A model of the scenic design for CCM's production of 'Idomeneo.'

CCM Behind-the-Scenes: Lighting Design for Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’

First-year graduate student Oliver Littleton’s first lighting design work was in churches, small theaters and tiny clubs. Now his designs will be seen in the Mainstage production of Idomeneo at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music.

The opera opens on Thursday, Mach 30 and continues through Sunday, April 2 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are available through the CCM Box Office.

Littleton began his theatre training in Alabama at the age of 12. He wanted to be an actor, but always had an interest in lighting design. After earning a BFA in technical theatre from Adelphi University in New York, Littleton chose to pursue his graduate studies at CCM. He enrolled in CCM’s Theatre Design and Production program, where he studies lighting design and technology.

Light plays a key role in creating the “gods and monsters” in CCM’s production of Idomeneo. In an interview with CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies, Littleton shared some of his thoughts on the expressive power of lighting and its effect in Mozart’s first great opera seria.

What drew you to the lighting design program at CCM?
I loved the opportunity to be the lighting designer for a huge variety of genres including dance, opera, theatre and musicals. I value our large production scale and commitment to modern technology in all areas of the technical and design departments. Most important is probably my comfort within the culture of the CCM community.

It’s a hardworking environment that demands excellence, and does its best to surpass being just an educational institution in order to produce great art in a variety of fields.

How does your lighting design for Idomeneo compare to your work in other CCM productions?
This is my first Mainstage production at CCM so obviously scale is the big one! I designed Middletown in the fall and Transformations just a month ago, both in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre. Though they presented unique challenges, the sheer size of those productions was much smaller than this.

We’ve heard that lighting plays a significant role in establishing the abstract setting and in creating the “gods and monsters” of Idomeneo. Can you describe how you use light to create these “special effects?”
The metaphors of gods and monsters in this production of Idomeneo, in my mind, are far more important than their physical presence in the opera. To this end the “gods and monsters” are expressed in lighting with the contrast between restraint and excess.  Using color, intensity and texture to contrast between safe comfort, otherworldly mystery and grimy disappointment helps tell the story of monsters and heroes.  Our sea monster is of the mind.  It is doubt, hate, selfishness and it gets expressed with rich vivid color and powerful waves of light.  I want the lighting to drive this change and make the audience question who really are the monsters and gods of the piece.

A god-like face can be seen in Littleton's lighting design concept for 'Idomeneo.'

A god-like face can be seen in Oliver Littleton’s lighting design concept for ‘Idomeneo.’ Photo provided by Oliver Littleton.

What other roles does the lighting play in this opera?
When you start looking at abstract or ethereal lighting design, the first pitfall you see lighting designers take is forgetting that the point of the production is for audience members to sit in seats and watch people do things. All the fancy design in the world doesn’t amount to anything if the patrons can’t see the performers and understand what is going on in the story. The first job of every lighting designer is the help interpret the story and we do that in a number of ways. Lighting some areas of the stage while leaving others dark tells the audience where to look and focus. Using toplight and backlight that makes it difficult to see facial features gives a sense of drama and tension, while front light imbues a naturalistic nature to the stage. Every choice is informed by the question, “How does this serve the story,” and any choice that is not enslaved to it must be mercilessly eliminated.

Do you have anything else to add about your experience working on Idomeneo?
Idomeneo is a criminally underrated opera that is one of Mozart’s greatest offerings musically. I hope that everyone who watches the show leaves the theater saying things like “what a wonderful and interesting production” or “that was a beautiful way to share that music and story with us.” If they are talking about my lights or the set more than the characters’ choices or vocal prowess, then we as a design team have failed.

The greatest joy I take in my work is contributing to performers sharing stories and feeling with the audience. I hope this show does that for everyone who comes to see it.

CCM’s production of Idomeneo is directed by CCM artist diploma candidate Marcus Shields and conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung. It is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Find more information on the production in our press release.

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IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 30
8 p.m. Friday, Mar. 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

 Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 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/idomeneo.html.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

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
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Opera Presents Mozart’s Heroic Greek Tragedy, ‘Idomeneo’

A model of the scenic design for CCM's production of 'Idomeneo.'

A model of the scenic design for CCM’s production of ‘Idomeneo.’ Photo by Marcus Shields. Set Design by Matthew Hamel.

The Opera Department at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music presents an epic tale of love, war and sacrifice on March 30-April 2 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Hailed as Mozart’s first great opera seria, Idomeneo takes place in the aftermath of the fabled Trojan War.

Artist Diploma student Marcus Shields directs the CCM’s production of Idomeneo. Teetering on the edge between student and professional, Shields finds that he and the cast have a lot in common with Mozart, who composed this opera at the ripe young age of 25.

“This is essentially Mozart’s graduate thesis on the world,” says Shields. “It’s an amazing thing that he wrote this when he was 25, and we should be humbled by that fact. We’re all in the exact same place. In writing this challenging opera, Mozart was trying to prove himself — just like we are now.”

Idomeneo is a classic story of unrequited love, sacrifice and revenge. The plot revolves around King Idomeneo who is lost at sea during his journey home from war. To survive, he strikes a deal with vengeful god Neptune, but the king is then faced with an impossible decision — to sacrifice his entire nation or his son, Idamante. The King banishes his son from the kingdom, which separates the young prince from the two women who are in love with him.

While Idomeneo might not be as familiar as Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, The Magic Flute or The Marriage of Figaro, the opera is just as exciting and inspired, Shields says. The work mostly adheres to the opera seria structure, which is known for its formulaic librettos and serious tone. However, Mozart “shatters the genre” in Idomeneo.

“The music is so amazing and virtuosic,” says Shields, “Mozart’s tap-dancing as hard as he can as he fights against the typical opera seria structure. It seems a bit stuffier on the outside because of the genre but it’s actually way more urgent and young.”

Mozart’s quest to infuse his own style in opera seria is similar to Shields’ unique vision for CCM’s production of Idomeneo. The opera is not set in a specific time period and has an abstract set, with lighting effects and costumes by CCM’s Theatre Design and Production Department. Shields uses costumes to represent the great division the characters feel from each other. Some cast members don stiff button-up coats reminiscent of the late eighteenth century and others wear full Greco-Roman attire.

“We are using the lighting, costumes and set to show people how to actually listen to the music,” Shields says. “It’s a beautiful harmonization of everything that this school can do.”

CCM’s production of Idomeneo is conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung, it is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
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IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Cast

Idomeneo………………………………………………………………………Robert Stahley*,
Brandon Scott Russell^
Ilia………………………………………………………………………………..Grace Kahl*,
Erica Intilangelo^
Idamante…………………………………………………………Chelsea Duval-Major*,
Kayleigh Decker^
Elettra……………………………………………………………………..Nicolette Book*,
Murrella Parton^
Arbace/High Priest…………………………………………………………Dongwhi Baek*,
Benjamin Lee^
Voice of the Oracle…………………………………………………………Jacob Kincaide
Cretan Woman 1………………………………………………………………Maria Miller
Cretan Woman 2………………………………………………………..Briana Moynihan
Trojan 1………………………………………………………………………Logan Wagner
Trojan 2………………………………………………………………………Michael Hyatt
Chorus Men……………………………………Clayton Edwards, Michael Hyatt, Hayden Smith, John Tibbets, Logan Wagner
Chorus Women………………………………Brianna Bragg, Shannon Cochran, Page Michels, Maria Miller, Briana Moynihan, Claudia Neef

 * Thursday, March 30 and Saturday, April 1
^ Friday, March 31 and Sunday, April 2

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 30
8 p.m. Friday, Mar. 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 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/idomeneo.html.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

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
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies
CCM News Student Salutes
Join us in 2016-17 as CCM presents a season of passion, courage and romance.

CCM’s 2016-17 Subscription Packages Are On Sale Now. Plan Your Season With Our New Brochure Today!

Join us for a season of passion, courage and romance!

This year, the faculty, staff and students of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music proudly present over 50 major performing and media arts events.

CCM's 2016-17 Season Subscription Brochure.

Click on the graphic above to view CCM’s 2016-17 Season Brochure.

Whether you prefer effervescent operas or daring dramas, sophisticated symphonies or soulful jazz, old favorites or world premieres, this season has something for everyone.

Join us as our stars-of-tomorrow bring passion, courage and romance to the stage.

With a variety of subscription and flex ticket packages available, it has never been easier to experience CCM’s star power for yourself.

Plan your season today by downloading a digital copy of CCM’s 2016-17 brochure. Physical copies are also available at CCM’s Box Office.

Subscription and flex ticket packages are on sale now.

Single Concert Series and Ariel Series tickets go on sale beginning Aug. 22, 2016. Single Mainstage Series tickets go on sale beginning Aug. 29, 2016.

For more details about CCM’s 2016-17 performance schedule, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or visit ccm.uc.edu.

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SPONSORS AND PARTNERS

CCM recognizes and thanks the following corporations, foundations and individuals for their generous support:

Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust
Scholarship and Resident Artist Sponsor

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
CCM/CSO Diversity Fellowship Sponsor

The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Season Presenting Sponsor, Musical Theatre Program Sponsor & Event Sponsor

The Corbett Endowment at CCM
Dance Department Supporter
All-Steinway School Sponsor

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
H. Wayne Ferguson Family Foundation
The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation
The Louise H. and David S. Ingalls Foundation Inc.
Frances R. Luther Charitable Trust

Community Partners

Macy’s
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor

Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal
Opera Department Sponsor

Genevieve Smith
Opera Production Sponsor

The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel
Visiting Artists Sponsor

Anonymous
Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander
Mrs. William A. Friedlander
Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bloom
Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg
Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen
Mr. & Mrs. Paul G. Sittenfeld
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman
Mr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker
The Thomas J. Emery Memorial

Ariel Quartet Sponsors

Jan Rogers
Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation

Choral Studies Sponsors

Ms. Margaret L. Straub & Mr. Neil R. Artman
Studio Drama Series Sponsor

Judith Heiny and Piotr Chomczynski
Polish Festival 
Sponsor

The Sarah Marvin Foundation for the Performing Arts
Classical Guitar Sponsor

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn
Orchestral Sponsor

CCMpower
The CCM Harmony Fund: Challenging Hate
and Prejudice through Performing Arts

The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Jeff Thomas Catering
PNC
Trish & Rick Bryan
Keating, Muething & Klekamp P.L.L.
Rhonda & Larry Sheakley

Event Sponsors
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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News
'Romeo and Juliet' photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Announces 2016-17 Mainstage Series of Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre and Opera

CCM is pleased to announce details for its 2016-17 Mainstage Series of acting, dance, musical theatre and opera productions. Between Sept. 29, 2016 and April 15, 2017, CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow and world-class faculty and staff members will present eight diverse masterworks, which span the spectrum of the theatre arts.

Mainstage Hero Image

Click the graphic for more information.

Dubbed “a season of passion, courage and romance,” CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series will bring new interpretations of popular classics in the fall with a retelling William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a revival of the nine-time Tony Award-winning musical A Chorus Line, a flirty and fun-filled production of the fairytale opera Cendrillon and a mixed repertoire dance concert featuring Classics with a Twist.

In the spring, CCM will also present the Mainstage Series debuts of stirring drama Her Naked Skin, powerful musical Mack and Mabel and epic opera Idomeneo, along with the Dance Department’s celebration of Masterworks and Beyond.

Production and ticketing details are listed below. Single tickets go on sale beginning Aug. 29, 2016, but subscribing is the best way to guarantee your seats for these must-see shows! Fully customizable renewal subscriptions are on sale now with priority seating before July 15, 2016. Subscription packages for new subscribers will go on sale July 18, 2016.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change – rights pending. To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.
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CCM 2016-17 MAINSTAGE SERIES
Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera

ROMEO AND JULIET
Written by William Shakespeare
Brant Russell, director

“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” William Shakespeare’s legendary tale of young love and bitter hatred returns to the CCM stage like you’ve never seen it before. Witness the deadly feud between the Montagues and Capulets in this subversive retelling of the Bard’s iconic story. It’s a comedy ­— until it’s not.

Performance Dates: Sept. 28 (preview), Sept. 29–Oct. 2, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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A CHORUS LINE
Conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett
Book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Diane Lala, director and choreographer
Roger Grodsky, musical director

A nine-time Tony Award-winner, and one of the longest-running productions in Broadway history, A Chorus Line tells a strikingly honest tale about the backstage world of musical theatre as 17 dancers vie to make the final cut for the latest smash hit. As the auditions proceed, the diverse backgrounds and motivations of the hopefuls come to the fore, revealing stories that run the gamut of human experience and emotion as they all compete with and learn about one another. It is a process that will change them all forever… for better or worse. A Pulitzer Prize-winning fusion of dance, song and drama, A Chorus Line is a powerful metaphor for all human aspiration.

Performance Dates: Oct. 20–30, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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CENDRILLON (CINDERELLA)
Composed by Jules Massenet
Libretto by Henri Caïn
Mark Gibson, conductor
Robin Guarino, director

One of the world’s most beloved fairy tales comes to the CCM stage in a new modernist production! Despite being under the thumb of her evil stepmother, a poor girl wishes for her dream to come true. Enter her fairy godmother, who provides a ticket to the ball! The poor girl meets Prince Charming and they fall in love. When the clock strikes 12, though, she vanishes… leaving only a single shoe behind. Jules Massenet’s elegant score brings wit and charm to this timeless romance based on Charles Perrault’s telling of the Cinderella fairy tale. This production is sung in French with English supertitles.

Performance Dates: Nov. 17 – 20, 2016
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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CLASSICS WITH A TWIST
CCM Ballet Ensemble
Jiang Qi and Andre Megerdichian, co-directors

CCM’s Department of Dance opens its performance season with a concert of mixed repertoire featuring alumnus James Cunningham of the Cincinnati Ballet, who will choreograph a new work La Nymph with music by Youngwon French. Highlights also include a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise with choreography by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and accompaniment by CCM students Yijia Fang, cello and Xinyuan Li, piano. In addition, the graceful performers from CCM Dance will mount a staging of Glazunov’s Scénes de Ballet with choreography by Associate Professor Michael Tevlin, and Assistant Professor Andre Megerdichian will choreograph a collage of dance scenes spanning diverse genres.

Performance Dates: Dec. 1–4, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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HER NAKED SKIN
Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Richard Hess, director

London 1913. Women are demanding the right to vote. Thousands of suffragettes of all classes serve time in Holloway Prison in their determination to gain equality through the vote. Their willingness to suffer for social injustice serves as the backdrop for an unlikely love story set in a period of turmoil. Described by the Independent as “a great drama about women, by a woman,” Her Naked Skin premiered to great acclaim at London’s National Theatre in 2008. By exploring the hunger for political and personal emancipation, this play plants a defiant feminist flag center stage. This production contains adult themes and is not recommend for young audiences.

Performance Dates: Feb. 8 (preview), Feb. 9–12, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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MACK AND MABEL
Based on an idea by Leonard Spigelglass
Book by Michael Stewart
Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman
Aubrey Berg, director
William Evan Roider, musical director
Patti James, choreographer

Set against the madcap world of Keystone Kops, Bathing Beauties and pies-in-the-face, the tumultuous relationship between workaholic film director Mack Sennett and his silent-screen star Mabel Normand was the stuff of Hollywood legend. With a memorable score by Broadway master Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles) Mack and Mabel is a star-crossed, bittersweet love story that explores both the lighter and the darker side of the Golden Age of Comedy. Nominated for eight Tony Awards, Mack and Mabel was praised by the New York Times as “a musical in the old and true tradition.”

Performance Dates: March 2–5, 2017
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco (after Antoine Danchet)
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, Mozart’s opera seria weaves a tale of gods and monsters, unrequited love and selfless heroism. During his perilous journey back to Greece after years at war, King Idomeneo pledges to sacrifice the first mortal he finds to Neptune in exchange for a safe journey home. When that mortal turns out to be his son Idamante, Idomeneo struggles to find another way to appease the gods, which creates dire repercussions for the people of Crete. Completed in 1780 when the composer was only 24 years old, Idomeneo is widely considered the first of Mozart’s great operas and remains a favorite of opera houses around the world. This production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Performance Dates: March 30–April 2, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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MASTERWORKS AND BEYOND
Jiang Qi and Deirdre Carberry, co-directors

Celebrate spring’s arrival with the CCM Ballet Ensemble as they present an exciting mixed bill. Highlights of the program include George Balanchine’s masterwork Valse-Fantaisie with a restaging by guest artist Viki Psihoyos. This concert also includes a world premiere created by Alabama Ballet associate artistic director Roger Van Fleteren, along with new works by CCM faculty members Michael Tevlin and Andre Megerdichian. Valse-Fantaisie is performed by permission of George Balanchine Trust.

Performance Dates: April 13–15, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2016-17 CCM Mainstage Series of acting, dance, musical theatre and opera productions includes subscription packages for six-or-more show, four-show and three-show combinations.

Renewal subscription packages are on sale now. CCM’s fully customizable subscription packages range in price from $69 – $188. Subscribers to CCM’s 2015-16 Mainstage Series can receive priority access to seating by renewing their subscriptions by Friday, July 15, 2016.

New subscriptions go on sale July 18, 2016. Single tickets will be available for purchase beginning Monday, Aug. 29, 2016.

To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

Concert Series Options
As the largest single source of performing arts events in Ohio, CCM also offers world-class chamber music, choral, jazz, orchestra, percussion, piano and wind ensemble concerts each season. CCM’s Mainstage subscribers receive priority access to Ariel Quartet subscription packages, CCM Concert Series flex ticket packages, prepaid parking and other exclusive perks.

Full programming and package details for CCM’s 2016-17 Ariel Quartet Series and Concert Series will be announced in July. Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information.
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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

Titles and dates are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at http://ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News