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

Discussing the Cycles of Life Presented in CCM’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ with Director Vince DeGeorge

Leoš Janáček’s fantastical opera The Cunning Little Vixen comes to the CCM stage April 8 – 10 as part of this year’s Mainstage Series. To share what inspired his vision for the anthropomorphic production, Stage Director and Choreographer Vince DeGeorge reflected on the relationship between humans and nature with CCM Public Information Graduate Assistant Charlotte Kies.

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

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

Could you tell me about your inspiration for the design of the masks in this production?

I’ve had this little vixen figurine for about 10 years. It was a gift from my wife, and it has become a touchstone for this project. You’ll see the geometric nature of the fox sculpture reflected in the masks by third-year graduate student and Costume Designer Oran Wongpandid. They’re very cool looking. 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.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s 'The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

How do they use these masks?

They carry the masks and sometimes wear them. They don’t sing with the masks on. 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. It’s a simple transformation through movement and mask work.

Is this something traditionally done, or is this a new idea of your own?

That’s something that I bring to it. Mark Halpin, the designer of the set, and I have never done a show together but we’ve worked a lot together. He sort of understands my aesthetic and he brought his own point of view to it as well. He has come up with this design that I think really embodies this very human aspect of this story. We become animals to tell a very human story.

'The Cunning Little Vixen'

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

What is that human story?

I think the human story is that every day, life is happening all around us. Often times we are too distracted, or aggressive, or controlling to notice. If you actually take the time to be aware, you will experience everything that’s going on around you. You may not experience all of it, but you will be more receptive to experiences. That’s the journey of the Forester, from very aggressive and controlling, to very open and receptive.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s 'The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

The Vixen has a different journey. She starts very innocent, open and receptive. Then events occur that change her to become more aggressive and more controlling. She eventually finds her way back into a much more open and receptive place with her love, the Fox.

What’s so beautiful about this opera is that it runs in cycles, in circles. Someone starts a scene and ends up in almost the same place, but something has changed within them. There is a giant cycle that’s going on within the entire opera and the Vixen has a cycle that’s running through her and the Forester. We don’t see the top of the Forester’s cycle but we see him changing back to this more open and receptive person. The music just cycles and cycles in a wonderful repetition and revision that Janáček is an expert at creating.

That sort of fits in with what I’ve read.

The opera is full of life cycles! But within them are tiny little journeys that are going on within ALL of the characters.

That is one aspect that makes this opera so amazing, and another reason why Mark and I decided to set it in a more distilled, abstract way, as opposed to setting it in the 1920s or in Czechoslovakia. To nail it down to a certain time period could diminish the universality of the performance. It doesn’t have a time period, but I think the story in itself is timeless. I’m not saying this is the way to approach this opera, this is the way we approached it.

'The Cunning Little Vixen'

CCM’s production of Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen.’ Photo by Mark Lyons.

Is this opera often translated into English?

Well, I’m not an expert at that. What I can say is that when I was an undergrad here, David Adams was my voice teacher. Then he did the translation of my first opera here!

That’s a nice little cycle!

Yes, it is! And even though he is a professor emeritus here, David has been at a lot of rehearsals. He has been really involved. It’s been fantastic to work with him in a very different way and still learn from him.

Was it his choice to put this in English?

Actually, David wrote this for Professor Kenneth Shaw’s production here but then retired after spending a lifetime here. This is one of our ways to thank and honor him and the work that he’s done for CCM.

Are English-sung operas a theme this year?

Well, that’s something that we as a department really made an effort to do this year. Both Mainstage Operas were in English, which is more challenging to sing than other languages. The students need to learn how to sing in English and make it understandable and not lose their vocal quality.

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Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen runs April 8 – 10 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. 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. You can learn more about the production here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
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.

____

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's Mainstage Series presents David Edgar's PENTECOST. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Pentecost

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CCM’s Mainstage Series opens this week with a powerful production of David Edgar’s Pentecost.

Declared an “important opportunity to be ‘taken in’ by theater” by Rick Pender in his CityBeat preview story, Pentecost details the discovery of a painting stunningly similar to Giotto di Bondone’s The Lamentation in an abandoned church in Eastern Europe. If proven to pre-date the master’s work, the fresco will revolutionize Western Art.

A dramatic power struggle ensues, as representatives from the worlds of art history, religion and politics stake their claims for the ultimate prize. The unexpected arrival of 12 asylum seekers sets events spiraling toward an explosive climax. Richard E. Hess directs.

Described by the Daily Telegraph as “funny, frightening and deeply moving,” this powerful play by the Tony Award-winning adapter of Nicholas Nickleby and author of numerous plays won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of 1995. This production contains mature subject matter.

Special Seating Available
Witness Pentecost up close and personal in the best seats in the house. Ticket holders may seat themselves in any black on-stage seat unclaimed by a program for any performance of Pentecost. Access to on-stage seating can be found at the ends of aisles 1 and 5.

Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intimately experience David Edgar’s “funny, frightening and deeply moving” masterpiece.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Pentecost are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 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/pentecost.

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

CCM News CCM Slideshows
Scenes from CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photos by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Peter Pan – The Musical

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with the timeless fairytale musical Peter Pan, playing through Sunday, March 8, in Corbett Auditorium. See a complete list of performance times below.

Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan features spectacular flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc.

Listen to cast member Tom Meglio give Cincinnati Public Radio’s Mark Perzel a preview of the high-flying musical by visiting wvxu.org/post/ccms-peter-pan.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/peter-pan-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 |http://www.MTIShows.com.

CCM News CCM Slideshows Student Salutes
Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Proudly Presents Broadway’s Timeless Musical ‘Peter Pan’ March 5-8, 2015

CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series with the classic fairytale musical Peter Pan. Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan makes its CCM debut at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in Corbett Auditorium and plays through March 8, 2015. Tickets are on sale now.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

Based on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score by Morris “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved family favorites of all time. This high-flying Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years.

Peter Pan’s enduring status comes as no surprise to Locarro, who brings years of Broadway experience to CCM’s production. In addition to providing perspective on the end of the Victorian Era, Locarro explains that Barrie’s fairy tale is also “a story of longing and the continuum of life. Although Peter Pan is the catalyst, it is really Wendy’s journey through adolescence and subsequently the journey of her daughter Jane and Jane’s daughter after that. Having a 20-year-old daughter of my own, I too see the importance of this journey for all of our children and understand why Peter Pan is popular to this day.”

While CCM is widely known for its remarkable stage productions, audiences can expect something truly remarkable for this production of Peter Pan. This is thanks to Locarro’s unique vision and also to an exciting collaboration between CCM’s faculty, student and staff talent and the expertise of theatrical flying effects and equipment industry leaders, ZFX, Inc. CCM Professor of Drama and Peter Pan fight choreographer k. Jenny Jones explains, “ZFX Flying Effects and I are creating sword fights with aerial dynamics that have never been tried before. Several years ago, I commissioned ZFX for a study of the variables of fighting while flying, and how flying may enhance the action of staged combat. The duel between Peter and Hook in this production is a perfect representation of this research and it will make CCM’s Peter Pan quite special.”

ZFX is one of the many professional industry leaders in theatre technology that will be in Cincinnati for the 55th annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo, which comes to the Duke Energy Convention Center March 18-21, 2015. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to visit CCM Village to see Peter Pan‘s groundbreaking flying effects set up for themselves even after the production has closed.

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Hannah Zazzaro, a senior from Clearwater, Florida, is one of two CCM students playing the demanding part of Peter Pan. She shares the role with junior musical theatre major Clara Cox. The role of Peter Pan will alternate between Cox (March 6; March 7 matinee) and Zazzaro (March 5; March 7; March 8 matinee).

Download Peter Pan‘s cast list here.

Zazzaro’s preparation began back in November when she read and re-read the script and watched every version of Peter Pan that she could find. Her goal was to understand her part in the storytelling and to know the text forward and backward. “Peter Pan is a demanding role in every way,” says Zazzaro. “I have to run, jump, fly, dance, sing while flying, do cartwheels, and sword fight both in the air and on the ground. I started a 60-day physical training program called ‘Insanity’ that I will continue to do regularly through the end of the show… and maybe even after because I like it so much!”

In addition to her copious musical theatre experience, Zazzaro is a classically trained singer, which makes her a perfect choice for this role. “My favorite part of the show is when Peter Pan turns into a ‘lady’ and sings a short aria with Captain Hook. This show has given me the opportunity to finally show off my low notes, my high belt and my high soprano! It’s so much fun,” she says enthusiastically.

Under Jones’ guidance, Zazzaro has also learned to sword fight. “Three things that I know I have to focus on are: trusting my wrists and allowing my sword to swing rather than forcing it to, having a spacial understanding with whomever I’m swinging at, and communicating with them through body language in order to be successful and safe,” Zazzaro explains. Mastering all of these things at once has been challenging, but Zazzaro states it’s been “completely worth it.”

Senior Dallas Padoven plays the role of Cecco the pirate alongside Zazzaro, but he faces his own unique challenges. Padoven is also Captain Hook’s understudy, meaning he has to be prepared to take on the iconic villain’s role on short notice. “Preparing for two characters is extremely interesting,” says Padoven. “I have to be on my toes while working at all times. While I am learning the pirate role, I also have to keep one eye on Hook to make sure I know what he is doing. I am in the same scenes as two different characters.”

Both Zazzaro and Padoven agree that working with Locarro has been wonderful. “He has a lot of experience in the field,” says Padoven. “While we are working with him we are figuring out our blocking and choreography but he also tells us about various shows he’s been in. He really teaches through personal stories, so we’ve learned a lot, especially things like what to do and not to do in audition and rehearsal situations.”

Zazzaro particularly appreciates Locarro’s attention to detail. “One of the hardest things is the Corbett Auditorium. The stage is huge, but it has seemed almost effortless for Joe to create pictures that fill out the entire stage.”

CCM’s production of Peter Pan also features scenic design by Mark Halpin, costume design by Dean Mogle and Rebecca Senske, lighting design by Chris Carter, sound design by Jeremy Lee and wig and make-up design by Kelly Yurko. With the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land,” and a rousing book full of magic, warmth and adventure, Peter Pan is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up.

About Joe Locarro
Joe Locarro is a director, choreographer and producer who has directed for stage, film and television. His film Finding Billy was nominated for two New York Emmy Awards (for best direction and best documentary) and was an official selection of the 2012 Dance on Camera Festival. Finding Billy has also been broadcast nationally on PBS for the past five years.

Locarro’s recent directing credits include two seasons of the PBS National series Intelligence Squared Debates, productions of Les Misérables for the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department (April 2014) and Music Theatre of Wichita (August 2013), and the PBS series Vine Talk starring Stanley Tucci. Some of his PBS specials include Remember Me with Parsons Dance Co & The East Village Opera Company, A Tale of Two Cities in Concert and three specials with Deepak Chopra.

Locarro specializes in filming and editing dance, theatre and music and is currently guest director for the live web broadcasts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room. He has also directed numerous stage productions including regional productions of Ragtime and Les Misérables.

Locarro began his career as a dancer and choreographer, dancing with the Boston, Joffrey and Hartford Ballet Companies creating and choreographing 30 works for dance companies across the U.S. After a career in ballet, he went on to perform on Broadway and first national tours in six musicals including the role of ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (both on Broadway and in the first national tour), the original Broadway companies of Ragtime, Goodbye Girl and Merlin as well as the role of Munkstrap in Cats and West Side Story.

Locarro brings his many years of performance experience to his work with artists and arts organizations. He continues to film and edit for dance companies around the world, as well as create promotional videos and documentaries for arts organizations and individual artists.

About ZFX, Inc.
Founded in 1994, ZFX, Inc. is the complete service provider for Flying Effects. They don’t just handle the rigging or flying harnesses. They’re not just skilled at automation, choreography and flying design. ZFX covers every aspect of flying possibilities. From high schools to Broadway, churches to special events, ZFX zealously pursues its goal of worldwide domination of the performer flying industry. Their infectious enthusiasm comes at no additional charge. They don’t wake up and put their pants on one leg at a time like the other guys. They wrap themselves in kilts and stride boldly out into the world. ZFX offers performer flying, high speed hoists, flying of props, automated systems, stunt gags, truss equipment mounting, aerial acts, manually operated systems, corporate shows and events, custom harnesses, spectacle flying and safety consultation. Learn more by visiting www.zfxflying.com.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/peter-pan-mainstage.

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.
____

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

CCM News CCM Slideshows
CCM's Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’ Receives Glowing Reviews

CCM's Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Production of HANSEL AND GRETEL. Photography by Mark Lyons.

The critics have weighed in with unanimous praise for CCM’s recent production of Hansel and Gretel!

In her review of the fairy tale opera for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Janelle Gelfand calls the production “magical” and “breathtaking.” She singles out the performance of the CCM Philharmonia, writing that “you could get lost in the glowing orchestral score, so beautifully led by Mark Gibson.”

Mary Ellyn Hutton‘s review for Music in Cincinnati was similarly enthusiastic. “Highlights of the performance were many,” she writes, “One was the prayer scene… where Hansel and Gretel knelt and sang, with snow falling in the background. Another came during the dream pantomime… where the 14 angels, all children, cavorted on an angelic playground, with a swing, a seesaw and bicycles hanging over the stage, as the children looked on.”

Rafael de Acha calls the production a “sweet treat” in his review for Seen and Heard InternationalRobin Guarino sets the story during the Depression in America,” he observes, “but surprisingly, this setting undermines neither the lush Romanticism of the music nor the innocent fairytale story, and the results are nothing but happy.”

Hansel and Gretel concluded its run on Sunday, Nov.  23. CCM’s Opera Season resumes in February with a Studio Series production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea running Feb. 20-22 and a CCM Opera d’arte Series production of Handel’s Alcina running Feb. 27 – March 1.

The season concludes April 9 – 12 with a Mainstage Series production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Robin Guarino.

Last fall, Guarino directed the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, which also served as James Levine’s highly anticipated return to the Met. In his review of the opera for the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini noted that “Guarino worked with this cast of gifted actors to inflect their characters with telling comic bits and hapless human touches.”

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Productions Win Big at League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Awards Ceremony

League of Cincinnati TheatresWinners of the League of Cincinnati Theatres’ (LCT) 2013-14 Season Awards were announced on Monday night, with CCM faculty members, students and productions taking home a number of awards, including:

  • Best Musical (Tie): CCM’s Les Miserables (tied with Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Choreography (Tie): Diane Lala and Patti James for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain (tied with David Baum for Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Music Direction: Steve Goers for CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Scenic Design: Mark Halpin for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain
  • Ensemble in a Musical: CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Blaine Krauss in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actor in a Musical: Matthew Paul Hill in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Jenny Hickman in CCM’s Carrie

Faculty member Kelly Yurko also received a Special Contribution Award for her prosthetic design for Clifton Players’ production of The Whale. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes