'Il signor Bruschino' preview image by Adam Zeek.

CCM Presents Rossini’s One-Act Operatic Farce ‘Il signor Bruschino,’ Feb. 19 – 21

CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series resumes Feb. 19 – 21 with Il signor Bruschino, the last – and arguably best – in a series of one-act operatic farces composed by Gioachino Rossini between 1810 and 1813. CCM graduate student Avishai Shalom conducts, with stage direction by fellow graduate student Frances Rabalais.

Admission to Il signor Bruschino is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, Feb. 15.

Il signor Bruschino features all of the traditional hallmarks of opera buffa: mistaken identities, star-crossed lovers, betrothed confusion and an ending that somehow ties up all of the loose ends!

Student stage director Frances Rabalais works with the cast of 'Il signor Bruschino' during rehearsals. Photography by Adam Zeek.

Student stage director Frances Rabalais works with the cast of ‘Il signor Bruschino’ during rehearsals. Photography by Adam Zeek.

Artist Diploma candidate Rabalais explains, “The comedy of Il signor Bruschino will be familiar to today’s audience. There are the young lovers who can’t get together, the older grumpy gentlemen who are more interested in being right than being nice and a few local eccentrics thrown in for good measure. The plot tosses them all together, we add some physical comedy and you end up with an evening full of laughter.”

According to Shalom, the playfulness of the plot is reinforced by Il signor Bruschino‘s music, which is remarkably cheery. “The score is almost entirely in the major mode and there is wonderful comedy in Rossini’s frequent use of vocal patter,” he explains.

Rabalais adds, “Rossini’s music for Bruschino is beautiful, but not always easy to sing. The performers have been working diligently for months on the music.”

Student conductor Avishai Shalom. Photography by Adam Zeek.

Student conductor Avishai Shalom. Photography by Adam Zeek.

Shalom was already familiar with the overture from Il signor Bruschino, in which Rossini famously asks the violins to tap their bows on their instruments. Now, after five full months of preparing for this production, Shalom has become intimately familiar with every other detail of this early masterpiece, as well!

Not only will Shalom be conducting the orchestra for this production, but he has also taken on the ambitious task of performing all of the continuo parts on a fortepiano, a close relative of the harpsichord and a precursor to the modern pianoforte. Although Shalom admits there was a learning curve involved, he is thrilled with the results.

Rabalais is similarly enthused about her involvement in Il signor Bruschino. “I have always enjoyed working on Rossini comedies, but have never had the opportunity to direct one,” she says. “I am excited to put my ideas on stage with this fantastic cast. The intimate size of the Cohen Family Studio Theater allows the performers to share this opera in a very immediate way.”

When asked what else audiences can expect from the production, Rabalais adds, “The entire design is beautiful, but I think the costumes are particularly excellent! We’ve set the opera in the 1780s, which is a fascinating time in history for clothing. We get a taste of a few different styles in this opera, which is quite a feast for the eyes.”

Next weekend, relax your mind and enjoy a playful romp in a French Castle!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Feb. 15. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM presents Mozart's COSI FAN TUTTE, April 9 - 12, 2015. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series Comes to a Close with Mozart’s Famed Opera ‘Cosi Fan Tutte,’ April 9-12

CCM concludes its 2014–15 Mainstage Series with a true powerhouse: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così fan tutte. The celebrated opera buffa returns to the Patricia Corbett Theater stage at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, and plays through Sunday, April 12.

Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson conducts and J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera Robin Guarino directs. Assistant Conductor Yael Front conducts the matinee performance on Sunday, April 12. This production will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Guarino is certainly no stranger to Così, as she has successfully directed the opera multiple times for the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera (the Met) in New York City. Notably, her September 2013 engagement with Così also marked the return of beloved conductor James Levine to the Met’s podium for the first time since May 2011. A Cincinnati native, Levine is a former pupil of LaSalle Quartet violinist and CCM Professor Emeritus Walter Levin.

In his review for the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini hailed the Met’s production of Così as the most “vibrant, masterly and natural performance” of the work he had ever heard. Tommasini especially lauded Guarino’s direction, calling it “effortlessly in sync” with Levine’s conducting.

Mozart’s opera, with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, follows the well-worn tread of light Classical Era opera. Officers Ferrando and Guglielmo are certain that their fiancées Dorabella and Fiordiligi (respectively) will always be true to them… a belief not shared by Don Alfonso, who, in his certainty that women can never be faithful and trustworthy, makes a wager with the two that he can prove within one day that their fiancées are fickle. To this end, he concocts a scheme with the soldiers: they will pretend to be called off to war, return disguised as “Albanians” and they will each attempt to woo the other’s fiancée.

Confusion, cross-dressing and romantic banter abound as the scheme unfolds, testing Dorabella and Fiordiligi’s resolve as well as Ferrando and Guglielmo’s skills in deception.

With enjoyable music and a lighthearted plot transported to mid-20th century America, Così fan tutte is the perfect way to welcome spring and say a fond farewell to CCM’s Mainstage Season!

The Company

  • Ann Toomey as Fiordiligi*
  • Jessica Faselt as Fiordiligi^
  • Adria Caffaro as Dorabella*
  • Eleni Antonia Franck as Dorabella^
  • Joseph Lattanzi as Guglielmo*
  • Simon Barrad as Guglielmo^
  • Alec Carlson as Ferrando*
  • Chris Bozeka as Ferrando^
  • Grace Kahl as Despina*
  • Jasmine Habersham as Despina^
  • Derrell Acon as Don Alfonso*
  • Tyler Alessi as Don Alfonso^

* – Performs Thursday, April 9 and Saturday, April 11
^ – Performs Friday, April 10 and Sunday, April 12

The Creative Team

  • Mark Gibson, conductor
  • Robin Guarino, stage director
  • Lydia Brown, musical preparation
  • Ryan Howell, scenic designer
  • Caroline Spitzer, costume designer
  • Wes Calkin, lighting designer
  • Una Lin, wig & make-up designer
  • Kevin Semancik, sound designer
  • Sarah Stewart, stage manager
  • Maria Fuller, Levi Hammer and Kihwa Kim, rehearsal pianists

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 10
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 12

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to CCM’s Mainstage production of Così fan tutte are $31-35 adults, $20-24 non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with 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/cosi-fan-tutte-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 & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Presents Wickedly Witty French Opera ‘L’Étoile’ This Week

Here's a peek at rehearsals for L’Étoile, which runs Feb. 14 - 16, 2014.

Here’s a peek at rehearsals for L’Étoile, which runs Feb. 14 – 16, 2014.

CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series continues this month with a vivacious new production of Emmanuel Chabrier’s three-act opera L’Étoile. Performed in French with English supertitles, L’Étoile runs Feb. 14-16 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Conducted by guest artist Kevin Murphy with stage direction by CCM’s J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera Robin Guarino, L’Étoile is set in a mystical fairy tale kingdom where lovelorn hopes, turned tables and comedic misunderstandings inevitably lead to a happy ending.

“It’s a story of ‘boy meets girl’ after wishing on a star,” Guarino explains. Audiences will delight in this comedic opera, full of outlandish characters who know how to deliver an aria. Guarino describes CCM’s production as “an elegant and absurdist romp with a hint of political satire.”

CCM welcomes guest speaker and dramaturg Cori Ellison for a pre-performance lecture at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, in Mary Emery Hall Room 3225. This talk is free and open to the general public.

CCM News

CCM Undergraduate Opera Series Presents New Take on Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

CCM Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw.

CCM Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw.

CCM’s Opera d’arte Series proudly presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s timeless opera buffa Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) from Feb. 22-24 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Under the guidance of conductor Brett Scott and stage director Kenneth Shaw, talented undergraduate opera students will present this favorite of the classical opera repertoire with a unique 1960s-inspired aesthetic. Tickets to this production are free and become available at noon on Monday, Feb. 18. Reservations are required.

Mozart wrote this comic opera in Vienna in 1786, basing the work on a play by the French writer Pierre Beaumarchais. “Figaro was the first collaboration between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo da Ponte,“ Shaw explains, “and for their source material they chose Beaumarchais’ controversial La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro (The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro), the second part of a trilogy that began with Le Barbier de Séville (later the basis for the Rossini opera of the same name). Figaro the play was censored in Beaumarchais’ native France over concerns about its ‘subversive’ plot, which depicts the efforts of a Spanish nobleman, Count Almaviva, to seduce Suzanne, a beautiful young servant of his wife, only to be thwarted and humiliated by his wife, the Countess Rosina, working in concert with the Count’s servant, Figaro, who is also Suzanne’s fiancée.”

CCM News

The Reviews Are In For CCM’s “The Marriage of Figaro”

Photography by Mark Lyons.

Photography by Mark Lyons.

The Cincinnati Enquirer and ConcertoNet.com have both posted glowing reviews of CCM’s sold-out reinterpretation of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

CCM’s Opera Series continues March 4 – 6 with the Studio Series production of Jacques Offenbach’s The Island of Tulipatan. You can learn more about the production here.

CCM News

“The Marriage of Figaro” Opens Tonight!

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Beginning this evening and running through Sunday, Feb. 13, CCM’s Mainstage Series of Operas, Dramas and Musicals presents Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Mark Lyons provides us with a preview slideshow.

Extremely limited tickets are still available for our matinee performances. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News CCM Slideshows

The Reviews Are In For CCM’s ‘Turandot’

In case you missed last Friday’s concert performance of Turandot, both the Cincinnati Enquirer and Music in Cincinnati have posted reviews.

UC’s own News Record also reviewed the concert, which you can read here.

CCM’s Mainstage Opera Series resumes Feb. 10 -13, 2011 with Mozart’s timeless opera buffa The Marriage of Figaro, followed by the Studio Series production of Offenbach’s The Island of Tulipatan in March. Visit CCM’s website for more information on these upcoming productions.

CCM News

CCM Students’ Voices Soar in Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ Feb. 10-13

Noel Bouley as Figaro and Xi Wang as Susanna in CCM's "The Marriage of Figaro."

Noel Bouley as Figaro and Xi Wang as Susanna in CCM's "The Marriage of Figaro." Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM students and staff are putting their own mark on Mozart’s timeless opera buffa The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) whether it is from the original 18th-century-inspired costume designs, the simple and elegant scenic designs or the polished presentation of Mozart’s comedic ensemble scenes. The Marriage of Figaro runs from February 10-13 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater on the University of Cincinnati campus.

CCM News