Header for Cincinnati's 2016 May Festival.

Cincinnati May Festival Features CCM Alumna Tamara Wilson as Guest Artist in Verdi’s Otello

Header for Cincinnati's 2016 May Festival.

As a rising star in the opera world, soprano and CCM alumna Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004) has already amassed an impressive international reputation. Cincinnati residents will have an opportunity to hear her voice again this weekend as she joins the May Festival‘s 2016 line-up!

Soprano Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004).

Soprano Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004).

Wilson, a former student of Barbara Honn and the 2016 winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, will return to the Queen City to perform the female lead role of Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi’s famed opera Otello under the baton of May Festival Music Director James Conlon.

Wilson will be part of a star-studded cast including tenors Gregory Kunde (the 2015 International Opera Awards Male Singer of the Year) and May Festival regular Rodrick Dixon, along with the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The performances starts at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 21, in Music Hall. Tickets are available online at https://my.cincinnatisymphony.org or by phone at 513-381-3300, so make sure to reserve today to see this rising CCM alumna!

About Tamara Wilson
American soprano Tamara Wilson made her much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in December of 2014 in the title role of Aida, when the New York Times praised the “laserlike authority of her high notes,” and observed: “Her voice blooms with her palpable involvement in her own story: Her singing is urgent, her physical performance restrained yet powerful.”

Nominated for a 2016 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera after her English National Opera debut last fall as Leonora in La forza del destino, the soprano will make further debuts next season at the Bayerischer Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin. She was a finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Grand Prize Winner at Barcelona’s Annual Francisco Viñas Competition, a winner of the George London Award and the recipient of both a 2008 Sara Tucker Study Grant and a 2011 Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

After launching the present season headlining Aida at the Aspen Music Festival, Wilson returned to Oper Frankfurt as Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo; sang Lucrezia in Verdi’s I due Foscari in Santiago, Chile; made her Cleveland Orchestra debut; and joined Marin Alsop for Mahler in São Paulo. Back in the States after touring Japan as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, the soprano looks forward to taking Brahms’s German Requiem on an East Coast tour with Seraphic Fire and singing Desdemona in Otello at Cincinnati’s May Festival, in celebration of James Conlon’s 37th and final year as Music Director. Last season Wilson made her role and house debuts headlining Norma at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, following recent debuts at Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Carnegie Hall. In addition to being a CCM graduate, Wilson is also an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

Learn more about the achievements of CCM’s students and alumni by subscribing to The Village News!
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Story by CCM graduate Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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A promotional image for the Animal Mother, a jazz trio comprised of CCM alumni.

CCM Jazz Alumni Receive Glowing Review from the Washington Post

CCM alumni Matt McAllister (BM Jazz Studies, 2013), Josh Kline (BM Jazz Studies, 2015) and Jon Massey (BM Jazz Studies, 2012) have been making waves with their latest musical project, Animal Mother.

In a glowing review of the ensemble’s May 8th performance at the Twins Jazz Club and Lounge in Washington, DC, Washington Post contributor Michael J. West suggests, “(T)hese guys — unlike many declared jazz musicians — had mastered the music’s basic foundation before reimagining it.”

A self-described “garage jazz” band, Animal Mother formed at CCM in 2013 with McAllister on drums, Kline on tenor saxophone and Masey on bass. Initially conceived as an opportunity to practice free improvisation, the ensemble soon began to focus on McAllister’s original compositions. The band released its debut album, The Youth Will Rule!, last year and recently embarked on a tour of the Midwest.

Back at home, Animal Mother has been nominated two years in a row for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in the “Best Jazz” category.

“Animal Mother deserves more ears,” West concludes in his review, “not least because they slyly suggest that they have even more musical ingredients than meet the ear.”

You can read the full write-up online at www.washingtonpost.com.

Learn more about the achievements of CCM’s students and alumni by subscribing to The Village News!
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Story by Curt Whitacre

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Rebecca Castillo performs in the Kentucky Bach Choir's Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition. Provided Photo.

CCM Singer Awarded in Kentucky Bach Choir’s Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition

We are thrilled to share that CCM Master of Music student Rebecca Castillo won the Encouragement Award after participating in Kentucky Bach Coir’s Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition on Saturday, April 9.

Singers Zackery Morris, Emily Yocum Black, Julius Cruse Miller III, Rebecca Castillo with vocal competition sponsor Audrey Rooney and Kentucky Bach Choir Artistic Director Marlon Hurst.

Singers Zackery Morris, Emily Yocum Black, Julius Cruse Miller III, Rebecca Castillo with vocal competition sponsor Audrey Rooney and Kentucky Bach Choir Artistic Director Marlon Hurst. Provided Photo.

Nine student singers from six different states and nine universities competed in the live vocal competition, held at the First Presbyterian Church in Lexington. The singers competed for a Grand Prize of $1,500, an Audience Choice Award of $750, and two Encouragement Awards. As a recipient of the Encouragement Award, Castillo was given $500 and the opportunity to return as a paid guest soloist in future Kentucky Bach choir concerts.

The Grand Prize winner was Emily Yocum Black, who is pursuing a Master’s in Vocal Performance at the University of Louisville. The Audience Choice Award went to Zackery Morris, who is in pursuit of a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance at the University of Kentucky. Julius Cruse Miller III, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Indiana University, won the other Encouragement Award.

Castillo is a soprano studying under the tutelage of Amy Johnson, assistant professor of voice, as part of the Master of Music program at CCM. She recently performed in the ensemble of CCM’s production of Leos Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Last fall, Castillo performed J. S. Bach’s B Minor Mass with Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson.

She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Music Education and previously taught choir at South Houston High School. While there, she performed with Houston’s Bach Society Choir including works B Minor Mass, St. Matthew’s Passion and Magnificat.

About the Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition
In its sixth year, the vocal competition was created to encourage exceptional student singers in the study of the solo repertoire of J. S. Bach, Franz Joseph Haydn, and W. A. Mozart. Singers are selected for the live competition in Lexington by submitting recordings to Kentucky Bach Choir Artistic Director, Marlon Hurst. The competition was adjudicated by Hurst, Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Alamaba Dr. Krintine Hurst-Wajszczuk, and Zach Klobnak, director of music at The Presbyterian Church in Danville, Centre College organist and instructor of organ, harpsichord, and piano. Klobnak also serves as the accompanist for the Kentucky Bach Choir. All singers in the competition were accompanied by Nan McSwain, vocal coach and lecturer in opera with the University of Kentucky Opera Theater.

Ms. Audrey Heyman Rooney became the sponsor of the competition in 2013. A member of the Kentucky Bach Choir Board of Directors, Ms. Rooney has been a longtime advocate for the arts and for the encouragement of young artists, making significant contributions towards these ends in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Kentucky.

CCM News Student Salutes
Rehearsals for CCM's April 2016 production of SWAN LAKE.

Building a Ballet: E-Media students give inside look at CCM’s ‘Swan Lake’

CCM Electronic Media and UC journalism students take us behind-the-scenes with a look at the rehearsals for next week’s production of Swan Lake. The video series chronicles all of the work and dedication students, faculty and staff put into the lavish new production of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet.

Students within the News Writing and Reporting class, taught by Assistant Professor of E-Media Hagit Limor and Journalism Professor Bob Jonason, created the videos, which star faculty and students within CCM’s Dance Department.

In the video above, Dance Department chair and Swan Lake co-director Jiang Qi discusses the work that goes into presenting such an iconic ballet. He explains:

Swan Lake is one of the top classical ballets in the repertoire. It’s almost textbook. You learn Swan Lake and then you get much stronger. This is an art form that requires a lot of physical and mental endurance to get through.”

The videos and photos, created by students Brevin Couch, Mark D’Andrea, Tyler Dunn, Daniel Honerkamp, Ailish Masterston and Andrew Wilkins, can be viewed on the Building a Ballet website. Visit the website to view interviews with dance students Madison Holschuh (Odette), Sam Jones (Prince Siegfried), and Kiahna Saneshige (Odile). The package was recently featured in Cincinnati Magazine.

Swan Lake is only the second story ballet ever presented as part of CCM’s Mainstage Series. The production runs April 22 – 24 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Co-directed by Jiang and Professor Deirdre Carberry, the 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 Professor Aik Khai Pung.

This production marks the first time in CCM’s nearly 150-year history that a dance production has featured brand new costumes designed and built in-house. You can learn more about the work that went into costuming Swan Lake here.

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

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Story by Curt Whitacre

CCM News CCM Video Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
A banner for the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

CCM Alumnae Tamara Wilson and Amanda Woodbury Receive Major Awards from Richard Tucker Music Foundation

We are ecstatic to report that CCM alumnae Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004) and Amanda Woodbury (MM Voice, 2012) have both received major awards from the prestigious Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

Wilson, a soprano who studied with Barbara Honn while attending CCM, has been named winner of the 2016 Richard Tucker Award. Dubbed the “Heisman Trophy of Opera,” the Tucker Award carries the foundation’s most substantial cash prize of $50,000, and is conferred each year by a panel of opera industry professionals on an American singer at the threshold of a major international career. Featuring such luminaries as Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, David Daniels, Christine Goerke and Joyce DiDonato, the list of past winners reads like a who’s who of American opera. Wilson is a previous recipient of the Foundation’s Sara Tucker Study Grant in 2008 and Richard Tucker Career Grant in 2011.

Barry Tucker, president of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and son of the Brooklyn-born tenor, commented, “I first met Tamara Wilson when she auditioned for – and won – a Sara Tucker Study Grant in 2008. I was blown away not only by the power and sheer beauty of her voice, but also by how grounded she is as a person. Last year, when I was listening to the Saturday matinee broadcast of Aida from the Met and realized it was her singing the title role, I couldn’t have been more impressed by how she’s evolved as an artist. She has a bright future ahead of her, and we are thrilled to have her as our 2016 Richard Tucker Award winner.”

Wilson is not the only CCM-trained singer honored by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation this year. Woodbury, a soprano who studied with William McGraw while attending CCM, has been named a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant recipient. Selected through a vocal competition, these grants are provided to singers who have begun professional careers and who have already performed roles with opera companies nationally or internationally. As previously reported, Woodbury was awarded the Foundation’s Sara Tucker Grant in 2014.

About the Richard Tucker Music Foundation
Founded in 1975, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization that honors the artistic legacy of the great American tenor through support of talented American opera singers and by bringing opera into the community.

The Foundation’s awards program offers grants for study, performance opportunities and other career-enhancing activities, thereby providing professional development for singers at several levels of career-readiness. You can learn more about the Richard Tucker Music Foundation by visiting richardtucker.org/about.

Soprano Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004).

Soprano Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004).

About Tamara Wilson
American soprano Tamara Wilson made her much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in December of 2014 in the title role of Aida, when the New York Times praised the “laserlike authority of her high notes,” and observed: “Her voice blooms with her palpable involvement in her own story: Her singing is urgent, her physical performance restrained yet powerful.”

Nominated for a 2016 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera after her English National Opera debut last fall as Leonora in La forza del destino, the soprano will make further debuts next season at the Bayerischer Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin. She was a finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Grand Prize Winner at Barcelona’s Annual Francisco Viñas Competition, a winner of the George London Award and the recipient of both a 2008 Sara Tucker Study Grant and a 2011 Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

After launching the present season headlining Aida at the Aspen Music Festival, Wilson returned to Oper Frankfurt as Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo; sang Lucrezia in Verdi’s I due Foscari in Santiago, Chile; made her Cleveland Orchestra debut; and joined Marin Alsop for Mahler in São Paulo. Back in the States after touring Japan as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, the soprano looks forward to taking Brahms’s German Requiem on an East Coast tour with Seraphic Fire and singing Desdemona in Otello at Cincinnati’s May Festival, in celebration of James Conlon’s 37th and final year as Music Director. Last season Wilson made her role and house debuts headlining Norma at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, following recent debuts at Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Carnegie Hall. In addition to being a CCM graduate, Wilson is also an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumna Amanda Woodbury.

About Amanda Woodbury
An alumna of Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, Amanda Woodbury was recently honored with the second place and Audience Choice awards in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition. She also won the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 2014 Sara Tucker Study Grant, and both second place and Audience Choice awards at Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition.

Woodbury made her professional debut as Micaëla in Carmen at Los Angeles Opera, where she returned as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. She then joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, appearing as Tebaldo in Don Carlo and covering the roles of Antonia and Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

This season she sang Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles at the Met, and looks forward to appearing as Musetta in La bohème with the Los Angeles Opera. Having taken part in the Met’s “Rising Stars” concert tour, she looks forward to headlining a new Met production of Roméo et Juliette and making house debuts at PORTopera as Micaëla in Carmen and at Atlanta Opera as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Woodbury completed her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at CCM in 2012, after receiving her Bachelor of Music from Indiana University.

In a 2014 interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Woodbury reflected on her recent success and on her time at CCM, telling 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.”

You can read the Enquirer‘s full interview with Woodbury online here.

Learn more about the achievements of CCM’s students and alumni by subscribing to The Village News!
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Story by Curt Whitacre

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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