Dean Mogle holds the white and black swan design sketches for CCM's production of Swan Lake.

From Sketch to Stage: The Making of CCM’s ‘Swan Lake’ Costumes

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There is a shortage of tutu makers in the world, said CCM Professor and Head of the Costume Design and Technology Program Dean Mogle, who faced the daunting task of designing costumes for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet.

CCM is working to fix that shortage by training the next generation of costume designers and technicians, whose work will debut on stage in the conservatory’s first ballet production to have costumes designed and built in-house.

A timeless tale of love, magic and mystery, Swan Lake will grace the Corbett Auditorium stage from April 22-24, marking the second time in CCM’s nearly 150-year history that a full-length story ballet has been included in the Mainstage Series.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Staff and students within the Costume Design and Technology program have worked on the ‘Swan Lake’ costumes for the past 18 months.

Presented by CCM’s Department of Dance, the ballet uses three different casts and the principal roles are all double cast ­— which is challenging for the costume shop students and staff responsible for ensuring the pieces fit each dancer correctly.

“You have to understand what dancers go through—what they need,” Mogle said. “Balance becomes really important.”

Costume designers and technicians must consider the weight of the fabrics and headpieces so the dancer can retain their natural balance. There is also limited “real estate” on the costume for artistic expression or characterization, Mogle said. If a female dancer needs to be lifted, safety dictates the fabric around her waist can’t be too slick and can’t get caught on anything.

“The ballet world is a totally different beast.”

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Newly designed costumes for the Hungarian Czardas in Act III of ‘Swan Lake,’ made by costume students and staff. To the far right is Prince Siegfried’s jacket, made by Jessica Barksdale.

Mogle, with a team of students and faculty within the Costume Design and Technology program, has worked on the Swan Lake costumes for the past 18 months. They’ve borrowed and modified some costumes from a previous CCM performance of Brigadoon and the Broadway production of Cyrano, The Musical. Costumes for the principal and specialty roles in the ballet are newly designed and made.

Iconic white tutus, bodices, vibrant dresses and rich fabrics have taken over their workshop. The costumes are designed in the traditional style typically associated with the classic ballet. CCM plans to reuse and rent out some of them after the performance.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Jessica Barksdale is building Mogle’s design for Prince Siegfried’s costume, which will be worn in Acts III and IV.

Mogle, who previously designed costumes for the Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker, watched five or six different productions of Swan Lake to prepare for his costume designs. The pieces are still evolving on a daily basis, he said.

“Since we are making the production to last about 30 or 40 years, we don’t ever want to get too wild and crazy with the concept because it is pretty traditional,” Mogle said. “The things that really change in a traditional ballet like this are going to be the specialty characters.”

Those include the newly designed and made pieces that will be worn at the ball in Act III, where the Queen invites potential wives from Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Naples and Poland to match with her son, Prince Siegfried.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

A sketch and sleeve of Von Rothbart’s Act III costume, made by Erin Winslow.

At the ball, Prince Siegfried will wear a newly designed black and gold jacket made by Jessica Barksdale, first-year costume technology graduate student. Rothbart, the evil sorcerer who cursed the prince’s love Odette, will wear an intricately detailed costume made by senior costume technology student, Erin Winslow, as part of her capstone project.

Barskdale and Winslow are also making the iconic white and black swan costumes for leading female characters Odette and Odile. Associate Professor of Costume Technology Regina Truhart is managing all costume production for the ballet.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

The in-progress white and black swan costumes for characters Odette and Odile are being made by Jessica Barksdale and Erin Winslow, respectively.

After 27 years at CCM, Mogle is familiar with the 30,000 costume pieces the conservatory has in stock. Luckily, the costume department was able to pull pieces from past performances of Brigadoon and Cyrano to modify them for courtier and peasant costumes in Swan Lake.

The costume department dyed some of the costumes in bright jewel tones and added details such as sashes, sleeves, aprons and hats. Net petticoats were used to make the costumes lighter and easier to dance in.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Costumes from the CCM production of ‘Brigadoon’ are being modified for the female peasants in Act I of ‘Swan Lake.’

“Every time we do [Swan Lake], we’ll add more to it and rely less on our costume stock,” Mogle said, adding that when the ballet is performed again in 6 years they will likely build new peasant costumes.

“That’s how some companies do it anyway. They’ll use tutus from many kinds of shows. Pulling together a show like this from all of these different places is a great exercise.”

Acquiring materials is one hurdle but then, of course, the costumes must actually fit.

It helps that musical theatre bodies and dancer bodies are similar in stature, Mogle said. It would cost around $5,000 to reproduce one of the Cyrano costumes today.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Costume technicians included three clasp sizes on the ‘Swan Lake’ bodices so they can be adjusted for different dancers.

With three different casts, and double-cast principals, it was important to make the costumes interchangeable for different dancers. The technicians included three clasp sizes for the bodices to make them more adjustable and, in some cases, built extra costumes.

The process and pieces are evolving daily, with more adjustments expected after fittings and the dress rehearsals. A beautiful design can look perfect on a mannequin but flawed when put on a body that needs to breathe, dance and kick. That is why it’s important for the costuming students to learn each step in the creative process, said Mogle.

 “The whole focus of our program is teaching design and technology so designers know how to make stuff and makers know how to design stuff. So they all have the same sensibility as to how things should look and how they should be handled. If the knowledge base in those two roles isn’t strong then things fall apart.”

After the designs are sketched, the appropriate fabrics need to be found, Mogle said of the costuming process. Then there’s making the patterns and cutting them out of the cloth and stitching them together. There’s also fabric painting and dying and mask and jewelry making.

“Each one of those is a profession in itself,” Mogle said. “The more skills you have as a technician and the more kinds of plays and operas and ballets that you can design as a designer, your job market opens up. It’s a good part of training and real life experience.”

Co-directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and Associate Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry, the Mainstage Series production features students from CCM’s BFA Ballet program. The lavishly staged spectacle features accompaniment by CCM’s lauded Concert Orchestra under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung.

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Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake runs April. 22 – 24 in Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 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/swan-lake.

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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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Production Sponsors: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Teri Jory & Seth Geiger and Graeter’s
____________________

Story by Rebecca Butts

CCM News CCM Slideshows Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
Illustration of William Shakespeare.

CCM Celebrates the Music of the Bard at Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 23

CCM’s Departments of Choral Studies and Dramatic Performance honor the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare‘s passing (April 23, 1616) with a special concert honoring the Music of the Bard on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Under the music direction of Earl Rivers and stage direction of D’Arcy Smith, the Music of the Bard is a 75-minute, one-act presentation of Shakespeare’s texts through choral music, scenes, monologues and sonnets.

Flyer for CCM's 'Music of the Bard IV' concert.This concert features the 30-voice Chamber Choir, CCM’s premiere choral ensemble, along with nine student actors. Featured students include conductors Daniel Blosser and Matthew Swanson, and actors Owen AldersonSydney AsheMafer Del RealJames EgbertAnnie GroveLaura McCarthyMeg OlsonJosh Reiter and Graham Rogers.

The program showcases texts from 18 Shakespeare plays and sonnets, highlighted with the premieres of three newly commissioned choral works by composers Judith BinghamDominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad. The music encompasses a range of styles from jazz arrangements by legendary jazz pianist George Shearing to modern a cappella classics, enhanced with violin, flute, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, and string bass as accompanying and obbligato instruments.

With this performance, CCM’s Department of Choral Studies completes The Shakespeare Quadricentenniala two-year commemoration of the playwright’s birth and death through choral music. The celebration commenced on Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on April 23, 2014.

The Shakespeare Quadricentennial has produced four all-Shakespeare programs since Sept. 21, 2014, which have featured CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chorale, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir and local guest choirs.

The Shakespeare Quadricentennial has fostered the commissioning of new works on Shakespeare texts by Dan Forrest (Cincinnati Children’s Choir), Daniel Elder (UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses), as well as those performed on April 23, 2016 by Judith Bingham, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Location
Knox Presbyterian Church
Michigan and Observatory Avenues,
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and FREE for 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 now through our e-Box Office!

Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking and Directions
Knox Church is located on the corner of Observatory and Michigan, at 3400 Michigan Avenue, in the heart of Hyde Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please refer to the interactive map found online at www.knox.org/directions for details on Knox’s location and for directions to Knox Church.

Parking at Knox can be a bit challenging. The best advice is to arrive a little early for the event you are attending.
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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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Story by Curt Whitacre

CCM News
Very Dumb Kids

CCM Presents Free Workshop Production of Gracie Gardner’s ‘Very Dumb Kids’

Gracie Gardner

New York playwright Gracie Gardner, commissioned to write ‘Very Dumb Kids.’

CCM’s Studio Series comes to a dramatic conclusion with a workshop production of Very Dumb Kids (formerly titled The Great Majority) by rising New York playwright Gracie Gardner. We invite you to join us Thursday, April 21 – Saturday, April 23 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater for a sneak-peek at this developing drama, which is part of CCM’s new play commissioning initiative. Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell directs.

One of the perks of producing a work-in-progress play is observing it evolve over time. Since its genesis, the title of this play has changed from The Great Majority to Very Dumb Kids. According to Gardner, she referred to the production as “the play about the very dumb kids” for quite some time, so this title change was a natural result of the creative process.

This action-packed drama tells the tale of an adventurous woman named Sarah who is tragically murdered while working as a correspondent in New Delhi. While Sarah was busy confronting the world, her college friends sat calmly at home in the U.S., streaming TV shows on the internet and peddling their esoteric skill sets. One year after her funeral, Sarah’s friends meet for their annual Fourth of July reunion.

The play explores entitlement and its effects are on the disenfranchised as well as the privileged in the millennial era. How can we live responsibly in an irresponsible universe?

Very Dumb Kids is the inaugural production of CCM Drama’s new play-commissioning initiative, which focuses on plays that speak to the unique experience of being young in America. The plays, written for and about our students, will enrapture a new generation of artists and audiences. They will go on to be produced by educational institutions and professional theatre companies all over the country to expand CCM’s reach and reputation as a preeminent institution for the performing arts. And you will be able to say you were there when it all started!

We invite you to join us April 21-23 for the workshop production of Very Dumb Kids and ask you to return next year for the full production!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 22
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to Very Dumb Kids is free but reservations are required.

Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 18. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

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/park 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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM News

CCM Slideshows: Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’

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Come see Leoš Janáček’s fantastical opera The Cunning Little Vixen, which opens tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. and runs through Sunday as part of this year’s Mainstage Series.

Directed by Vince DeGeorge, this anthropomorphic opera explores the intimate relationship between man and nature. This production will be conducted by Mark Gibson and sung in English, with a new translation by CCM Professor Emeritus David Adams.

Learn more about the performance or view the cast list.

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.

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.

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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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News CCM Slideshows
CCM Dance presents 'Swan Lake.'

CCM Dance Presents Lavish New Production of Enduring Classic Ballet ‘Swan Lake’ April 22-24, 2016

Swan Lake

Madison Holschuh as Odette and Samuel Jones as Prince Siegfried in CCM’s production of ‘Swan Lake.’ Photo by René Micheo.

CCM’s Department of Dance presents Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet, Swan Lake, April 22-24 in Corbett Auditorium. Co-directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and Associate Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry, the Mainstage Series production features students from CCM’s BFA Ballet program, which Dance Magazine has hailed as one of the country’s “top programs to consider.” The lavishly staged spectacle features accompaniment by CCM’s lauded Concert Orchestra under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung.

A tale of unending love and haunting mystery, Swan Lake is one of the most well-known fables of our time. The classic Russian ballet is performed in four acts and tells the story of Odette, a maiden turned into a swan by the evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart.

Disinterested in potential love matches arranged by his mother, Prince Siegfried is in search of a wife when he stumbles upon Odette during a night hunt. The two fall madly in love but their romance is hindered by Odette’s curse – which forces her and her fellow maidens to become swans by day and human by night.

Swan Lake marks only the second time in CCM’s nearly 150-year history that a full-length story ballet has been included in the Mainstage Series. As a result, this production features brand new costumes designed and built in-house, which is actually a CCM first.

Costume Design and Technology Program Head Dean Mogle spent 18 months on the creation of Swan Lake’s intricate costumes. For the past 40 years, Mogle has designed for numerous drama, musical theatre, opera and dance productions, including the Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

“The ballet world is a totally different beast,” Mogle said of the challenging costume designs. “In dance, it’s all about the body and movement.”

In addition to the famous white swan costumes traditionally associated with the ballet, the story will come to life with vibrant colors and rich fabrics adorning the talented performers of CCM Dance. In particular, keep an eye out for the intricately designed costumes worn by Prince Siegfried’s potential wives on display during the opulent ball in Act III.

For this production, the iconic role of Odette will be performed by dance majors Yu-Ting Huang (on Friday and Sunday) and Madison Holschuh (on Saturday).

Guest artist Patric Palkens, appearing by permission of the Cincinnati Ballet, will perform as Prince Siegfried in the Friday and Sunday performances of Swan Lake. Palkens joined the Cincinnati Ballet in 2011 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2015. He returns to Cincinnati after spending a year in Europe with Salzburg State Theater Austria Dance.

The ballet will also feature Assistant Professor of Dance André Megerdichian, who will dance the role of evil sorcerer Von Rothbart. Megerdichian has performed professionally over two decades with such companies and choreographers as the Jose Limón Dance company, Janis Brenner and Dancers, The Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Soundance Repertory Company, Reidel Dance Theatre, Daniel Charon and Sean Curran.

Join us for this timeless tale of love and magic in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium April 22-24.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 22
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Swan Lake are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 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/swan-lake.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Production Sponsors: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Teri Jory & Seth Geiger and Graeter’s

____________________

Story by CCM and UC Lindner College of Business graduate student Ryan Strand (BFA Musical Theatre, 2006)

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
One of the design inspirations for CCM's new production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN.

Discussing the Cycles of Life Presented in CCM’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ with Director Vince DeGeorge

Leoš Janáček’s fantastical opera The Cunning Little Vixen comes to the CCM stage April 8 – 10 as part of this year’s Mainstage Series. To share what inspired his vision for the anthropomorphic production, Stage Director and Choreographer Vince DeGeorge reflected on the relationship between humans and nature with CCM Public Information Graduate Assistant Charlotte Kies.

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

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

Could you tell me about your inspiration for the design of the masks in this production?

I’ve had this little vixen figurine for about 10 years. It was a gift from my wife, and it has become a touchstone for this project. You’ll see the geometric nature of the fox sculpture reflected in the masks by third-year graduate student and Costume Designer Oran Wongpandid. They’re very cool looking. 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.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s 'The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

How do they use these masks?

They carry the masks and sometimes wear them. They don’t sing with the masks on. 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. It’s a simple transformation through movement and mask work.

Is this something traditionally done, or is this a new idea of your own?

That’s something that I bring to it. Mark Halpin, the designer of the set, and I have never done a show together but we’ve worked a lot together. He sort of understands my aesthetic and he brought his own point of view to it as well. He has come up with this design that I think really embodies this very human aspect of this story. We become animals to tell a very human story.

'The Cunning Little Vixen'

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

What is that human story?

I think the human story is that every day, life is happening all around us. Often times we are too distracted, or aggressive, or controlling to notice. If you actually take the time to be aware, you will experience everything that’s going on around you. You may not experience all of it, but you will be more receptive to experiences. That’s the journey of the Forester, from very aggressive and controlling, to very open and receptive.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s 'The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

The Vixen has a different journey. She starts very innocent, open and receptive. Then events occur that change her to become more aggressive and more controlling. She eventually finds her way back into a much more open and receptive place with her love, the Fox.

What’s so beautiful about this opera is that it runs in cycles, in circles. Someone starts a scene and ends up in almost the same place, but something has changed within them. There is a giant cycle that’s going on within the entire opera and the Vixen has a cycle that’s running through her and the Forester. We don’t see the top of the Forester’s cycle but we see him changing back to this more open and receptive person. The music just cycles and cycles in a wonderful repetition and revision that Janáček is an expert at creating.

That sort of fits in with what I’ve read.

The opera is full of life cycles! But within them are tiny little journeys that are going on within ALL of the characters.

That is one aspect that makes this opera so amazing, and another reason why Mark and I decided to set it in a more distilled, abstract way, as opposed to setting it in the 1920s or in Czechoslovakia. To nail it down to a certain time period could diminish the universality of the performance. It doesn’t have a time period, but I think the story in itself is timeless. I’m not saying this is the way to approach this opera, this is the way we approached it.

'The Cunning Little Vixen'

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

Is this opera often translated into English?

Well, I’m not an expert at that. What I can say is that when I was an undergrad here, David Adams was my voice teacher. Then he did the translation of my first opera here!

That’s a nice little cycle!

Yes, it is! And even though he is a professor emeritus here, David has been at a lot of rehearsals. He has been really involved. It’s been fantastic to work with him in a very different way and still learn from him.

Was it his choice to put this in English?

Actually, David wrote this for Professor Kenneth Shaw’s production here but then retired after spending a lifetime here. This is one of our ways to thank and honor him and the work that he’s done for CCM.

Are English-sung operas a theme this year?

Well, that’s something that we as a department really made an effort to do this year. Both Mainstage Operas were in English, which is more challenging to sing than other languages. The students need to learn how to sing in English and make it understandable and not lose their vocal quality.

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Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen runs April 8 – 10 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. 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. You can learn more about the production here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
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.

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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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News

CCM’s Music for Food Concert Series Continues Sunday, April 3, 2016

CCM’s Music for Food concert series continues at 4 p.m. this Sunday, April 3. Student and faculty performers will use their artistry to fight hunger through this new chamber music series, which benefits Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank.

Organized by CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet, along with faculty artists Lydia Brown and and Gwen Coleman Detwiler, the performance takes place in Room 300 of CCM’s Dieterle Vocal Arts Center. This intimate space 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.

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.

Performance Time
4 p.m. Sunday, April 3

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.

CCM News
The logo for Broadway's Lysistrata Jones.

CCM Musical Theatre Presents Energetic Comedy ‘Lysistrata Jones’ April 7-9, 2016

 

CCM caps off its 2015-16 series of musical theatre productions with Lewis Flinn and Douglas Carter Beane’s Lysistrata Jones, a modern pop retelling of the classic Greek comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes.

The witty, high energy musical runs April 7 – 9 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater, featuring stage direction by Assistant Professor Emma Griffin, choreography by Adjunct Assistant Professor Patti James and Music Direction by CCM student Danny White. Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Lysistrata Jones is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, April 4.

Lysistrata Jones closely parallels the plot of the ancient Lysistrata, albeit with some artistic liberties that bring the story into the 21st century. In Aristophanes’ original, Lysistrata leads the women of Athens to stop having sex with their husbands and lovers until the long-lasting Peloponnesian War has finally ended. In the modern musical, the men’s basketball team at fictional Athens University has lost every game for the last 30 years when a cheerleader named Lysistrata “Lyssie J.” Jones transfers to the school. Lyssie J. inspires the girls at the school to stop “giving it up” to their boyfriends on the team until they finally win a game.

“It’s very clever,” says director Emma Griffin, “Anyone who knows the classic play really well will be delighted at the intelligence of the remake. But you don’t need to know the original at all, kind of like you don’t need to know Romeo and Juliet to understand and love West Side Story.”

Griffin and her creative team have turned CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater into a basketball arena, but Griffin is quick to point out that this is not your garden variety high school gymnasium:

“The creative team and I spent a lot of time looking at very heightened representations of sports and pop music. We also looked at comic books for some of the styling as well. So what you’ll see is a very colorful, poppy setting.”

The original Broadway production of Lysistrata Jones was reviewed extremely well, with Ben Brantley of the New York Times likening the show to the fun-filled Broadway musicals of the 1940s and 50s. He made sure to add, however, that “there’s a tasty substance beneath the froth.” Griffin agrees:

“This show does something that I think is quite difficult to do in terms of tone: it’s super poppy and funny, but the story is told in a very witty and intelligent way.”

With free admission and limited seating, CCM’s Studio Series productions remain one of the hottest tickets in town.

Learn more about how secure your tickets by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/did-you-know/how-to-studio-series.

CCM’s production of Lysistrata Jones is rated PG-13. There is no strong language or nudity; the subject matter includes sexual innuendo, but nothing overt.

LYSISTRATA JONES
A Musical Comedy About Faith, Hoops and Chastity
Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn

Performance Times 

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 7
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 8
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9

PLEASE NOTE: the 8 p.m. performance of Lysistrata Jones on April 9 will coincide with an FC Cincinnati game scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Nippert Stadium.

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to Lysistrata Jones is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 4. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Lysistrata Jones is presented by arrangement with TAMS WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC., 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

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Story by CCM and UC Lindner College of Business graduate student Ryan Strand (BFA Musical Theatre, 2006)

CCM News
The Lotte Lenya Competition.

CCM Students Advance to the Final Round of the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition

We are elated to report that CCM students Talya Lieberman and Reilly Nelson have been named as finalists for the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition. They have been selected alongside 13 other young singer/actors and will take part in the final round of the competition on Saturday, April 16.

Both Lieberman and Nelson also made strong showings in last year’s Lotte Lenya Competition. Nelson advanced to the semifinal round of the competition (along with three other CCM-trained singers), while Lieberman won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round.

Lieberman and Nelson are the latest in a long line of CCM students and alumni who have reached the final rounds of the Lotte Lenya Competition. CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theatre singing contest. CCM alumna Caitlin Mathes (MM Voice, 2009; Artist Diploma in Opera, 2010) earned First Prize in 2011 and fellow alumna Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (BM Voice, 2008; MM Voice, 2010; DMA candidate) progressed to the final round of the competition that same year.

Selected from 31 semifinalists, this year’s finalists represent a diverse range of performers, ages 21 to 31, from across the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. All will sing repertoire from the operatic, golden age and contemporary musical stages, and of course, the music of Kurt Weill, for a chance win the top prize of $15,000.

Semifinalist judges, Tony Award-winners Jeanine Tesori and Victoria Clark, adjudicated and coached the performers. Clark, who first judged the competition in 2008, noted that “I can feel the leap in overall talent from when I last judged the semifinals.”

Kurt Weill Foundation President Kim Kowalke stated that “this year’s finalists are the largest and most diverse group in the Competition’s 19-year history, with contestants currently working on- and off-Broadway, in national touring companies, and in major regional theaters and opera companies. Many are well on their way to distinguished careers.”

The final round takes place April 16 at Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Each finalist will present a 15 minute program of four selections in the daytime round, 11:00-4:00. An evening concert, in which contestants sing only a segment of their programs, follows at 8:00. The concert concludes with the announcement of awards and prizes. Both the daytime round and evening concert are free and open to the public.

All finalists receive a minimum cash award of $1,000, with additional discretionary awards of $3,500 each, and top prizes ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. Total prizes will exceed $60,000.

Returning to judge for the tenth time, international opera legend Teresa Stratas leads the judges’ panel. The Lenya Competition remains the only vocal competition she has ever consented to adjudicate. Joining her on the jury are Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization President and former American Theater Wing Chairman Theodore S. Chapin (also returning for his tenth time), and Broadway (and Audra McDonald’s) music director, conductor and accompanist Andy Einhorn.

Past prize winners have gone on to appear on major theater, opera and concert stages around the world. Don’t miss the competition described by Opera News as “target[ing] today’s total-package talents, unearthing up-and-coming singers who are ready for their close-ups.”

About the Kurt Weill Foundation
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-50) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The Foundation administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant Program, the Kurt Weill Book Prize and the Lotte Lenya Competition, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter. Learn more by visiting www.kwf.org.

CCM student Talya Lieberman.

CCM student Talya Lieberman.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, soprano Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of Professor William McGraw.

Recently described by Opera News as “poetically compelling,” “delectably stylish” and “technically refined,” Lieberman is equally at home with operatic, art song and musical theatre repertoire. Starting in September 2016 she will be seen frequently on stage at Komische Oper Berlin, where she will be assuming the soprano position in the Opernstudio. Her upcoming performances include debuts with Cincinnati Opera and Opera Columbus, as well as the title role in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

Lieberman returned to Cincinnati this fall after completing a summer as a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where her ability to “make a point with the merest flick of a finger” (Washington Post) shined in a highly lauded run as Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She also appeared in concert with Steven Blier at Wolf Trap in a program celebrating the Broadway legacy of the Rodgers family (The Rodgers Family – A Century of Musicals).

Lieberman is a convert from the orchestra pit and started singing after receiving her master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Judith Saxton. She completed her BA at Duke University with highest distinction in linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude). She is a two-time winner of full tuition and stipend—winning the Russell-Seybold and Italo Tajo Awards, respectively—at CCM’s Opera Scholarship Competition.

CCM student Reilly Nelson. Photography by Kate Lemmon (http://www.katelphotography.com).

CCM student Reilly Nelson. Photography by Kate Lemmon (http://www.katelphotography.com).

About Reilly Nelson
Born in the coastal town of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada, Reilly Nelson attended the Eastman School of Music where she received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and CCM where she completed a Master of Music in Vocal Performance.

Nelson is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at CCM.

At CCM she performed Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Mary in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star. She also performed Hansel, as well as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, at Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center.

The mezzo-soprano was a vocal fellow at the renowned Tanglewood Music Festival for the summers of 2014 and 2015, performing Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 and Folk Songs by Bernard Rands.

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Story by Curt Whitacre

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