Student Choreographers Debut Dazzling New Works March 5-8

The CCMONSTAGE Dance Series presents the Student Choreographers’ Showcase on March 5-8, 2020. Tickets available online.

CCM dance majors present dynamic and diverse works from classical ballet to traditional jazz dance with music ranging from Bizet to Queen at the Student Choreographers’ Showcase, running Thursday, March 5-Sunday, March 8, 2020, at Cohen Family Studio Theater.

This year’s featured student choreographers are JonMarie Johnson, Kate DeLon, Madeline Kallay, Emily Glaccum, David Lopena, and Erika Shi.

“This year six student choreographers present a diverse and engaging look at movement, culture and the human experience,” wrote CCM Dance Chair Shauna Steele in her director’s note. “I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed working with them.”

Johnson’s Enraptured follows a classical format with a fresh look at ballet, set to music by Gabriel Fauré and Georges Bizet. Killer Queen, with choreography by DeLon, presents a contemporary rock ballet set to the iconic music of Queen. Kallay’s Seeking Clarity and Glaccum’s Compass create a dance landscape where “contemporary dance forges a path and seeks to attain both tangible and intangible knowledge,” Steele describes.

With Her, Lopena fuses his own contemporary movement aesthetic with classical forms of jazz technique. Shi’s (Un)seeing and (Un)feeling is a contemporary work set to music by Zammuto, Albert Mathias and Chrome Sparks.

View the program online. The Student Choreographers’ Showcase is approximately one hour and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. 

The CCMONSTAGE Dance Series presents the Student Choreographers’ Showcase on March 5-8, 2020, at CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office; student and group discounts are available.

Performance Times

  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Single tickets prices start at $15.50. Student discounts and group rates are also available.

Learn about additional ticket options for current CCM students.

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.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions for detailed driving directions to CCM Village.

Parking is available in UC’s 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.


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Logo for the Opera Fusion: New Works program.

CCM, Cincinnati Opera Co-host Free Performance of ‘Intimate Apparel’ Nov. 14

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works program presents a free performance of excerpts from new American opera Intimate Apparel at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 14 in the Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room.

'Bright Eyed Joy!' composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

‘Intimate Apparel’ composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

Tickets are available now though the Cincinnati Opera box office by calling 513-241-2742 or visiting cincinnatiopera.org.

Opera Fusion: New Works is currently providing a 10-day workshop for Intimate Apparel, which is composed by Ricky Ian Gordon to a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The new opera is commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater’s New Works Program.

The workshop is directed by Robin Guarino, CCM’s J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair, and conducted by Timothy Myers, the artistic and music director of North Carolina Opera. Paul Cremo, dramaturg and director of opera commissioning programs for the Metropolitan Opera, will be the dramaturg for the workshop.

lynn-nottage

‘Intimate Apparel’ playwright, Lynn Nottage.

Adapted by Nottage from her prize-winning 2003 play of the same name, Intimate Apparel tells the story of Esther, a 35-year-old seamstress in 1905 New York City. Esther sews lingerie for a living, interacting with a wealthy Fifth Avenue wife, a Tenderloin prostitute, and a Jewish fabric merchant on the Lower East Side, with whom she shares a closeness that cannot be pursued further because of his religion. Esther embarks on a letter-writing relationship with a Panama Canal laborer, leading to marriage and ultimately heartbreak, but she maintains her strength of character and determination to make a better life for herself.

Learn more about Intimate Apparel at cincinnatiopera.org.

About Opera Fusion: New Works

Funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works is a groundbreaking joint program of Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music 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. In 2015, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation renewed the program’s funding, allowing for a second cycle of six workshops over three years.

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 premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2016. In 2014, the program invited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally to workshop Great Scott, which premiered at the Dallas Opera in October 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 grant cycle was given in October 2015 to Shalimar the Clown, by composer Jack Perla and librettist Rajiv Joseph, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2016.

Most recently Opera Fusion: New Works presented excerpts from new American opera Some Light Emerges on September 22, 2016. Composed by Laura Kaminsky to a libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, Some Light Emerges was originally inspired by the creation of Houston’s iconic Rothko Chapel by philanthropist and art collector Dominique de Menil.

Opera Fusion: New Works Lab Presents
Intimate Apparel
Composed by Ricky Ian Gordon
Libretto by Lynn Nottage
Co-artistic Directors Robin Guarino and Marcus Küchle
Robin Guarino, director
Paul Cremo, Dramaturg
Timothy Meyers, conductor

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14

Location

The Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room
30 Garfield Place, Cincinnati OH 45202

Reserving Tickets

Admission to Intimate Apparel is free, but reservations are required. Please contact the Cincinnati Opera box office for tickets by calling 513-241-2742 or visiting cincinnatiopera.org.
____

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News
The Cohen Family Studio Theater at CCM.

Student Compositions Showcased in CCM’s “A View from the Edge” Recital

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music offers a few recitals each semester called “A View from the Edge.” These free concerts showcase original works of student composers and give audiences a look over the precipice of current compositional techniques.

The first of this season’s student composition recitals is at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. The concert program includes a set of three songs for soprano and piano inspired by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, a freshman composer’s first piano sonata and How I Lost My Voice, a piece for flute and guitar that a student wrote in response to the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Daniel Harrison

Daniel Harrison.

Daniel Harrison, a third-year doctoral candidate studying music composition, is one of the student coordinators for this installment of “A View from the Edge.” CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle got in touch with Harrison to get a preview of the upcoming recital.

Can you tell me a bit about “A View from the Edge” and the goals of these recitals?
The “View From The Edge” series was created as a way to showcase the newest compositions from the students in the CCM composition studio. At these concerts, you will hear premieres of chamber music, which range from solos to small ensembles and occasionally works that incorporate electronics. One of the outstanding characteristics of our composition studio is how diverse all of our compositional voices are; everyone has something different to say and their own way of saying it.

What’s it like to work with student performers to hone your pieces? Have you found that you make a significant amount of changes after rehearsals have begun?
Working with other students is great! I love it when there is a sense that we, as a team, are collaborating together to create an experience for a concert-goer. As a composer, I view my role in this as only a third of the equation; the audience and performer make up the other two thirds. I have gotten advice from performers that has led to some significant revisions, both in terms of idiomatic treatment of the instruments and notional choices.

Which three pieces on the program stand out to you, and why?
One of the three pieces on the concert that I’m really looking forward to hearing is Phillip Robert‘s Her em Iteru, which is a set of three songs for soprano and piano based on texts found in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Another is our incoming freshman composer Maksym Mahlay‘s first piano sonata, which looks like a fiery and virtuosic piece for solo piano. It’s also worth noting that the composer himself will be performing the piece. Lastly, my piece for flute and guitar, How I Lost My Voice, will be premiered at the recital. This piece attempts to capture the feeling of not being able to express oneself vocally and contains extended techniques in the flute and guitar that give the illusion of a voice becoming hoarse and transparent.

Did a personal experience inspire your work, How I Lost My Voice?
While I was composing this piece, the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks occurred. After the initial shock, I vividly recall feeling this wave of absolute hopelessness. What could I do? As someone whose profession is to write music, in a country thousands of miles away and separated from France by an ocean, ‘not much’ is as a gross understatement. This event radically refocused my perspective and reframed the project I was working on for a reading session, which was a simple, short piece for flute and guitar.

I began asking what purpose music served in response to tragedy. I imagined that even if I screamed until I lost my voice, there was nothing that I could do to undo what happened. My only recourse was to respond through music well after the fact.

What should people who haven’t experienced much new music expect if they come to “A View from the Edge”?
I would come in to these concerts with an open mind. Our composition studio is filled with students who have different aesthetics. No two recitals will offer the same sounds. One bit of advice that I would offer to someone who is looking to experience a new music concert for the first time is to listen to the music in the same way one would taste a new dish­ – just be open to the experience!

The first “A View from the Edge” recital is at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Composition students will have another opportunity to showcase their new works in the second concert at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

____________________

Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes
Logo for the Opera Fusion: New Works program.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera Co-Host Free Performance of ‘Some Light Emerges’ Tomorrow

 

Logo for the Opera Fusion: New Works program.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works program presents excerpts from the new American opera Some Light Emerges at 7:30 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room. This free public performance provides audience members with a rare behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an original work! Tickets are available now though the Cincinnati Opera box office by calling 513-241-2742 or visiting cincinnatiopera.org.

The Broken Obelisk outside of the Rothko Chapel.

The Broken Obelisk outside of the Rothko Chapel.

Opera Fusion: New Works is currently providing a workshop for Some Light Emerges, which is composed by Laura Kaminsky to a libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. Inspired by the creation of Houston’s iconic Rothko Chapel by philanthropist and art collector Dominique de Menil, the opera is commissioned by HGOco, Houston Grand Opera’s community collaboration and education initiative. The chamber opera will have its world premiere in Houston in March 2017. The Cincinnati workshop is directed by Robin Guarino, CCM’s J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair, and conducted by Bradley Moore, Houston Grand Opera’s head of music staff and music director for HGO Studio.

In the mid-1960s, the renowned art collector Dominique de Menil commissioned the noted American artist Mark Rothko to create a series of paintings and the ideal gallery in which to house them. Mrs. de Menil also envisioned that the resultant Rothko Chapel, which opened in 1971, would serve as a spiritual space for “those of all faiths, or no faith.” Some Light Emerges is set mostly within the Rothko Chapel and chronicles the direct and tangential intersections of five people across four decades who visit the chapel, as well as the struggles and triumphs of Dominique de Menil in realizing her dream.

Opera Fusion: New Works will also workshop Intimate Apparel, a new American opera by composer Ricky Ian Gordon with a libretto by Lynn Nottage, from November 5 to 14, 2016. The new opera is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater’s New Works Program. The workshop will be directed by Guarino and conducted by Timothy Myers, the artistic and music director of North Carolina Opera. Paul Cremo, dramaturg and director of opera commissioning programs for the Metropolitan Opera, will be the dramaturg for the workshop. This residency will culminate in a free public performance of excerpts in Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14,  in the Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room. Tickets are available beginning Tuesday, November 1 through the Cincinnati Opera box office.

About Opera Fusion: New Works
Funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works is a groundbreaking joint program of Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music 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. In 2015, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation renewed the program’s funding, allowing for a second cycle of six workshops over three years.

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 premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2016. In 2014, the program invited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally to workshop Great Scott, which premiered at the Dallas Opera in October 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 grant cycle was given in October 2015 to Shalimar the Clown, by composer Jack Perla and librettist Rajiv Joseph, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2016.

Opera Fusion: New Works Lab Presents
SOME LIGHT EMERGES
Composed by Laura Kaminsky

Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Robin Guarino, director
Bradley Moore, conductor

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22

Location
The Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room
30 Garfield Place, Cincinnati OH 45202

Reserving Tickets
Admission to Some Light Emerges is free, but reservations are required. Please contact the Cincinnati Opera box office for tickets by calling 513-241-2742 or visiting cincinnatiopera.org.
____

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News
Playwrights Conference

10-Minute Play Festival closes Playwrights Conference with new work by Todd Almond

The week-long playwriting intensive hosted by CCM Summer Programs will come to a dramatic close Saturday (May 14) in a series of 10-minute plays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre.

Fourteen playwrights have spent the week learning from industry professionals in master classes to write and develop original works. The inaugural Playwrights Conference was organized by CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell. It gave participants the unique opportunity to work closely with leaders in the field — including internationally known playwright and composer, alumnus Todd Almond (BM, 1999) and dramaturg Lisa Timmel, director of new work at the Tony award-winning Huntington Theatre Company in Boston.

“[The participants] are working with levels of expertise and talent that they would not otherwise have access to,” Russell said. “Lisa and Todd represent the very best of what the industry has to offer and I don’t know of any other situation in which playwrights at this level with their engagement with the craft would be able to work these people.”

Each participant has written a short play to be performed at the 10-Minute Play Festival on Saturday. Almond was commissioned to write and develop a new play specifically for this conference, which will premiere at the close of Saturday’s festival around 8:15 p.m. Each play will be performed by CCM’s own drama students.

“Todd’s play is part of a commissioning initiative that I’ve launched here that brings plays to CCM to be produced, the world premiere version of that will hopefully then go on to have a professional and academic life of its own for years and years and years,” Russell said.

Photo by CCM E-Media student Arielle Kruger.

Photo by CCM E-Media student Arielle Kruger.

The playwrights, including Almond, have rewritten and edited their works throughout the week to perfect them for the stage. Almond said the conference feels like a “Sundance retreat where you come every day with new pages.” Almond drew from his memories as a CCM student when writing and developing the play, he added:

“It’s about wrestling with identity when you go to college. There’s a bit of a tragedy early on that kind of derails the main character and he has to wrestle with getting back on track. The actors are helping me figure out what in that is honest and what in that feels forced. I think our process is making it more honest, we’re making this play actually feel real and not devised.”

The 10-Minute Play Festival is FREE and open to the public. Join us for an evening featuring all-new works by playwrights from across the country brought to life on stage with the talents of CCM student actors 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

____________________

Photos and Video by Arielle Kruger

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Opera Fusion Fall 2015: Shalimar the Clown.

Opera Fusion: New Works Grant Renewed by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

 

Cincinnati Opera and CCM are pleased to announce that their groundbreaking joint program, Opera Fusion: New Works, has been renewed by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a gift of $300,000, which will fund another six workshops over the next three years.

Thanks to a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works 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.

“We are thrilled that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recognized the impact and importance of this collaboration,” said Patricia K. Beggs, The Harry Fath General Director & CEO of Cincinnati Opera. “The mainstage success of the operas that have come through Opera Fusion: New Works is a testament to the invaluable workshop opportunity the program offers to a new piece.”

“Opera Fusion: New Works provides CCM’s students with something truly remarkable: an opportunity to work directly with world-class artists on the development of new creative works,” said Peter Landgren, the Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music and Dean at CCM. “This workshopping process allows our students to exercise a very different set of artistic and pedagogical muscles, when compared to the process of learning standard repertoire. These life-changing opportunities would not be possible without The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s generous support of experiential learning at CCM, and we could not have a better partner in this endeavor than Cincinnati Opera.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the trust in and recognition of our work with Opera Fusion: New Works over the past three years that is expressed through this generous grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,” said Marcus Küchle, co-artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works. “These are exciting times for the development of new opera and we are thrilled to continue to play a meaningful role.”

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 will premiere 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.

“Over the past three years, Opera Fusion: New Works has had a seismic effect on the current art of opera, developing six world premieres, all operas with vital themes for today’s audiences,” said co-artistic director Robin Guarino. “We kick off the next three years and the renewal of our grant with an opera by an innovative composer and librettist team.”

'Shalimar the Clown' is adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie.

‘Shalimar the Clown’ is adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie.

The first opera to benefit from the new cycle of workshops will be Shalimar the Clown, which will receive a residency in Cincinnati from October 7 to 17, 2015. The new opera features music by Jack Perla and a libretto by Rajiv Joseph, adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie.

The opera will have its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis on June 11, 2016. The workshop will be directed by James Robinson, artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, who will also direct the mainstage premiere, and will be conducted by Roberto Kalb, the resident assistant conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. This is the second time that Opera Fusion: New Works has awarded a workshop to an opera with an upcoming premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; the first was the aforementioned Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer.

The 10-day workshop will culminate in a free public reading of excerpts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the newly-opened Over-the-Rhine event space The Transept, 1205 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Tickets are available now through the Cincinnati Opera box office; call 513-241-2742 to reserve. The performance will stream on the Cincinnati Opera website at cincinnatiopera.org.

“I’ve been hoping to work with Robin, Marcus, and Opera Fusion: New Works for some time, and I couldn’t ask for better than to do so with Shalimar the Clown,” said composer Jack Perla. “This is a tremendous opportunity to test and fine-tune this opera stem to stern—to assess its pacing, vocal writing, and dramatic development, well in advance of production and the work’s premiere. Director Jim Robinson, librettist Rajiv Joseph, and the Opera Fusion: New Works team all together in one place, focused on that effort? I couldn’t ask for a better situation for developing this ambitious piece.”

“Workshops such as these are essential for the development of new works such as Shalimar,” said librettist Rajiv Joseph. “It’s one thing to sit in one’s room and write out a bunch of sentences and lyrics, hoping they’re perfect. But, for me at least, it’s not until I can hear them read—and sung—aloud in a room that I have any idea whether what I’ve done is working. Usually it’s not, and so the real work begins.”

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 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.

CCM News
Kevin McCollum talks to CCM musical theatre students at a master class.

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer Kevin McCollum Joins CCM’s Faculty as Distinguished Visiting Professor

Peter Landgren, dean and Thomas James Kelly professor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), has appointed leading Broadway producer Kevin McCollum to the position of Distinguished Visiting Professor. McCollum’s initial appointment will be for three years and will become effective in August of 2015.

Alumnus and Distinguished Visiting Professor Kevin McCollum.

Alumnus and Distinguished Visiting Professor Kevin McCollum.

A distinguished alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, McCollum (BFA Musical Theatre, 1984; HonDoc, 2005) is the Tony Award-winning producer of RentAvenue QIn the HeightsMotown the Musical and many other acclaimed Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions. Earlier this spring, McCollum received two more Tony nominations for his current productions of Something Rotten! (Best Musical) and Hand to God (Best Play). He also received 12 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and nine Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Musical.

As a Distinguished Visiting Professor at CCM, McCollum’s influence on the college’s students and programs will be broad, focusing his work on musical theatre, although his entrepreneurial expertise will also be applied to aspects of auditioning, career development, arts administration and more.

Through this new appointment, McCollum will also work with faculty and administrators to develop a new musical theatre incubator program at CCM. A collaborative venture between CCM and Alchemation, McCollum’s Broadway producing office, this incubator will be designed to support the creation of new musical theatre works, utilizing McCollum’s entrepreneurial expertise and CCM’s abundance of talent.

“We are very excited to bring Kevin back to CCM as a member of our faculty,” says Dean Landgren. “Kevin is arguably the most accomplished and successful producer working in theatre today. Given his diverse background and his proven expertise in the business of the performing arts, his presence on our faculty will enhance the already world-class training that our students receive.”

“CCM was an essential part of my professional training and I am thrilled to return to such a top-notch institution,” says McCollum. “There are many things that attracted me to this position on CCM’s faculty; Peter Landgren’s bold leadership and openness to collaboration, the level of excellence found in the faculty, the highly accomplished young artists and the state-of-the-art facilities of my Alma Mater. I am proud to be counted amongst the internationally renowned faculty of this great institution. CCM has a longstanding commitment to presenting new works, and I am equally proud to help develop a program that will usher in the next generation of musical theatre artists.”

Speaking of the significance of an incubator program for musical theatre, Landgren explains, “Keeping with the University of Cincinnati’s proud tradition of cooperative education and experiential learning, this collaboration with Kevin and Alchemation will present our students with extraordinary opportunities to hone their craft while working to develop future theatre classics. Developing Broadway’s blockbusters-of-tomorrow with CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow is a win-win.”

Kevin McCollum (center) with CCM Musical Theatre's Class of 2015 after his seminar at Pearl Studios in New York.

Kevin McCollum (center) with CCM Musical Theatre’s Class of 2015 after his seminar at Pearl Studios in New York.

About Kevin McCollum
With a career spanning 25 years in the theatre industry, Kevin McCollum remains one of the most prolific and successful producers on Broadway today. He has received the Tony Award for Best Musical for In the Heights (2008), Avenue Q (2004) and Rent (1996), which also won the Pulitzer Prize. He produced Motown the Musical (Broadway and National Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006, which won five Tony Awards, Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme in 2002, [title of show] in 2008, the touring and Broadway productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the off-Broadway hit De La Guarda, the recent hit revival of West Side Story and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

In 1995 McCollum co-founded the Producing Office, and has since created Alchemation, a theatrical and media producing company committed to new work. In addition to his training at CCM, McCollum earned his Master’s degree in film producing from the Peter Stark Program at the University of Southern California.

In 1995, McCollum received the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Commercial Theatre Producing. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. He is represented on Broadway this spring with the original musical Something Rotten! and the New American Play Hand to God. His wife is actress and fellow UC graduate Lynette Perry-McCollum (BM Musical Theatre, 1985).

About Alchemation
Founded in 2012, Alchemation is a theatre and media company under McCollum’s leadership. Productions under the Alchemation banner include Motown the Musical, Something Rotten!Hand to God and the third season of theatrical web-series Submissions Only. In the summer of 2013, McCollum entered a joint venture with 20th Century Fox to develop titles from the Fox catalogue into stage properties.

About CCM
Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. Declared “one of the nation’s leading conservatories” by the New York Times, CCM provides life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment.

CCM’s educational roots date back to 1867, and a solid, visionary instruction has been at our core since that time. The synergy created by housing CCM within a comprehensive public university gives the college its unique character and defines its objective: to educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world’s stage.

CCM’s faculty and staff and its state-of-the-art facilities make possible the professional training and exceptional education on which CCM believes the future of the arts relies. The school’s roster of eminent faculty regularly receives distinguished honors for creative and scholarly work, and its alumni have achieved notable success in the performing and media arts.

More than 150 internationally recognized faculty members work with students from around the world, specializing in the areas of Composition, Musicology and Theory; Electronic Media; Ensembles and Conducting; Keyboard Studies; Music Education; Performance Studies and Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration.

The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents nearly 1000 major public performances each year, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

For more information about the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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CCM Opera and Cincinnati Opera Select New Work for Fall 2013 Opera Fusion Residency

Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce's 'Fellow Travelers' is adapted from the best-selling 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon.

Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s ‘Fellow Travelers’ is adapted from the best-selling 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera are pleased to announce the selection of a new American opera, Fellow Travelers, for the Opera Fusion: New Works program’s third year of residencies.

Fellow Travelers, composed by Gregory Spears with a libretto by Greg Pierce, will receive a workshop from Nov. 17 to 26, 2013. Pierce’s libretto is adapted from the best-selling 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon. The director of the work is Kevin Newbury, who directed Cincinnati Opera’s 2007 production of Nixon in China. Mark Gibson, Director of Orchestral Studies at CCM, will conduct. G. Sterling Zinsmeyer is the executive producer of Fellow Travelers. The workshop will culminate in a public performance on Tuesday, Nov. 26; location and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

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‘The Wall Street Journal’ Features Opera Fusion in Article on New Operas

Heidi Waleson explores the latest trends in the development and presentation of new operas in a recent Wall Street Journal article, highlighting the CCM and Cincinnati Opera collaboration Opera Fusion: New Works!

Waleson discusses Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer‘s Champion and Douglas J. Cuomo and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, both of which were workshopped through the innovative Opera Fusion program! You can read the full Wall Street Journal article here.

Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by a $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Janelle Gelfand Reviews CCM’s Latest Opera Fusion Workshop

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Janelle Gelfand shares her thoughts on our latest Opera Fusion workshop production, Morning Star, in today’s installment of the Arts in Focus blog. You can read her review here.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera presented public workshop performances of Ricky Ian Gordon and William M. Hoffman‘s Morning Star earlier this week. The workshop was filmed for a forthcoming documentary focusing on Opera Fusion: New Works, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. You can learn more about this documentary here.

Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by a $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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