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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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CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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CCM Presents Contemporary American Masterpiece ‘El Niño’ in Concert This Sunday, March 2

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This Sunday, March 2, CCM’s American Voices Concert Series proudly presents John Adams’ El Niño in concert.

According to the Wall Street Journal this stunning oratorio, “capture[s] the intimacy, mystery and apocalyptic nature of the Nativity story in a thoroughly contemporary idiom, fusing [Adams’] well-known minimalist style with a rich blend of text in English, Spanish, and Latin for an effect ultimately as timeless as the story itself.”

According to the New York Times, “John Adams’ celebration of the Nativity bears so many gifts that the senses stagger under the load.”

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. Tickets are on sale now.

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LISTEN: WVXU Previews CCM’s Concert Production of John Adams’ ‘El Nino’

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WVXU contributor Anne Arenstein recently spoke with CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers about our upcoming concert production of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ American oratorio El Niño.

You can listen to audio of the full interview here.

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael ManiaciEric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance.

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CCM’s American Voices Concert Series Proudly Presents John Adams’ ‘El Niño’ on March 2

"Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa'Ti Xicana" painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

“Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa’Ti Xicana” painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts.

“John Adams’ El Niño is a joyous composition,” says Rivers. The text of El Niño retells the traditional biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Although this composition is about a specific event, the true subject is larger and widely relate-able: the inexhaustible miracle of birth. “The opening movement of El Niño pulsates with repetitive, engaging rhythms,” Rivers explains. “The strong rhythmic drive of the opening sets the stage for the unfolding of the work.”

A piece told in three languages, El Niño was originally a co-commission by four major arts organizations: the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center in New York City and the Barbican Center in London. It was created to be performed as either an oratorio or a staged production. CCM will be presenting the work as an oratorio.

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CCM Alumnus David Daniels Featured on NPR’s Morning Edition

Countertenor David Daniels (right) and dancer Reed Luplau in the Santa Fe Opera's world-premiere production of Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Wilde.

Countertenor David Daniels (right) and dancer Reed Luplau in the Santa Fe Opera’s world-premiere production of Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Wilde.

Acclaimed countertenor and CCM alumnus David Daniels (BM, 1990) was the topic of discussion on NPR’s Morning Edition today, as Renée Montagne and Miles Hoffman previewed Theodore Morrison’s new opera Oscar, which premieres Saturday at the Santa Fe Opera with Daniels in the title role. Based on the life of Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde, Morrison wrote Oscar specifically for Daniels.

You can listen to the entire broadcast here.

A 2012 Opera News Awards recipient, Daniels returned to CCM last September for a master class. He sang the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Giulio Cesare earlier this year.

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CCM Alumnus David Daniels Profiled in April 2013 issue of ‘Opera News’

Photographed by Michal Daniel as Orfeo in the Minnesota Opera production of Orfeo ed Euridice, 2010  © Michal Daniel 2013

Photographed by Michal Daniel as Orfeo in the Minnesota Opera production of Orfeo ed Euridice, 2010
© Michal Daniel 2013

CCM alumnus David Daniels (BM, 1990) is profiled in the April issue of Opera News, which is on newsstands now. As previously reported, the acclaimed countertenor is a 2012 Opera News Award-winner.

In the lengthy profile, Opera News editor Adam Wasserman writes, “Daniels has the uncanny ability to bridge the gap and make us believe that the composer’s note barely had time to dry on the page before it came forth from his mouth. It seems to me that the highest compliment one can pay Daniels — now in the third decade of an unprecedented career in opera — is that the music he sings sounds both strikingly contemporary and as though it were written precisely for his voice.”

Read the entire profile here.

Daniels will be singing the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Giulio Cesare this month. The production is scheduled to be broadcast as a part of the Met’s “Live in HD” Series on April 27, 2013.

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CCM Welcomes Jesse Blumberg and Martin Katz for Schubert Residency in February

CCM alumnus Jesse Blumberg, baritone.

CCM alumnus Jesse Blumberg, baritone.

Next month, CCM welcomes alumnus Jesse Blumberg, baritone (MM, ’03), and renowned collaborative pianist Martin Katz for FREE performances of Franz Schubert’s two great Lieder cycles!

Blumberg and Katz will perform Shubert’s Die schöne Müllerin at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 and Winterreise at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Both song cycles will be performed in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and are open to the general public. Reservations are not required.

Below, watch Blumberg and Katz perform “Der Wegweiser” from Winterreise at the inaugural Collaborative Works Festival in Chicago.

This residency is made possible by support from the Jeannine Philippe Art Song Fund. Learn more about that fund’s namesake, CCM Professor Emeritus of Voice Jeannine Philippe, here.

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Renowned Countertenor and CCM Alumnus David Daniels Returns to Campus for Master Class

CCM alumnus David Daniels. Photography by Robert Recker licensed to Virgin Classics.

CCM alumnus David Daniels. Photography by Robert Recker licensed to Virgin Classics.

CCM welcomes alumnus David Daniels (BM, 1990) back to campus for a master class from 3–5 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 28, in UC’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. This master class is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

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