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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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’s Undergraduate Voice Students Shine in ‘Serse’

One of Handel’s most performed operas comes to life at the hands of talented undergraduate students when CCM presents the annual Opera d’arte production on March 30 and 31 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free but reservations are required.

The CCM Undergraduate Opera program’s 2010 and 2011 productions were both recognized by the National Opera Association‘s Annual Production Competition. The 2012 production of Serse is conducted by Brett Scott with stage direction by Kenneth Shaw.

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CCM Wins Big in National Opera Association’s Annual Production Competition

CCM's Spring 2011 Mainstage Production of Poulenc's 'Dialogues of the Carmelites.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM's Spring 2011 Mainstage Production of Poulenc's 'Dialogues of the Carmelites.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

The National Opera Association has announced the results of its annual Opera Production Competition and CCM’s 2010-11 Mainstage, Studio and Undergraduate Series of Operas have again received some of the competition’s highest honors.

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