CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra perform Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610. Photo by Andrew Higley/University of Cincinnati.

CCM Performances Make Critics’ “Best of 2014” Lists

In case you missed it, Music for All Seasons Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer and Music in Cincinnati have each published “year in review” stories, looking back on the great performances of 2014.

Rafael de Acha selected 10 special performances from 2014 for Music for All Seasons Cincinnati, including:

  • Professor Emeritus Frank Weinstock‘s return to the CCM stage as part of the 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival;
  • Guest artist Andreas Scholl‘s all-Lieder recital at CCM;
  • CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables, which “won them a fine judgment from judicious lovers of the musical,” according to de Acha;
  • CCM’s Studio Series production of Chabrier’s L’ étoile;
  • CCM’s Opera d’arte Series production of Ravel’s L’ enfant et les sortilèges;
  • and CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale, directed by the-graudate student Omer Ben-Seadia, who was in “full command of the style that infuses the spirit of Donizetti’s masterpiece,” by de Acha’s estimation.

Janelle Gelfand picked her 14 highlights of 2014 for the Enquirer, including:

Mary Ellyn Hutton widened her selection to 21 highlights for 2014 for Music In Cincinnati, including:

The magic continues in 2015, as CCM presents over 125 major public performances during UC’s Spring Semester, beginning with a faculty artist recital by Pat Linhart and Julie Spangler on Sunday, Jan. 18, and concluding with the CCM Prep Jazz Extravaganza concert on Sunday, May 17!

See a full schedule of events at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/spring-2015-calendar-of-events!

CCM News
CCM E-Media alumnus Brad Schnittger.

CCM Alumnus Brad Schnittger Receives Haile Fellowship Award

CCM E-Media alumnus Brad Schnittger.

CCM E-Media alumnus Brad Schnittger.

Congratulations to CCM alumnus Brad Schnittger (BFA Electronic Media, 2002), who has been named one of two 2015 Haile Fellows by People’s Liberty, a philanthropic lab that brings together civic-minded talent to address challenges and uncover opportunities to accelerate the positive transformation of Greater Cincinnati.

The Haile Fellowship provides recipients with $100,000 to work on their projects for one year.

Schnittger will spend 2015 developing MusicLi, a music publishing platform that will afford local musicians the opportunity to properly document, register and publish their musical compositions to an online library, creating a two-sided marketplace for advertising agencies to license and purchase more Cincinnati music. You can learn more about his fellowship goal here.

Schnittger and a fellow-UC alumnus (Brad Cooper, a 2009 graduate of DAAP, is the other 2015 Haile Fellow) were both chosen by a team of external panelists, who evaluated nearly 100 fellowship proposals for feasibility, scalability, innovation and the potential to leave a lasting impact on Greater Cincinnati.

You can learn even more about Schnittger’s project courtesy of John Faherty and the Cincinnati Enquirer here.

People’s Liberty is funded in large part by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation and the Johnson Foundation.

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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 Studio Series Production of ‘Speech and Debate’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

League of Cincinnati TheatresWe are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Speech and Debate with a 4.5 star recommendation.

Written by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Stephen Karam, Speech and Debate feels ripped from today’s headlines. What begins as a story of on-line stalking quickly snowballs into a play that is part mystery, part coming-of-age story; a smart comedy and an insightful reflection of what it means to be young in America today.

Panelists called Speech and Debate “a wonderful production… contemporary, real and sometimes raw.” They were unanimous in praising CCM Drama Chair Richard Hess’ direction: “tight and economical, allowing his actors to bond together in their awkwardness while slowly revealing their secrets.”

The ensemble in the show “couldn’t be better… they worked marvelously together as a seamless unit.” Panelists singled out actress Katie Langham’s performance as Diwata: “brilliant, quick-delivery, comic in the truest sense.”

Critics have heaped praise on this production, with David Lyman calling the show “glorious to watch” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Kirk Sheppard observed that Langham is “on track to be a major comedic star” in his review for The Sappy Critic.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher wrote that, “The show features excellent direction by Richard E. Hess, and is extremely well-cast with a committed and fearless leading trio.”

MacKenzie Bower concluded that Speech and Debate was “a lovable show for all” in her review for The News Record.

CCM Drama will next present a free play reading series from Nov. 17 – 20, focusing on dramatic treatments of war and aggression. From England to Vietnam to Africa and beyond, this series will allow CCM’s Dramatic Performance majors to consider global and historical conflicts through the lens created by the playwright. All readings will begin at 7 p.m. in room 4735 of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. The schedule includes:

  • Monday, Nov. 17: Shirley Lauro’s A Piece of My Heart, directed by k. Jenny Jones
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18: Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, directed by Richard E. Hess.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19: William Shakespeare’s Henry V, directed by Diane Kvapil
  • Thursday, Nov. 20: Charise Castro Smith’s The Hunchback of Seville, directed by Brant Russell

CCM’s Drama Season then resumes Feb. 11 – 15 with a Mainstage Series production of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, directed by Richard E. Hess. Tickets are on sale now.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

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Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s ‘Legally Blonde’ Receives Rave Reviews

Photography by Mark Lyons.The critics are praising CCM’s current production of Legally Blonde – The Musical, which plays through a matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 2!

In his review for the Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard writes, “Legally Blonde – The Musical is an energetic, satisfying show and CCM has brought all of the elements together continuing their reputation as one of the best musical theatre programs in the country.” Sheppard singles out the performance of senior Lawson Young (one of two CCM students playing Elle Woods in this double-cast production), going so far as to say, “Of the five [different] productions I’ve seen, she’s by far the best and that includes the national tour and the [Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera] last summer.”

David Lyman has similar praise for the production and for senior Sarah Bishop in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “What’s really refreshing about this production,” he observes, “is that, as Elle, Sarah Bishop gives a measure of humanity that we rarely get to see. We see Elle develop a conscience and compassion and – heaven forbid – come to love a man to whom she never would have given the time of day at the outset of the show.”

The News Record‘s review praised the entire company, with Aidan Smith writing, “The humor offered by every cast member made this musical stand out, and it showed in the audience’s constant giggling.”

“Featuring strong performances, fun choreography, and a superb set design, this mounting is a true crowd pleaser,” Scott Cain observes in his review for Talkin’ Broadway.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher calls CCM’s production, “a very fun and entertaining show. Excellent work.”

Rick Pender profiles Legally Blonde director/choreographer and CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala in his “Curtain Call” column for Cincinnati CityBeat, observing that “the evidence of her success is currently onstage at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.”

You have five more chances to catch this all-singing, all-dancing production… and tickets are still available!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Customizable subscription packages are also available. 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/legally-blonde-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.
____

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Legally Blonde: The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

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The Ariel Quartet’s Acclaimed CCM Concert Series Continues Tomorrow

From left to right: Amit Even-Tov, Jan Grüning, Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov are the Ariel Quartet. Photography by Saverio Truglia.

From left to right: Amit Even-Tov, Jan Grüning, Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov are the Ariel Quartet. Photography by Saverio Truglia.

The Ariel Quartet‘s CCM Concert Series continues at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, with a program featuring the works of Menachem Wiesenberg, Robert Schumann and Maurice Ravel.

Grand Prize winners at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and 2014 recipients of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Ariel Quartet thrilled audiences with its first complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets at CCM last season.

During the CINCYinNYC showcase week this May, the New York Times proclaimed that the Quartet has “a gift for filling the pristine structures of Classicism with fire.”

Janelle Gelfand called the Quartet’s season-opening performance with Menahem Pressler last month “inspiring” in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. You can read her full review of that performance here.

Repertoire

  • WIESENBERG: Between the Sacred and the Profane
  • SCHUMANN: String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 41, No. 2
  • RAVEL: String Quartet in F Major, M. 35

CCM News

CCM and the ‘La Calisto’ Connection

 

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Cincinnati Opera’s season continues this week with a production of Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto (July 17 – 27), a Baroque opera that has a long history with CCM.

Cincinnati Opera’s current production features a number of CCM alumni in the cast, including Michael Maniaci (BM, 1999) as Endymion, Nathan Stark (AD, 2009) as Sylvano, Andrew Garland (MM, 2002; AD, 2004) as Mercurio and Daniel Okulitch as Jove.

La Calisto drew limited audiences during its initial run of 11 performances in 1651. The long-forgotten opera was resurrected by British conductor Raymond Leppard at the 1970 Glyndebourne Festival. CCM actually mounted the American premiere of La Calisto in April of 1972, with a production conducted by Carmon DeLeone with stage direction by the Metropolitan Opera’s Henry Butler.

That production’s cast featured Barbara Daniels, Leigh Dodson, Tom Fox, Brad Liebl, Don Ronci and Nancy Stelling, amongst others. Photos from that 1972 production are featured in the slideshow above!

Learn even more about CCM’s connections to La Calisto courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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The World Piano Competition's 2014 Semifinalists: Anastasiya Naplekova, Sung-Soo Cho, Reed Tetzloff, Feng Bian, Moye Chen and Sangyoung Kim.

World Piano Competition Announces 2014 Semifinalists

Six pianists have advanced to the semifinal rounds of the 2014 World Piano Competition!

From left to right, this year’s semifinalists are Anastasiya Naplekova, Sung-Soo Cho, Reed Tetzloff, Feng Bian, Moye Chen and Sangyoung Kim.

The World Piano Competition's 2014 Semifinalists: Anastasiya Naplekova, Sung-Soo Cho, Reed Tetzloff, Feng Bian, Moye Chen and Sangyoung Kim.

The World Piano Competition’s 2014 Semifinalists: Anastasiya Naplekova, Sung-Soo Cho, Reed Tetzloff, Feng Bian, Moye Chen and Sangyoung Kim.

Competition Semifinals run tonight and Thursday in Corbett Auditorium. Performances begin at 7 p.m. on both nights. Tickets are on sale for the semifinals and the June 28 Finals Concert featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra by visiting www.cincinnatiwpc.org/get-tickets.

Learn more about this year’s semifinalists courtesy of Janelle Gelfand and the Cincinnati Enquirer here.

CCM News

CCM Alumna Amanda Woodbury Makes Solo Debut with Cincinnati May Festival This Weekend

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) will make her Cincinnati May Festival debut as a soloist this Saturday (and will also perform a preconcert recital tonight) and the Cincinnati Enquirer provides a preview in a new Q&A with the soprano.

Earlier this year, Woodbury was named a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions (along with fellow CCM alum Yi Li) and a 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipient (along with fellow CCM alum John Holiday).

She reflects on those recent successes and on her time at CCM in the feature, telling the Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand, “I sang two roles onstage [at CCM], Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites. I can’t tell you how much that has helped my career. It helped me to prepare for the next step, and just everything they did opened up doors for me. I’m so glad I went to CCM, because I passed up Juilliard for CCM.”

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CCM Jazz Ensemble Wows Audiences With Jazz At Lincoln Center Debut

Professor Scott Belck and the CCM Jazz Ensemble. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s acclaimed Jazz Ensemble made its Jazz at Lincoln Center debut last week, kicking off this month’s CINCYinNYC activities. If you were unable to catch any of the ensemble’s three sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on May 6, you can enjoy video highlights courtesy of WCPO’s Matt Peiken here.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand also provided a recap of the evening and declared, “if the enthusiastic response of the sold-out crowd at Dizzy’s club is any indication, New York is in for a treat.” You can read her full review here.

CCM’s CINCYinNYC offerings continue at 7:30 p.m. this evening (May 12), as the 92nd Street Y presents the Ariel Quartet. You can learn more about that performance here.

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