CCM Voice Alumnae Named 2019 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipients

Each year, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation awards the Sara Tucker Study Grant to singers, selected through a vocal competition, who are recently out of the university or conservatory and are considered to be at the beginning of promising careers. This year’s recipients include two recent UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnae: Kayleigh Decker (MM Voice, 2017) and Jessica Faselt (MM Voice, 2016).

Mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker began her 2018-19 season as an ensemble member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her mainstage work in the company’s season includes Dorothée in Cendrillon and Cretan Woman No. 2 in Idomeneo, both under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. She also covers Idamante in Idomeneo and Prince Charmant in Cendrillon. The 2017-18 season included two title role debuts for Decker: La Cenerentola with Queen City Opera, and Ariodante with CCM Opera. She was also a Schwab Vocal Rising Star with Caramoor and the New York Festival of Song. Decker has been a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Utah Festival Opera and the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Vocal Academy. At Carnegie Hall, as a part of the Weill Music Institute, she has been a participant in the Joyce DiDonato Masterclass Series, as well as in the inaugural SongStudio, under the auspices of Renée Fleming. Decker has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacDowell Society, the Three Arts Scholarship Fund and the CCM Opera Scholarship Competition. She was awarded the Faustina Hurlbutt Grant and the Louis and Marguerite Bloomberg Greenwood Grant from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

American soprano Jessica Faselt hails from Iowa. She is currently in her first year of the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, where she made her debut as the Novice in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and her Met: Live in HDdebut as Helmwige in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Opera Index recently awarded her the Tito Cappobiano Memorial Award. Faselt was a winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Grand Final Concert. As a Studio Artist at Florida Grand Opera, she covered the title roles of Richard Strauss’s Salome and Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. She was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, covering the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos. Faselt completed her masters degree at CCM where she was the recipient of the prestigious Corbett Award, and received her bachelor of music from the University of Iowa with honors.

You can learn more about current and past grant recipients here.

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 seeks to heighten appreciation for opera by offering free performances in the New York Metropolitan area and by supporting music education enrichment programs.

Through an awards program that offers grants for study, performance opportunities and other career-enhancing activities the Foundation provides professional development for singers at several levels of career-readiness. Learn more by visiting https://richardtucker.org/.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Spring 2017 composer-in-residence Tom Cipullo.

CCM Showcases the Music of Composer-in-Residence Tom Cipullo on April 12

CCM’s Guest Artist Series showcases the music of award-winning composer Tom Cipullo with a free concert performance on Wednesday, April 12, in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Described by Opera News as “a shrewd dramaturge as well as a compelling composer,” Cipullo will spend three days in residence at CCM, coaching singers, pianists and instrumentalists from April 10-12, 2017.

Cipullo’s residency will culminate in a public performance featuring 26 of CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow. The concert’s program includes Cipullo’s Insomnia for vocal quartet and piano; The Husbands for soprano, baritone and piano; Late Summer for soprano and piano and the Entr’acte from Glory Denied for cello and piano, as well as other works. View full concert repertoire online here

Tom Cipullo at the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy. Photo by Hedwig Brouckaert.

Tom Cipullo at the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy. Photo by Hedwig Brouckaert.

About Tom Cipullo
Hailed by the American Academy of Art and Letters for music of “inexhaustible imagination, wit, expressive range and originality,” composer Tom Cipullo is the winner of the 2016 Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize from SUNY/Potsdam. He is also the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2013 Sylvia Goldstein Award from Copland House and the 2013 Arts & Letters Award from the American Academy.

Cipullo has received commissions from dozens of performing ensembles and singers, and he has received fellowships and awards from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Liguria Study Center (Italy), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain) and the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Bavaria).

The New York Times has called his music “intriguing and unconventional,” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has called him “an expert in writing for the voice.” Cipullo’s music is published by Oxford University Press and Classical Vocal Reprints and recorded on the Naxos, Albany, CRI, PGM, MSR, GPR, Centaur and Capstone labels.

Cipullo has composed orchestral works, solo piano pieces and a vast quantity of vocal music, including over 200 songs and several vocal chamber works. His song cycle Of a Certain Age won the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Art Song Award in 2008. Cipullo’s first opera, Glory Denied, has enjoyed numerous productions, and the Fort Worth Opera recording on Albany Records was cited by Opera News as among the best of 2014. Reviewers have hailed the work as “terrifically powerful… superbly written” (Fanfare), praising its “luminous score (Washington Post),” and noting “the dramatic tension was relentless (Opera News).” Cipullo’s second opera, After Life (libretto by David Mason), has been called “a finely wrought exploration of the role of art in times of grave crisis (Washington Post)” and “unfailingly inventive (Opera News).” Recorded on the Naxos label, After Life is the winner of the 2017 the Domenick Argento Chamber Opera Composition prize from the National Opera Association.

Cipullo received his Master’s degree in composition from Boston University and his B.S. from Hofstra University, Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors in music.

Performance Time
8 p.m. Wednesday, April 12

Location
Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission to this performance is FREE. Reservations are not required.

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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. 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

CCM gratefully acknowledges the Philippe Fund for their generous support of Mr. Cipullo’s residency.

CCM News
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
Cherished by music-lovers since its 1843 premiere, DON PASQUALE will delight audiences of all ages. Mark Gibson conducts this beloved opera buffa, with stage direction by Omer Ben-Seadia. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Announces 2016 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Five voice students were named winners of CCM’s 2016 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held on Saturday, March 12, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

Since its inauguration in 1976, 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 2016 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Kayleigh Decker (first year Master of Music student)
From Woodstock, Md., studying with William McGraw
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.

Christian Pursell (first year Master of Music student)
From Aptos, Calif., 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.

Erica Intilangelo (second year Master of Music student)
From Fairfield, Conn., studying with William McGraw
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.

Murrella Parton (first year Master of Music student)
From Seymour, Tenn., studying with William McGraw
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.

Grace Newberry (first year Master of Music student)
From San Rafael, Calif., studying with William McGraw
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:

Alexandra Schoeny (incoming Doctor of Musical Arts student)
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new graduate 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 2016 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Michael Heaston, Director of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and Advisor to the Artistic Director at Washington National Opera and Associate Artistic Director of Glimmerglass Festival
  • Peter Kazaras, Professor of Music and Director of Opera at UCLA Herb Albert School of Music
    Stage Director
  • Viswa Subbaraman, Artistic and Music Director of the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee

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. As recently reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, four singers with ties to CCM advanced to the semi-final round of this year’s Met Auditions.

In addition, 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 2015-16 opera season concludes next month with Janáček’s classic The Cunning Little Vixen (April 8 – 10), conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Vince DeGeorge. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/cunning-little-vixen.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News Student Salutes
Opera Fusion Fall 2015: Shalimar the Clown.

CCM, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Stream Excerpts from ‘Shalimar the Clown’ on Dec. 8

CCM and Cincinnati Opera awarded the fall 2015 Opera Fusion: New Works residency to the new American opera Shalimar the Clown, which will have its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis on June 11, 2016. Composed by Jack Perla to a libretto by Rajiv Joseph, and adapted from the Salman Rushdie novel, the opera was workshopped from Oct. 7 -17, with a free public performance of excerpts on Oct. 17 at the Transept in Over-the-Rhine. The workshop was directed by James Robinson, artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, who will also direct the mainstage premiere, and conducted by Roberto Kalb, the resident assistant conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

On Tuesday, December 8, a recording of that live performance will stream online, one time only, at 3 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Central. To watch, visit livestream.com/cincinnatiopera/ShalimartheClown.

Artists featured in the workshop performance include instrumentalists Javad Butah (tabla) and Hans Utter (sitar), and singers Brandon Scott Russell, Andrea Wells, Tyler Alessi, Christian Pursell, Chelsea Melamed, Ann Toomey, Kayleigh Decker, Blake Lampton, Vernon Hartman, Robert Stahley and Ben Lee.

About Shalimar the Clown
Shalimar the Clown tells the story of Shalimar and his beloved Boonyi, who have grown up together in a pastoral Kashmiri village, making people laugh as acrobats and dancers in a traditional folk theater. Though one is Muslim and one is Hindu, they fall in love—and despite all odds, their village embraces their marriage. But when a new American ambassador sees Boonyi dance, dark clouds gather. The promise of a new life tears their love apart and sends Shalimar down a path of revenge.

About Opera Fusion: New Works
Opera Fusion: New Works, a unique collaboration between Cincinnati Opera and CCM’s Department of Opera, was created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas. The program offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati, utilizing the talent, personnel, and facilities of both organizations. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a public performance. The program is led by co-artistic directors Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at CCM. Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works awarded its first workshop to composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in support of their new opera Doubt, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in January 2013. In 2012, Opera Fusion: New Works provided workshops for Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2013; and Morning Star, by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist William M. Hoffman, which premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2015. In 2013, the residency went to Fellow Travelers, by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce, which will have its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera on June 17, 2016. In 2014, the program invited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally to workshop Great Scott, which premiered at The Dallas Opera on October 30, 2015. For the final workshop of the original six-workshop grant, the residency was awarded to Meet John Doe, with music and libretto by the late Daniel Catán. The first workshop of the second six-opera grant cycle was given in October 2015 to Shalimar the Clown.

About composer Jack Perla
Composer and pianist Jack Perla is active in opera, jazz, chamber, and symphonic music. His operas and instrumental compositions have been widely performed, and he has performed in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, forging a reputation for his unique cross-fertilization of jazz and classical music. Perla has been commissioned by Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Houston Grand Opera, and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. He is also a recipient of the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Composers Award, as well as awards, support, and recognition from the Argosy Fund for New Music, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and numerous other organizations. Called “a gripping piece of musical theater,” An American Dream, Perla’s fifth work for a major U.S. company, received its premiere with Seattle Opera in August 2015. Enormous Changes, Perla’s third jazz recording, was recently released on Origin Records, and Pretty Boy, a new disc of chamber and vocal music, is slated for release this winter. Perla grew up in Brooklyn and lived in New York City while attending NYU and the Manhattan School of Music. He earned his D.M.A. in composition from the Yale School of Music, and lives and works in San Francisco.

About librettist Rajiv Joseph
Rajiv Joseph is the author of the Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. Joseph’s other plays include Guards at the TajThe North PoolGruesome Playground InjuriesAnimals Out of PaperMr. Wolf, and The Lake Effect. Joseph has written for television, including seasons 3 and 4 of the award-winning Showtime series Nurse Jackie. He also has written for film, and is the co-writer of the 2014 Lionsgate feature Draft Day and the upcoming release, Army of One. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn.

About stage director James Robinson
James Robinson is the artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he has directed the world premieres of Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 in addition to John Adams’s Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. His work has been seen throughout the world at such companies as the Wexford Festival, the Royal Swedish Opera, Opera Australia, Canadian Opera Company, the London Symphony, Welsh National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has directed several productions for the Santa Fe Opera, including the American premiere of Huang Ruo’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and will return in 2016 for Vanessa. Other future projects include Nixon in China for Houston Grand Opera, The Elixir of Love for the Canadian Opera Company, and the world premiere of Shalimar the Clown for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Opera Fusion: New Works is sponsored by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 

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