CCM and Constella Festival Present Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ This Sunday

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The Cincinnati Enquirer has named CCM’s Sunday, Nov. 3, staging of J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion as its “top pick for the weekend!”

According to the preview, “it should be one of the most moving events of the entire fall season.” Tickets are still available for this unique staged performance at Cincinnati’s Christ Church Cathedral.

Learn more about CCM’s production of this cherished Baroque masterwork here.

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CCM Presents a Grand Recreation of a Beloved Bach Masterpiece on Nov. 3

Graduate student Conor McDonald performs the role of Jesus in CCM's production of J.S. Bach's 'St. John Passion,' presented at Christ Church Cathedral on Nov. 3. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Graduate student Conor McDonald performs the role of Jesus in CCM’s production of J.S. Bach’s ‘St. John Passion,’ presented at Christ Church Cathedral on Nov. 3. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM’s Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra join forces to perform a unique staged production of Johann Sebastian Bach’s visceral rendering of the St. John Passion as the next installment in CCM’s 2013-14 Prestige Concert Series. The monumental work will be presented at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Christ Church Cathedral under the direction of Earl Rivers, staged by Omer Ben-Seadia, and in conjunction with the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts.

Bach composed his St. John Passion for the congregations of Leipzig, Germany for Good Friday services in April 1724. The story is narrated by the character of the Evangelist and emphasizes the conflict of Pontius Pilate. “Bach’s interpretation provides us with a dramatic and physiological account,” explains stage director and Artist Diploma directing student Omer Ben-Seadia. “The staging will portray the drama through symbolic elements and light. The text and historical reflection are just as pungent today as ever – and the staging confronts these truths head on.” Ben-Seadia will also direct CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale in April 2014.

“Performances of Bach’s Passions, particularly in light of the attention that Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ received, present an opportunity for Christians and Jews to confront issues of religious intolerance, and the role of the arts and how the arts might, advertently or inadvertently, promote intolerance,” explains conductor and Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers. “By exploring these issues, we will know the music better and we will know each other better.”

The concert will be performed at the magnificent setting of Christ Church Cathedral, which enjoys a long tradition of great choral music and is hosting the collaboration between CCM’s Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra and the Constella Festival for a second year. In 2010, the CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Orchestra presented the 400th Anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at the downtown location, and the Cathedral presents a wide variety of performances throughout the year.

CCM alumnus and Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artist Jeffrey Thompson, tenor, will sing the role of the Evangelist. CCM graduate voice majors Conor McDonald and Jeffrey Byrnes, baritones, perform the roles of Jesus and Pilate, respectively. The roles of aria soloists will be sung by CCM graduate voice majors Danielle Adams, soprano; Laurin McAlister, mezzo-soprano; Alec Carlson, tenor; Jonathan Cooper, baritone; and Stefan Egerstrom, bass. Guest Artist Adriana Contino, cellist, plays continuo cello and Michael Unger, Assistant Professor of Harpsichord and Organ, is featured as harpsichordist. Student obbligato soloists include Haoli Lin and Yang Liu, violin; Xue Su and Carol Joe, flute; and Katelyn Kyser and Martha Peck, oboe.

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Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jackie Demaline Reviews CCM’s ‘Street Scene’

'Street Scene' photography by Mark Lyons.

‘Street Scene’ photography by Mark Lyons.

Jackie Demaline reviews CCM’s first-ever production of Street Scene for the Cincinnati Enquirer, proclaiming: “It’s a glorious synthesis by composer Kurt Weill and the artistic team and their company of singers and musicians deliver a production that will stand as a high point of the Cincinnati stage season.” Running tonight through Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater, Street Scene is part of CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival.

You can read the full review here.

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CCM Slideshows: Street Scene

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CCM proudly presents Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s Tony-Award winning opera Street Scene tonight through Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett TheaterMark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Steven Goldstein.

Jackie Demaline previewed the American opera in last Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. You can read the full story here.

Anne Arenstein also previewed Street Scene, along with the rest of CCM’s groundbreaking Kurt Weill Festival, in this week’s issue of CityBeat. You can read the feature here.

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Scenic Design of ‘Street Scene’

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CCM’s history-making production of Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s Tony-Award winning opera Street Scene opens tomorrow evening (Nov. 15) and runs through Sunday, Nov. 18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

With its mammoth cast, this highly theatrical opera has something for everyone: rising melodic lines, lively American jazz phrases and even a few Broadway style dance numbers. It is a story of love, passion, greed and death – all set in front of a tenement building in 1946 Manhattan.

Today, we provide a behind-the-scenes look at how this tenement building came to life, courtesy of Scenic Designer Brian Ruggaber and the rest of Street Scene‘s production staff.

Street Scene is the latest installment in CCM’s 2012-13 Kurt Weill Festival, which is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, IncMark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Steven Goldstein. Street Scene will be sung in English without supertitles.

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CCM Presents Kurt Weill’s ‘Street Scene’ Nov. 15-18

Second-year Artist's Diploma student Meghan Tarkington as Rose Maurrant in CCM's first-ever production of 'Street Scene.'

Second-year Artist’s Diploma student Meghan Tarkington as Rose Maurrant in CCM’s first-ever production of ‘Street Scene.’

CCM makes history this month as it proudly presents Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s Tony-Award winning opera Street Scene Nov. 15-18 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The American opera in two acts presents a simple, yet dramatic story of a mid-century Manhattan neighborhood, and CCM’s performance combines the forces of hundreds of students across several departments. Due to Street Scene‘s incredible scale, CCM has never before presented this great American opera. This historic production is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. Mark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Steven Goldstein. Street Scene will be sung in English without supertitles.

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CCM Welcomes Composer Libby Larsen As Part Of ‘SongFest’ Residency Next Month

CCM Guest Artist Libby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers.

CCM Guest Artist Libby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers.

Next month, CCM welcomes award-winning composer Libby Larsen for a special residency as part of the art song festival SongFest.

SongFest: American Composers Series of Cincinnati will take place April 1 – 4 and will include private coaching sessions and other activities at CCM as well as the Nativity School, St. Francis de Sales Elementary School and Northern Kentucky University (NKU).

The residency will culminate at CCM on Wednesday, April 4 with an 11 a.m. master class and an 8 p.m. concert. Both events take place in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and are free and open to the general public.

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CCM Slideshows: Don Giovanni

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CCM’s Mainstage Opera Season opened last evening with Mozart’s extraordinary take on the Don Juan legend, Don Giovanni.

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand includes the opera in her round up of entertainment options for a Valentine treat here and CityBeat‘s Anne Arenstein provides a similar recommendation here.

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Re-Imagined ‘Don Giovanni’ Opens CCM’s Mainstage Opera Series

Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM opens its Mainstage opera series with one of the most performed and revered operas in the entire repertoire, Mozart’s Don Giovanni. CCM Professor of Opera and Distinguished Artist in Residence Nicholas Muni directs the talented students of CCM in this timeless tale of a philandering man, his many conquests and his ultimate condemnation. Don Giovanni runs February 9-12 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater on the University of Cincinnati campus.

Note: This production features adult themes and situations and is intended for mature audiences.

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