CCM’s Department of Choral Studies presents four exciting concerts this semester, beginning with a new semi-staged production of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. This concert will be sung in English with surtitles.
Honegger’s monumental oratorio premiered in Basel, Switzerland, in May of 1938. Over the course of eleven scenes, Joan of Arc at the Stake recounts the timeless tale of 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc. Inspired by both popular and classical music trends of the 1930s, Honegger sprinkled his oratorio with flares of jazz, military fanfares, atonality and Hollywood styles.
CCM’s semi-staged concert production of this imposing work is a massive undertaking, requiring the combined forces of the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Chorale, along with the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. The production also features soloists from CCM’s voice and dramatic performance programs, along with technical support from the Lighting Design and Technology department, all of which allows Joan’s brief life to unfold in a truly dynamic fashion on stage.
CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts this performance. “The drama takes place during Joan’s last minutes on the stake, with flashbacks to her younger days and her trial. Honegger entitled his work a dramatic oratorio, adding speaking roles and actors,” he says. “Joan’s life unfolds in cinematic scenes of heavenly visions, conquests, her trial and her eventual fate at the stake.”
Artist Diploma candidate Marcus Shields provides the stage direction for this production, explaining, “In a typical concert presentation of Joan of Arc at the Stake, the soloists would be using music with music stands. For our production, all of the solo parts are going to be memorized, allowing us to realize Joan’s story in three dimensional space. This allows us to shift the focus to real characters forging real relationships, detached from a music stand.”
This production’s feature soloists include soprano Tara Morrow as St. Catherine, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Narum as St. Marguerite and soprano Ann Toomey as the Virgin, along with tenor Robert Stahley and bass-baritone Junbo Zhou.
Joan of Arc at the Stake‘s two primary roles are actually spoken roles, so Rivers and Shields have also enlisted two actors from CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance: Laura McCarthy as Joan and Landon Hawkins as Brother Dominique.
The last documented performance of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake in Cincinnati was at the May Festival in 1952, making CCM’s new production a very rare treat.
CCM’s Department of Choral Studies also presents three other exciting concerts this spring. On Wednesday, March 30, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers perform Daniel Elder’s The Brightest Heaven and a variety of other celebrated masterpieces.
On Sunday, April 17, the Jazz and Choral Departments share the stage in a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass. Prepare to be dazzled by this fusion of jazz and gospel.
Finally, the Department of Choral Studies concludes this year’s series with a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This concert features talent from CCM’s Drama Department, along with premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio, and Jake Runestad.
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.
All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.
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.
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2016 SPRING CHORAL SERIES
8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
HONEGGER’S JOAN OF ARC AT THE STAKE AND VERDI’S OVERTURE FROM GIOVANNA D’ARCO
CCM Philharmonia, Chamber Choir and Chorale; UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses; and Cincinnati Children’s Choir Earl Rivers, conductor
Marcus Shields, stage director
CCM showcases the American university premiere of a staged concert production of Arthur Honegger’s 1938 Joan of Arc at the Stake (Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), featuring Joan of Arc in the final moments of her life, with flashbacks to her trial and younger days. Actors, soloists, choristers and children play and sing multifaceted roles in Honegger’s borderline opera and oratorio of classical, popular and jazz styles. This program also features the Overture to Verdi’s take on the Joan of Arc story: 1845’s Giovanna d’Arco.
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.
Performance Sponsor: Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Foundation
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30
UC MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CHORUSES
Christopher Albanese and Alex Sutton, conductors
Comprised of students from all 14 UC colleges, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers present a variety of classical, popular, folk and jazz works. The program will include a newly commissioned work from Daniel Elder titled The Brightest Heaven (with texts from Shakespeare’s Henry V) and highlights from the UC Choruses Spring Break Tour to Washington, D.C., featuring masterpieces by Bernstein, Dickau, Barber, Miller, Belen, Gibbs, Lang, Mendelssohn, Pergolesi, DeCormier, Nelson, Burchard, Sperry and Thompson.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE
3 p.m. Sunday, April 17
WYNTON MARSALIS’ ABYSSINIAN MASS: A GOSPEL CELEBRATION
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Chorale and Central State University Gospel Choir
Scott Belck, Brett Scott and Jeremy Winston, directors
Featuring guest artist Damien Sneed, conductor
Commissioned to celebrate the 2008 bicentennial of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, Marsalis’ Mass is a landmark collaboration of jazz, gospel, instrumentals and vocals with “hand-clappin’” and “tambourine-slappin’,” reflecting the form of the African American church service.
Location: Zion Baptist Church, 630 Glenwood Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.
Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artists.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
MUSIC OF THE BARD IV – 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF SHAKESPEARE
CCM Chamber Choir and CCM Drama Department
CCM’s Choral Department culminates its two-year Shakespeare Quadricentennial, honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing (April 23, 1616). The Chamber Choir will perform music on Shakespeare’s texts with scenes presented by actors from CCM’s Drama Department. Featured are premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church, Michigan and Observatory Avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Community Partner: ArtsWave
Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel
Choral Studies Sponsors: Jan Rogers; Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation