A mask from CCM's 2016 production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Presents ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ April 8 – 10, 2016

CCM brings you Leoš Janácek’s anthropomorphic opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, from April 8 – 10 as part of this year’s Mainstage Series. Instead of the typical protagonists of kings, queens and courtly staff, the stars of Janácek’s opera are foxes, dragonflies and badgers, and a host of woodland creatures, as well as the humans who try to tame them. Mark Gibson conducts with stage direction and choreography by Vince DeGeorge. This production will be sung in English, with a new translation by CCM Professor Emeritus David Adams.

The story begins with a Forester who, asleep at the base of a tree after a long night of drinking, awakens to the sight of a playful vixen cub. Delighted with his newfound furry friend, the Forester stumbles home to his farm to show his family. Discontent with her life in captivity, the cunning Vixen plots her escape, ruffles some feathers among the farm animals, and flees into the night. The Forester is then devastated and left alone to pine after his lost treasure.

Meanwhile, the Forester’s drinking buddies have troubles of their own. The Schoolmaster lusts after a young woman engaged to another man, and the Priest struggles to reconcile a misstep in his past with his present life of piety. Each man finds himself tormented by his own obsession, and struggles to accept the natural progression of life and death when it is out of his control.

One of the design inspriations for CCM's new production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN.

One of the design inspriations for CCM’s new production of THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN.

Inspired by a serial comic strip printed in the local paper, Leoš Janácek uses music and dance to breathe life into the characters he saw on the page. DeGeorge said a muse in the form of a little wooden vixen, gifted from his wife 10 years ago, inspired his vision for CCM’s production of the opera.

The geometric nature of the figurine, which is featured on the program cover, is reflected in the masks worn and carried by the characters as they transform throughout the opera.

“One of the things that is most prevalent in this opera is the relationship between humans and animals. The actors come on stage as humans and they transform into animals in front of the audience,” DeGeorge said. “There’s a sort of formalism about this little creature that I love but there’s also a playfulness that embodies the spirit of this production.”

It’s that very spirit, the transformative essence and flow of cycles within the opera, that Janácek masterfully elicits in your ears. Janácek will mesmerize you with his lush harmonies and sweeping melodies, Hollywood strings, flittering elfin-like woodwinds solos, and powerful romantic brass, in this fantastical tale of the intimate relationship between man and nature.

Join us in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium, this April 8-10, to explore the human condition within the enchanted world of music and dance.

Leoš Janácek’s
THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
An Opera in Three Acts
Critical revised version by Jiri Zahrádka
Used by arrangement with European American Music Distributors Company, U.S. and Canadian agent for Universal Edition Vienna, publisher and copyright owner.

The Creative Team

  • Mark Gibson, conductor
  • Vince DeGeorge, stage director and choreographer
  • Marie-France Lefebvre, musical preparation
  • Mark Halpin, scenic designer
  • Jeremy Dominik, lighting designer*
  • Oran Wongpandid, costume designer*
  • Kelly Yurko, wig & make-up designer
  • Kristen Budke, properties designer*
  • Susan Moser, choreographer
  • Michael Medina, stage manager*
  • John Murton, assistant conductor (Sunday matinee)*
  • Maria Fuller, rehearsal pianist*
  • Levi Hammer, rehearsal pianist*
  • Michael Medina, rehearsal pianist*

* CCM student

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 8
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to The Cunning Little Vixen are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/cunning-little-vixen.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News

CCM Announces 2015 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Five voice students were named winners of CCM’s 2015 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held Saturday, March 14, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

The annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes, and a panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

The 2015 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Jessica Faselt (Candidate – Master of Music)
From Iowa City, Iowa, studying with Amy Johnson
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Corbett Award ($15,000)
The Corbett Award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Jacob Kincaide (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Houston, Texas, studying with Thomas Baresel
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife, Mrs. Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Murrella Parton (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Seymour, Tenn.
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500)
This award is supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Cody Quattlebaum (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Ellicott City, MD, studying with Kenneth Shaw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000)
The Seybold-Russell Award is supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Benjamin Lee (Candidate – Master of Music)
From La Crescente, Calif., studying with Thomas Baresel
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000)
This award is sponsored by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The following student also received an award as part of the competition:

Christian Pursell (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Aptos, Calif.
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new Master of Music students ($2,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The judges’ panel for CCM’s 2015 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Sheri Greenawald, Director of the San Francisco Opera Center and Artistic Director for the Merola Opera Program
  • Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera from 1983 to 2014
  • Evans Mirageas, Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera and Vice-President for Artistic Planning for the Atlanta Symphony

About CCM Opera
The Department of Opera at CCM boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Furthermore, CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series of Opera have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 non-professional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

CCM’s 2014-15 opera season concludes next month with Mozart’s beloved Così fan tutte (April 9 – 12), conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Robin Guarino. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/cosi-fan-tutte-mainstage.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
Monteverdi's Vespers.

CCM Performs Claudio Monteverdi’s Large-Scale Masterwork ‘Vespers of 1610’ on Nov. 16

Guest artists and student soloists for CCM's performance of Monteverdi's 'Vespers of 1610.' Photography by Jay Yocis.

Guest artists and student soloists for CCM’s performance of Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers of 1610.’ Photography by Jay Yocis.

Next Sunday, CCM will present Claudio Monteverdi’s masterwork Vespers of 1610, featuring regional and national Early Music guest artists, the CCM Chamber Choir, Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra and student soloists with CCM’s Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducting. The performance will be staged at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati.

“Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is the Beethoven 5th of Early Music,” Rivers explains. “Monteverdi retained many of the Renaissance traditions in the work but fused the older style with the advent of the new, florid Early Baroque style of music. Vespers of 1610 is a significant international repertory work that students will be performing throughout their careers.”

Anchoring the advent of music in the Baroque era as a large-scale masterwork, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 displays a range of lavish colors for vocal and instrumental soloists; six, seven, eight and 10-voice choral textures; and virtuosic embellishments and improvisations. The first major choral/orchestral repertory work of the early Baroque period, Vespers of 1610 features solo, chamber and ensemble music displaying the historic past of Renaissance polyphony and Gregorian chant, as well as music of the future in the form of Baroque chamber duets, concerted choruses and large-scale instrumental movements.

This lavish presentation will involve many participants such as Early Music guest and local artists including:

  • Alexander Bonus and Stephen Escher, cornetto
  • Christopher Canapa, Alex Krawczyk and Linda Pearse, sackbut

Continuo Group comprised of:

  • Adriana Contino, cello
  • Dieter Hennings, theorbo
  • Annalisa Pappano, lirone and viola da gamba
  • Elizabeth Motter, Baroque harp
  • Rodney Stucky, archlute and Baroque guitar
  • Michael Unger, continuo organ and harpsichord

And featuring CCM student soloists:

  • Grace Kahl and Jacqueline Stevens, soprano
  • Paulina Villarreal, mezzo-soprano
  • Allan Palacios Chan and Marcus Shields, tenor
  • T. J. Capobianco, tenor (Duo Seraphim)
  • Jacob Kincaide, bass
  • Brandon Bell, bass-baritone (Laudate Pueri and Magnificat)

About Alexander Bonus, cornetto
Alexander Bonus maintains a varied career performing historic brass and keyboard instruments, in addition to his conducting, researching, and teaching activities. He has performed with ensembles including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Folger Consort; Tragicomedia; Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble; the Newberry Consort; and Chicago Opera Theater. Dr. Bonus also appeared onstage in the Boston Early Music Festival production of Lully’s Psyché, and is heard on BEMF’s recording of this work, released on the CPO label. He holds a PhD in Musicology from Case Western Reserve University as well as MM and BM degrees from the Eastman School of Music. His scholarship appears in the latest edition of the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments and Oxford Handbooks online among other sources. Dr. Bonus is the Assistant Professor of Music at Bard College, where he directs the Bard Baroque Ensemble and teaches courses in music history, theory, and historical performance practices.

About Annalisa Pappano, viola da gamba and lirone
Artistic director of Catacoustic Consort, Annalisa Pappano performs throughout the United States and Europe. She is recognized for bringing together the best international talent to present groundbreaking programs and landmark performances. Pappano studied at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute (Wendy Gillespie) and at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Catharina Meints).

She has performed throughout Belgium, England, Ireland, Colombia, Canada, and the U.S., has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and has played at the Berkeley and Vancouver Early Music Festivals and the Ojai Music Festival. Pappano is a member of Atalante (England) and has performed with numerous other ensembles including the Houston Grand Opera, the Cleveland Opera, the Portland Opera, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Les Voix Baroques, Opera Atelier, the Toronto Consort, the Concord Ensemble, Cappella Artemisia (Bologna), the Dublin Drag Orchestra, Wildcat Viols, and Consortium Carissimi.

Pappano has taught at Viola da Gamba Society of America national conclaves, the Viola da Gamba Society Pacific Northwest and Northeast chapters, the San Diego Early Music Workshop, Viols West, the Madison Early Music Workshop and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities.

She led the Catacoustic Consort to win the grand prize in the Naxos / Early Music America Live Recording Competition and recorded a program of Italian laments on the Naxos label. Pappano completed a performance practice orchestra workshop at Miami University in Ohio. She is currently teaching viola da gamba at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

About Linda Pearse, sackbut
Canadian-born Linda Pearse is recognized as a specialist in the exquisite musical repertoire of early seventeenth-century Italy. Dr. Pearse is Assistant Professor of Brass at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick) and Lecturer for Baroque trombone at Indiana University Bloomington. Following studies at McGill University, a career in Europe included regular performances with the Stuttgart Philharmoniker, Stuttgart Opera House, the Basel Symphony, La Cetra, piano possible and the Stuttgart Musical Theater. Pearse is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Early Music Summer Baroque Workshop and directs the award-winning ensemble ¡Sacabuche!

Recent performances include a twelve-concert tour to Beijing with the interdisciplinary program “Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music” (Dec 2010), a tour to Hong Kong and Macau China (June 2013), and tours to Victoria, Nanaimo, and Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, New York, San Francisco, Bloomington (IN), Madison (WI), Kansas City and Houston. Her most recent project “Venetia 1500” is inspired by the Barbari Aerial Woodcut of Venice from 1500 and creates a conversation between new music, early music, texts and images, that finds resonances with Maritime cultures in decline. Her critical edition of Seventeenth-Century Italian Motets with Trombone is published with A-R Editions (April 2014).

Performance Time
5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16

Location
Christ Church Cathedral
Fourth & Sycamore Streets
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 are $20 for general admission, $15 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 at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/monteverdi-vespers. Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Tickets will also be available beginning at 4 p.m. on the day of the performance at Christ Church Cathedral; cash and checks only at the door.

Parking and Directions
For more information on Cathedral hours and parking, please visit www.christchurchcincinnati.org.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM’s production of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is made possible by funding from the Cambridge Charitable Foundation and CCM’s Tangeman Sacred Music Center.

CCM News

CCM Opera Presents Two One-Acts by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith in Free Production Oct. 24 – 26

CCM’s Department of Opera will present a mini recreation of the legendary Baden-Baden Contemporary Music Festival of 1927 with a cabaret lab production running Friday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 26 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Baden-Baden 1927 is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 20.

During the original composer-organized summer festival, which occurred in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1927, four one-act operas were presented in one evening. CCM’s recreation will present two of these mini-operas: Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and Paul Hindemith’s Hin und Zurük (There and Back). Despite being nearly 100 years old, each of these pieces will resonate with audiences today.

According to graduate student Frances Rabalais (AD Opera, Stage Directing) who is directing Baden-Baden 1927 under the guidance of CCM Assistant Professor of Opera/Directing Emma Griffin, post-Word War I Germany was a time and place of great artistic exploration as artists rejected past understanding and searched for new ways to ask, “How can we use art to better society? How can we find new ways [to involve] the audience in a fulfilling opera experience?”

“The intimacy of a smaller venue like the Cohen Family Studio Theater is thrilling and special,” says Rabalais. “The audience can experience the art in a way that’s very personal.” A single piano accompanist will compliment the talented singers in both performances. Baden-Baden 1927 features musical preparation by graduate student Levi Hammer (DMA, Orchestral Conducting), under the guidance of Junghyun Cho. Hammer and Kihwa Kim provide accompaniment.

This up-close performance is an especially unique experience because the pieces by Hindemith and Weill contrast both stylistically and narratively. Hin und Zurük is a kind of dramatic palindrome, a tragedy unfolds involving jealousy, murder and suicide. It is then replayed with the lines sung in reverse order to produce a happy ending. “Mahagonny Songspiel takes a dark approach to tackling questions about society and authority,” says Rabalais. Visually, the pieces will be styled similarly and use the same scenic elements. “I think the unified look will heighten the contrasting strengths and emphasize the stylistic impact of each opera,” explains Rabalais.

CCM News