La Boheme, Wolf Trap Opera Company

Arts Administration Students Reflect on Summer Internships

CCM is partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked Lindner College of Business in one of the few MA/MBA graduate Arts Administration programs in the country. We train future CEOs and senior managers of nonprofit arts institutions by giving our students real world experience at local and national arts organizations.

In the past six years, 100% of arts administration graduates have found jobs in their field. Many go on to leadership positions in small and large organizations, while others launch their own nonprofits. In the summer between the first and second year, students work full time at summer internships in organizations all over the country. Below, you can read reflections from two students who interned over the summer at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and Wolf Trap Opera in Virginia.

Claire Jagla | CCM 2nd-year Graduate Student in Arts Administration
Internship: Assistant Program Administrator at Aspen Music Festival and School

Arts Administration student Claire Jagla interned at the Aspend Music Festival and School this summer. Photo provided.

Arts Administration student Claire Jagla interned at the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer. Photo provided.

This summer, I served as the Assistant Program Administrator at the Aspen Opera Center in Aspen, Colorado. My responsibilities included scheduling opera rehearsals and then communicating the schedule and any changes to students and faculty. This sometimes involved coordinating 100 people in 200 to 300 events a week but I felt prepared for the task because of my first-year experience at CCM. I arrived in Aspen ready to put what I had learned into practice.

My job felt like working on the spoke of a wheel: though I could not always see the hub of the wheel while scheduling, every spoke needed to be strong in order for the program to roll. While the faculty and students appreciated sound scheduling, the true reward of the summer was watching the wheel finally spin as students embraced opportunities to perform. Attending an Aspen Opera Center production of La bohème was one of these wheel spinning moments. I had seen the opera before, but this production was particularly vibrant because of the student cast. Singers played characters their own ages, which is not common in opera. Their ages and maturity lent themselves beautifully to the production’s drama. As I sobbed through La bohème’s fourth act, I knew I had contributed to something special.

Working at a prestigious summer festival allowed me to gain insight into how an art organization runs smoothly and efficiently. The Aspen staff and faculty responded to the inevitable challenges and changes of a summer season with grace and calmness, which allowed for seamless performances and exceptional student experiences.

Eventually, I would like to start a non-profit organization that connects people with special needs to opera. In Aspen, I developed opera operations acumen and learned how to better communicate with artists and teachers, both of which will prove to be invaluable in my future as an arts leader. I left Aspen more graceful, more focused, and ready for my second year at CCM.

Rachel Stanton | CCM 2nd-year Graduate Student in Arts Administration
Administration & Operations Intern at Wolf Trap Opera


Rachel Stanton. Photo courtesy of Steve Shin.

This summer, I learned why Wolf Trap Opera has a reputation as one of the leading young artist programs the world and personally contributed to the culture that makes it so special. Becoming a part of the Wolf Trap team over the summer meant I was responsible for a variety of tasks including the creation of supertitles, setting up for pre-show talks, and managing a recital at The Phillips Collection in DC.

The organizational culture at Wolf Trap Opera is centered on the concept of creating an environment where singers and artists can feel as comfortable as possible. Because of this, musicians are able to put their best work forward, audiences leave performances completely fulfilled and the administrative staff can leave the offices as if we had performed ourselves. One of the most memorable experiences of the summer was during the intermission of La bohème. When I emerged from the supertitles booth and began to make my way backstage, I passed through the audience of 6,000 and was able to catch snippets of praise about every aspect of the performance.

The internship program within the Wolf Trap Foundation led me to confirm many of the concepts that I’ve learned in the Arts Administration Program at CCM. With weekly seminars showcasing various department heads, I was able to observe how each department functions.

Not only did this help me to get a better sense of nonprofit organizations as a whole, but it also helped me to determine where I would like to see myself in the near future. Now that I’ve begun my second year at CCM, I feel more prepared than ever to take the next step of my career into Operations at an opera company.

La bohéme production photo courtesy of Scott Suchman and Wolf Trap Opera.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Students and Alumnae Advance to Semifinals of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

We are delighted to report that four current and former CCM students have advanced to the semifinal round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition! Those include Artist Diploma candidate Jasmine Habersham (also MM Voice, 2013), Artist Diploma candidate Talya Lieberman, first-year DMA candidate Reilly Nelson (also MM Voice, 2014) and alumna Christine Cornish Smith (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013).

This impressive showing gives CCM more semi-finalists than any other school in the 2015 competition!

Habersham, Lieberman, Nelson and Smith will join 24 other singer-actors from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to compete in the Lotte Lenya Competition Semifinals on March 13 and 14 in New York City.

A program of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music now in its 18th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theatre singing contest that recognizes exceptionally talented young singer/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, from opera and operetta to contemporary Broadway musicals, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill.

CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theater singing contest. CCM alumna Caitlin Mathes (MM Voice, 2009; Artist Diploma in Opera, 2010) earned First Prize in 2011 and fellow alumna Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (BM Voice, 2008; MM Voice, 2010; DMA candidate) progressed to the final round of the competition that same year.

The competition grants over $50,000 in prizes each year, and previous winners have gone on to forge prominent careers in opera houses and on Broadway. More information can be found at

About Jasmine Habersham
Jasmine Habersham returns to the Glimmerglass Festival this summer as Papagena in The Magic Flute. A member of the Glimmerglass Young Artist program in 2014, she also received the Central City Opera Guild Young Artist Award the previous year. The soprano holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from CCCM where she has appeared as Norina in Don Pasquale, Mrs. Julian in Owen Wingrave and Pearl in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star. The Georgian is a graduate of Shorter University with a Bachelor of Music degree and is currently working toward her Artist Diploma at CCM.

About Talya Lieberman
An alumna of San Francisco’s 2014 Merola Opera Program, Talya Lieberman returns this spring to the San Francisco Opera Center to make her debut as part of the Schwabacher Debut Recital series. This summer she will perform Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at Wolf Trap Opera. While pursuing her Artist Diploma at CCM, the Italo Tajo Award recipient performed Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. She anticipates her first professional opera engagement in 2016 when she will perform Musetta in La bohème at Opera Columbus. In addition to her vocal studies, Lieberman completed a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Highest Distinction in Linguistics at Duke University. Born in New York, Talya now calls Ohio home.

About Reilly Nelson
Born in the coastal town of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada, Reilly Nelson attended the Eastman School of Music where she received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and CCM where she completed a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. At CCM she performed Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Mary in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star. She also performed Hansel, as well as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center. The mezzo-soprano was a vocal fellow at Tanglewood in summers 2013 and 2014, performing Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 and Folk Songs by Bernard Rands.

About Christine Cornish Smith
A graduate of CCM with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Theater, Christine performed Polly Peachum in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Threepenny Opera, which was part of a year-long Kurt Weill Festival on campus. She also performed the Stepmother and covered the Witch in Into the Woods, and appeared in Oklahoma! and Anything Goes. Upon graduation, she performed Reuben’s Wife in the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She is currently performing in Guys and Dolls at the Goodspeed Opera House (CT). The soprano made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in the Ensemble of Oklahoma! In her native Texas, she made her Lyric Stage debut as Cutie in Fiorello! and performed as a Hot Box Girl in Guys and Dolls at Water Tower Theatre. She has also performed as principal dancer with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet. She was a recipient of an Emerging Talent Award in the 2014 Lotte Lenya Competition.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes

Musical America Names CCM Student as ‘New Artist of the Month’ for March 2012

Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li with Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.

Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li with Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.

Congratulations to first-year Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li for being named “New Artist of the Month” by Musical America! Each month, Musical America spotlights an important emerging talent with an in-depth profile. You can view Li’s profile here.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Adds Additional Performance to ‘RENT’s Sold-Out Run

Due to overwhelming demand, CCM has added an additional performance to the previously booked-up run of Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which opens on February 24 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are now available for an 8 p.m. performance on Wednesday, March 2This additional performance will include ASL interpretation for deaf and hearing-impaired patrons.

CCM News

“Rent” Originators Inspire Current CCM Cast

"Rent" actor Anthony Rapp gives a master class for CCM's "Rent" cast members. Photography by Ashley Kempher.

"Rent" actor Anthony Rapp gives a master class for CCM's "Rent" cast members. Photography by Ashley Kempher.

Producer Kevin McCollum and actor Anthony Rapp, two of the talents involved in the original Broadway run of Jonthan Larson’s RENT, recently stopped by CCM Village to spend time with the cast of CCM’s upcoming revival. You can learn more about their unique visits here.

CCM News

CCM Students Connect to Characters Embracing Life and Celebrating Love in Groundbreaking Musical “Rent”

Photography by Chris Blem.

Photography by Chris Blem.

As CCM prepares for its first production of Jonathan Larson’s revolutionary musical Rent – which runs February 24-27 and March 3-6 in the Patricia Corbett Theater in CCM Village – the young cast is finding energy and excitement in portraying characters their own age who embrace life in a city where many will one day live.

CCM News