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 www.kwf.org/LLC.

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.

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CCM Alumnus Josh Prince Nominated for Astaire Award

CCM alumnus Josh Prince (BFA, 1996).

CCM alumnus Josh Prince (BFA, 1996).

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Josh Prince (BFA, 1996) has been nominated for a Fred and Adele Astaire Award in the category of Outstanding Choreographer for a Broadway Show for his work on the new musical Beautiful: The Carol King Musical. This prestigious award honors excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and in film.

Prince is the latest in a long line of CCM alumni who have been both nominees and winners of this award:

  • In 2002, Justin Bohon (Class of 2000) won the award as Outstanding Male Dancer for his performance as Will Parker in Oklahoma!
  • In 2008, Karen Olivo (Class of 1997) received the award for In the Heights followed by a nomination for her performance as Anita in West Side Story in 2009.
  • Also in 2009, Kearran Giovanni (Class of 2003) received a nomination for her performance in the revival of Guys and Dolls.
  • In 2010, Savannah Wise (Class of 2006) received a nomination for her work in Ragtime.
  • In 2012, Ryan Breslin (Class of 2011) was nominated as Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show for his work in Newsies.

The 32nd annual Astaire Awards will be presented on June 2 at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

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CCM Alumnus Carmon DeLeone Celebrated at Carnegie Theater on May 22

CCM alumnus and former faculty member Carmon DeLeone.

CCM alumnus and former faculty member Carmon DeLeone.

Our friends at the Carnegie Theatre in Covington, Kentucky, will honor distinguished CCM alumnus Carmon DeLeone (BM, 1964; BS, 1965; MM, 1967) and his storied career in Cincinnati with a special program entitled Birdie to Brice: 50 Years of Carmon DeLeone at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22.

With DeLeone at the podium, this concert will feature his Middletown Symphony Orchestra in an evening of musical theatre favorites including selections from Bye Bye Birdie, Funny Girl and Man of La Mancha.

Distinguished CCM alumnus and Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams (BM, 1964; MA, 1982; HonDoc, 1998) will also be featured on the program.

Tickets to 50 Years of Carmon DeLeone are on sale now through the Carnegie Box Office. Call 859-957-1940 or click here for details.

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CCM Professor Roger Grodsky Explores the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals for ‘Absolute Sound’ Magazine

TAS_242_Cover.png.200x275_q85The April 2014 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine features an in-depth look at the Golden Age of Broadway musicals on record, written by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky!

A member of CCM’s faculty since 1996, Grodsky has served as musical director for a number of recent CCM productions (including Singin’ in the Rain earlier this season) and has also participated in performances, PBS broadcasts and recordings of the Cincinnati Pops.

He has also worked with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization on restoring classic shows by Rodgers and Hart.

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music. The magazine’s April issue is on newsstands now and available online here.

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CCM Video: A Farewell in Song from the Musical Theatre Program’s Class of 2013

CCM Musical Theatre's graduating class of 2013.

CCM Musical Theatre’s graduating class of 2013.

The graduating seniors from CCM’s Musical Theatre program bid a heartfelt farewell to their time at the University of Cincinnati with a performance of Craig Carnelia’s “Flight” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” (from the musical West Side Story) accompanied by Julie Spangler:

Learn more about CCM Musical Theatre’s recent graduates here!

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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CCM’s Stars of Tomorrow Present Annual Musical Theatre Senior Showcase This Thursday (7 p.m.), Friday (8 p.m.) and Saturday (8 p.m.)

CCM Musical Theatre's graduating class of 2013.

CCM Musical Theatre’s graduating class of 2013.

Cincinnati audiences will get a sneak peek at an original showcase created by the 2013 graduating class from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre during the annual “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, which runs from March 28 (Friends of CCM benefit performance) through March 30 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The March 28 benefit performance starts at 7 p.m. and features dinner by the bite and a post-performance celebration. Tickets for this benefit event are on sale now.

The March 29 and 30 performances take place at 8 p.m. and are free, but reservations are required.

Performance Times

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28 — Friends of CCM Benefit
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 29
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30
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CCM’s Stars of Tomorrow Present Annual Musical Theatre Senior Showcase March 28-30

CCM Musical Theatre's graduating class of 2013.

CCM Musical Theatre’s graduating class of 2013.

Cincinnati audiences will get a sneak peek at an original showcase created by the 2013 graduating class from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre during the annual “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, which runs from March 28 (Friends of CCM benefit performance) through March 30 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The March 28 benefit performance starts at 7 p.m. and features dinner by the bite and a post-performance celebration. Tickets for this benefit event are on sale now.

The March 29 and 30 performances take place at 8 p.m. and are free, but reservations are required. Tickets for these free performances become available at noon on Monday, March 25.

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