting designer is the help interpret the story and we do that in a number of ways. Lighting some areas of the stage while leaving others dark tells the audience where to look and focus. Using toplight and backlight that makes it difficult to see facial features gives a sense of drama and tension, while front light imbues a naturalistic nature to the stage. Every choice is informed by the question, “How does this serve the story,” and any choice that is not enslaved to it must be mercilessly eliminated.

Do you have anything else to add about your experience working on Idomeneo?
Idomeneo is a criminally underrated opera that is one of Mozart’s greatest offerings musically. I hope that everyone who watches the show leaves the theater saying things like “what a wonderful and interesting production” or “that was a beautiful way to share that music and story with us.” If they are talking about my lights or the set more than the characters’ choices or vocal prowess, then we as a design team have failed.

The greatest joy I take in my work is contributing to performers sharing stories and feeling with the audience. I hope this show does that for everyone who comes to see it.

CCM’s production of Idomeneo is directed by CCM artist diploma candidate Marcus Shields and conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung. It is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Find more information on the production in our press release.

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IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 30
8 p.m. Friday, Mar. 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

 Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 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/idomeneo.html.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

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

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Student Salutes
A screenshot from 'Standard Definition' featuring CCM Musical Theatre graduates Ben Biggers and Chris Collins-Pisano.

UC Student Film Accepted into Cleveland International Film Festival

Electronic Media majors Tim Young and Elliot Feltner filmed Standard Definition with their classmates for a school project last spring. Now it will be shown alongside 216 short films from around the world.

Last spring, former University of Cincinnati students Tim Young and Elliot Feltner created a short film for their capstone class that any aspiring filmmaker can relate to. The comedic story focuses on two Cincinnati-based film students who argue about the necessity of spending money on film projects — until they find a magical camera that makes everything it captures appear beautiful.

Nearly a year later, Young and Feltner’s Standard Definition is set to be screened at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

“It is unreal that our film was chosen to be screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival,” Young said. “When we first started shooting and cutting it together, we had no plans to enter it into any festivals. We just wanted to make something that we could be proud of and show to our friends and families.”

The 41-year-old film festival will screen 200 feature films and 216 short films from 71 countries between March 29 and April 9. Standard Definition will play at the festival on April 6.

Roommates Young and Feltner were enrolled in the Electronic Media program at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music when they filmed Standard Definition for Kevin Burke’s “Advanced Video Production” capstone course. They both graduated with bachelor of fine arts degrees in 2016.

They had to present Burke with a pre-production plan and a list of group members before the class began, which helped ease the filming process. “Once the class started in January, we had all of the tools necessary to start filming,” said Young, director and co-producer of Standard Definition.

The two film students enlisted help from fellow e-media majors Fritz Pape, Katie Laird and Yiyang Xu, and from other programs across CCM. Lead actors Chris Collins-Pisano, Ben Biggers and Raven Thomas are all 2016 graduates of the Musical Theatre program.

Young was the teaching assistant in Biggers and Collins-Pisano’s “Acting for the Camera” class, taught by Robert Pavlovich. The group applied the acting techniques they learned in class while working on the film, Young said.

From left to right: 'Standard Definition' filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

From left to right: ‘Standard Definition’ filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

“I couldn’t have made the film without the help of our other group members,” Young said. “This project was a collaborative effort, and the film would not exist without them. We had a small crew to make this film compared to others, but the people in our group are so skilled and multi-talented that we were able to pull it off.”

The short film debuted at Tangeman University Center’s MainStreet Cinema last spring and received an “incredible response from the audience,” Young said. They worked with Burke as well as professors Kristyn Benedyk and Matt Irvine from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative program to submit Standard Definition to a handful of festivals and will continue to do so throughout the coming months.

Not everything came easy for the filmmakers, though. In August 2016, Feltner was in a severe car crash on Interstate 75, caused by a man who was later indicted on a charge of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Feltner, who had been an avid amateur inline skater as well as a filmmaker, barely escaped the ordeal with his life. He was injured so badly that he technically died twice, and police were dispatched to his parents’ home to notify them of their son’s death. However, due to quick medical care from nurses who happened to witness the crash, Feltner was resuscitated and airlifted to a nearby hospital. He suffered brain trauma and multiple spinal cord injuries.

For months, he has been in rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in treating spinal cord injuries. He recently returned to Cincinnati and will continue outpatient rehabilitation here.

Young said Feltner is getting better every day. Before the car crash, the roommates saw each other every day and worked on Standard Definition together. After the crash, they were separated as Feltner focused on rehabilitation.

“I basically wrote the film about the two of us, or film students just like us,” said Young, reflecting on how the crash impacted his perspective of the time they spent creating Standard Definition. “Every day after shooting we would come home and stay up late editing together rough cuts of the scenes. It was so exciting and rewarding to see all of our hard work turning into something tangible that we could be proud of.”

“After his accident I only saw Elliot a few times over the course of months as he dealt with his injuries. Going from spending every day and night together to not speaking for weeks at a time was really difficult and really made me appreciate how special our time making Standard Definition together really was.”

Standard Definition plays at the Cleveland International Film Festival on Thursday, April 6 at 9:35 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, 230 West Huron Road in Cleveland.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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