'Maria Stuarda' crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

CCM’s Opera d’arte Series Presents Tragic Tale ‘Maria Stuarda,’ March 11-13

'Maria Stuarda' crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

‘Maria Stuarda’ crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

CCM’s acclaimed Opera d’arte series returns this week with a new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s tragic Maria Stuarda, which runs March 11-13 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. The opera, which showcases the talent of CCM’s undergraduate performers, features music direction by Associate Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott and stage direction by Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson. Admission to this production is free, but reservations are required through the CCM Box Office.

In this dramatic adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s play Maria Stuart, Donizetti and librettist Giuseppe Bardari tell a fictional tale of the rivalry between Queen Elizabeth of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Seeking refuge in England after her kingdom is overthrown, Mary finds herself imprisoned by her calculating cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who fears Mary’s claims to the English throne. Jealous beyond reason, Elizabeth fears the foreign queen has stolen the heart of her beloved Roberto, Earl of Leicester.

Fighting for her life, Mary implores Roberto for an audience with Elizabeth to plead her innocence. Blinded by her insecurities, Elizabeth is only further enraged by Roberto’s advocacy on Mary’s behalf. In a tragic conclusion, Elizabeth is tasked with granting or denying mercy for the defenseless Mary.

CCM Opera d'art anniversary logo.“The Department of Voice Performance has an exceptional talent pool this year,” says director Amy Johnson. “This opera was chosen to suit our students’ needs and our pedagogical goals. The production will teach our cast about bel canto style and performance practice.”

Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw serves as producer for this opera and has guided the Opera d’arte Series for many years. He is particularly excited about the program’s collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and Professor Brian Schumacher, as well as with CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production. “Our student-designed set reflects our collaborators’ expertise and standard of excellence,” he says.

Maria Stuarda is by far the most advanced project we’ve tackled to date,” says Shaw, “and it is a testament to the quality of our students that we are able to produce this opera and even double cast it with undergraduate singers.”

CCM is proud to present this classic tale of a fight for love, life and country.

Principal Cast for March 11 and 13

  • Sarah Vautour as Maria Stuarda
  • Elizabeth Gorrie as Elizabeth I
  • Stephanie Rampton as Anne Kennedy
  • John Humphrey as the Earl of Leicester*
  • Daniel Illig as Lord Cecil
  • Bernard Khalil as Talbot

Principal Cast for March 12

  • Madeline Jentsch as Maria Stuarda
  • Page Michels as Elizabeth I
  • Brianna Bragg as Anne Kennedy
  • TJ Capobianco as the Earl of Leicester*
  • Olusola Fadiran as Lord Cecil
  • Tyler Resto as Talbot


  • Christina Bilz
  • Sophie Blatt
  • Dara Brown
  • Desiree Dawson
  • Clayton Edwards
  • Rebecca Finkelshteyn
  • Charlotte Green
  • Grant Jackson
  • Mackenzie Jacquemin
  • Vidita Kannikeswaran
  • Shannon Keegan
  • Jake Kolesar
  • Sam Krausz
  • Hayley Maloney
  • Maria Miller
  • Gregory Miller
  • Holly Reckers
  • Jared Slothower
  • Elena Villalon

* denotes masters student

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Please contact the CCM Box Office at 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.


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

Community Partner: ArtsWave


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CCM Presents Free Performances of Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les Sortilèges’ Feb. 21-23

LEnfantSortilegesThe University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s award-winning undergraduate opera series (also known as “CCM Opera d’arte”) presents Maurice Ravel’s one-act opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges from Feb. 21-23 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The title of Ravel’s second opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges: Fantaisie lyrique en deux parties translates to The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts. The opera tells the story of a young boy who, after being scolded by his mother, throws a destructive tantrum in his room. He is then surprised to watch the furniture and decorations become plants and animals that begin to talk. The child is left to fend for himself in a garden of creatures that remember the harm he inflicted on them before they could speak. It is a fantastical voyage for the whole family that not only showcases vast imagination, but also reminds us of the consequences our actions can have.

Directed by CCM Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw and CCM Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson with music direction by Assistant Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott, L’Enfant et les Sortileges is being produced in collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). This collaboration between CCM and DAAP grew largely from student interest, according to Shaw

“We met, developed ideas and then called on students to submit designs for sets and costumes. We selected aspects from three submissions and distilled the project into a Co-Op for DAAP position, filled by student Katie Iles,” Shaw explains. “The production presents the title role of the Child as a young, budding artist, so his paintings come to life, along with other inanimate objects. It’s just another dramatic device that seems to work well for this piece.

“Because each role, except for The Child, is brief,” Shaw continues, “our students can concentrate on their work and focus their energies more efficiently on singing well, acting with specificity and going beyond the normal human range of emotions into the world of the surreal.”

This production promises to bring light and warmth to an otherwise very chilly winter. Join Opera d’arte for a delightful escape!

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