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

CCM Slideshows: Leoš Janáček’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Come see Leoš Janáček’s fantastical opera The Cunning Little Vixen, which opens tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. and runs through Sunday as part of this year’s Mainstage Series.

Directed by Vince DeGeorge, this anthropomorphic opera explores the intimate relationship between man and nature. This production will be conducted by Mark Gibson and sung in English, with a new translation by CCM Professor Emeritus David Adams.

Learn more about the performance or view the cast list.

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.

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 Slideshows
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.

____________________

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
The Lotte Lenya Competition.

CCM Students Advance to the Final Round of the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition

We are elated to report that CCM students Talya Lieberman and Reilly Nelson have been named as finalists for the 2016 Lotte Lenya Competition. They have been selected alongside 13 other young singer/actors and will take part in the final round of the competition on Saturday, April 16.

Both Lieberman and Nelson also made strong showings in last year’s Lotte Lenya Competition. Nelson advanced to the semifinal round of the competition (along with three other CCM-trained singers), while Lieberman won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round.

Lieberman and Nelson are the latest in a long line of CCM students and alumni who have reached the final rounds of the Lotte Lenya Competition. CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theatre 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.

Selected from 31 semifinalists, this year’s finalists represent a diverse range of performers, ages 21 to 31, from across the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. All will sing repertoire from the operatic, golden age and contemporary musical stages, and of course, the music of Kurt Weill, for a chance win the top prize of $15,000.

Semifinalist judges, Tony Award-winners Jeanine Tesori and Victoria Clark, adjudicated and coached the performers. Clark, who first judged the competition in 2008, noted that “I can feel the leap in overall talent from when I last judged the semifinals.”

Kurt Weill Foundation President Kim Kowalke stated that “this year’s finalists are the largest and most diverse group in the Competition’s 19-year history, with contestants currently working on- and off-Broadway, in national touring companies, and in major regional theaters and opera companies. Many are well on their way to distinguished careers.”

The final round takes place April 16 at Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Each finalist will present a 15 minute program of four selections in the daytime round, 11:00-4:00. An evening concert, in which contestants sing only a segment of their programs, follows at 8:00. The concert concludes with the announcement of awards and prizes. Both the daytime round and evening concert are free and open to the public.

All finalists receive a minimum cash award of $1,000, with additional discretionary awards of $3,500 each, and top prizes ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. Total prizes will exceed $60,000.

Returning to judge for the tenth time, international opera legend Teresa Stratas leads the judges’ panel. The Lenya Competition remains the only vocal competition she has ever consented to adjudicate. Joining her on the jury are Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization President and former American Theater Wing Chairman Theodore S. Chapin (also returning for his tenth time), and Broadway (and Audra McDonald’s) music director, conductor and accompanist Andy Einhorn.

Past prize winners have gone on to appear on major theater, opera and concert stages around the world. Don’t miss the competition described by Opera News as “target[ing] today’s total-package talents, unearthing up-and-coming singers who are ready for their close-ups.”

About the Kurt Weill Foundation
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-50) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The Foundation administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant Program, the Kurt Weill Book Prize and the Lotte Lenya Competition, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter. Learn more by visiting www.kwf.org.

CCM student Talya Lieberman.

CCM student Talya Lieberman.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, soprano Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of Professor William McGraw.

Recently described by Opera News as “poetically compelling,” “delectably stylish” and “technically refined,” Lieberman is equally at home with operatic, art song and musical theatre repertoire. Starting in September 2016 she will be seen frequently on stage at Komische Oper Berlin, where she will be assuming the soprano position in the Opernstudio. Her upcoming performances include debuts with Cincinnati Opera and Opera Columbus, as well as the title role in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

Lieberman returned to Cincinnati this fall after completing a summer as a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where her ability to “make a point with the merest flick of a finger” (Washington Post) shined in a highly lauded run as Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She also appeared in concert with Steven Blier at Wolf Trap in a program celebrating the Broadway legacy of the Rodgers family (The Rodgers Family – A Century of Musicals).

Lieberman is a convert from the orchestra pit and started singing after receiving her master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Judith Saxton. She completed her BA at Duke University with highest distinction in linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude). She is a two-time winner of full tuition and stipend—winning the Russell-Seybold and Italo Tajo Awards, respectively—at CCM’s Opera Scholarship Competition.

CCM student Reilly Nelson. Photography by Kate Lemmon (http://www.katelphotography.com).

CCM student Reilly Nelson. Photography by Kate Lemmon (http://www.katelphotography.com).

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.

Nelson is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at CCM.

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 the renowned Tanglewood Music Festival for the summers of 2014 and 2015, performing Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 and Folk Songs by Bernard Rands.

____________________

Story by Curt Whitacre

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
'Maria Stuarda' crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

CCM’s Opera d’arte Series Presents Tragic Tale ‘Maria Stuarda,’ March 11-13

'Maria Stuarda' crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

‘Maria Stuarda’ crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

CCM’s acclaimed Opera d’arte series returns this week with a new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s tragic Maria Stuarda, which runs March 11-13 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. The opera, which showcases the talent of CCM’s undergraduate performers, features music direction by Associate Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott and stage direction by Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson. Admission to this production is free, but reservations are required through the CCM Box Office.

In this dramatic adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s play Maria Stuart, Donizetti and librettist Giuseppe Bardari tell a fictional tale of the rivalry between Queen Elizabeth of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Seeking refuge in England after her kingdom is overthrown, Mary finds herself imprisoned by her calculating cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who fears Mary’s claims to the English throne. Jealous beyond reason, Elizabeth fears the foreign queen has stolen the heart of her beloved Roberto, Earl of Leicester.

Fighting for her life, Mary implores Roberto for an audience with Elizabeth to plead her innocence. Blinded by her insecurities, Elizabeth is only further enraged by Roberto’s advocacy on Mary’s behalf. In a tragic conclusion, Elizabeth is tasked with granting or denying mercy for the defenseless Mary.

CCM Opera d'art anniversary logo.“The Department of Voice Performance has an exceptional talent pool this year,” says director Amy Johnson. “This opera was chosen to suit our students’ needs and our pedagogical goals. The production will teach our cast about bel canto style and performance practice.”

Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw serves as producer for this opera and has guided the Opera d’arte Series for many years. He is particularly excited about the program’s collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and Professor Brian Schumacher, as well as with CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production. “Our student-designed set reflects our collaborators’ expertise and standard of excellence,” he says.

Maria Stuarda is by far the most advanced project we’ve tackled to date,” says Shaw, “and it is a testament to the quality of our students that we are able to produce this opera and even double cast it with undergraduate singers.”

CCM is proud to present this classic tale of a fight for love, life and country.

Principal Cast for March 11 and 13

  • Sarah Vautour as Maria Stuarda
  • Elizabeth Gorrie as Elizabeth I
  • Stephanie Rampton as Anne Kennedy
  • John Humphrey as the Earl of Leicester*
  • Daniel Illig as Lord Cecil
  • Bernard Khalil as Talbot

Principal Cast for March 12

  • Madeline Jentsch as Maria Stuarda
  • Page Michels as Elizabeth I
  • Brianna Bragg as Anne Kennedy
  • TJ Capobianco as the Earl of Leicester*
  • Olusola Fadiran as Lord Cecil
  • Tyler Resto as Talbot

Chorus

  • Christina Bilz
  • Sophie Blatt
  • Dara Brown
  • Desiree Dawson
  • Clayton Edwards
  • Rebecca Finkelshteyn
  • Charlotte Green
  • Grant Jackson
  • Mackenzie Jacquemin
  • Vidita Kannikeswaran
  • Shannon Keegan
  • Jake Kolesar
  • Sam Krausz
  • Hayley Maloney
  • Maria Miller
  • Gregory Miller
  • Holly Reckers
  • Jared Slothower
  • Elena Villalon

* denotes masters student

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Please contact the CCM Box Office at 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.

____

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

 

CCM News
'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.
____

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
JoanoFArcImage

CCM Presents New Semi-Staged Production of Honegger’s ‘Joan of Arc at the Stake’ on Feb. 13

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies presents four exciting concerts this semester, beginning with a new semi-staged production of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. This concert will be sung in English with surtitles.

Poster for CCM's production of Honegger's 'Joan of Arc at the Stake.'Honegger’s monumental oratorio premiered in Basel, Switzerland, in May of 1938. Over the course of eleven scenes, Joan of Arc at the Stake recounts the timeless tale of 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc. Inspired by both popular and classical music trends of the 1930s, Honegger sprinkled his oratorio with flares of jazz, military fanfares, atonality and Hollywood styles.

CCM’s semi-staged concert production of this imposing work is a massive undertaking, requiring the combined forces of the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Chorale, along with the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. The production also features soloists from CCM’s voice and dramatic performance programs, along with technical support from the Lighting Design and Technology department, all of which allows Joan’s brief life to unfold in a truly dynamic fashion on stage.

CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts this performance. “The drama takes place during Joan’s last minutes on the stake, with flashbacks to her younger days and her trial. Honegger entitled his work a dramatic oratorio, adding speaking roles and actors,” he says. “Joan’s life unfolds in cinematic scenes of heavenly visions, conquests, her trial and her eventual fate at the stake.”

Artist Diploma candidate Marcus Shields provides the stage direction for this production, explaining, “In a typical concert presentation of Joan of Arc at the Stake, the soloists would be using music with music stands. For our production, all of the solo parts are going to be memorized, allowing us to realize Joan’s story in three dimensional space. This allows us to shift the focus to real characters forging real relationships, detached from a music stand.”

This production’s feature soloists include soprano Tara Morrow as St. Catherine, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Narum as St. Marguerite and soprano Ann Toomey as the Virgin, along with tenor Robert Stahley and bass-baritone Junbo Zhou.

Joan of Arc at the Stake‘s two primary roles are actually spoken roles, so Rivers and Shields have also enlisted two actors from CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance: Laura McCarthy as Joan and Landon Hawkins as Brother Dominique.

The last documented performance of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake in Cincinnati was at the May Festival in 1952, making CCM’s new production a very rare treat.

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies also presents three other exciting concerts this spring. On Wednesday, March 30, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers perform Daniel Elder’s The Brightest Heaven and a variety of other celebrated masterpieces.

On Sunday, April 17, the Jazz and Choral Departments share the stage in a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass. Prepare to be dazzled by this fusion of jazz and gospel.

Finally, the Department of Choral Studies concludes this year’s series with a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This concert features talent from CCM’s Drama Department, along with premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio, and Jake Runestad.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

____________________

2016 SPRING CHORAL SERIES

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
HONEGGER’S JOAN OF ARC AT THE STAKE AND VERDI’S OVERTURE FROM GIOVANNA D’ARCO
CCM Philharmonia, Chamber Choir and Chorale; UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses; and Cincinnati Children’s Choir Earl Rivers, conductor

Marcus Shields, stage director
CCM showcases the American university premiere of a staged concert production of Arthur Honegger’s 1938 Joan of Arc at the Stake (Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), featuring Joan of Arc in the final moments of her life, with flashbacks to her trial and younger days. Actors, soloists, choristers and children play and sing multifaceted roles in Honegger’s borderline opera and oratorio of classical, popular and jazz styles. This program also features the Overture to Verdi’s take on the Joan of Arc story: 1845’s Giovanna d’Arco.
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Performance Sponsor: Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Foundation

____

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30
UC MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CHORUSES
Christopher Albanese and Alex Sutton, conductors
Comprised of students from all 14 UC colleges, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers present a variety of classical, popular, folk and jazz works. The program will include a newly commissioned work from Daniel Elder titled The Brightest Heaven (with texts from Shakespeare’s Henry V) and highlights from the UC Choruses Spring Break Tour to Washington, D.C., featuring masterpieces by Bernstein, Dickau, Barber, Miller, Belen, Gibbs, Lang, Mendelssohn, Pergolesi, DeCormier, Nelson, Burchard, Sperry and Thompson.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE

____

3 p.m. Sunday, April 17
WYNTON MARSALIS’ ABYSSINIAN MASS: A GOSPEL CELEBRATION
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Chorale and Central State University Gospel Choir
Scott Belck, Brett Scott and Jeremy Winston, directors
Featuring guest artist Damien Sneed, conductor
Commissioned to celebrate the 2008 bicentennial of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, Marsalis’ Mass is a landmark collaboration of jazz, gospel, instrumentals and vocals with “hand-clappin’” and “tambourine-slappin’,” reflecting the form of the African American church service.
Location: Zion Baptist Church, 630 Glenwood Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artists.

____

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
MUSIC OF THE BARD IV – 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF SHAKESPEARE
CCM Chamber Choir and CCM Drama Department
CCM’s Choral Department culminates its two-year Shakespeare Quadricentennial, honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing (April 23, 1616). The Chamber Choir will perform music on Shakespeare’s texts with scenes presented by actors from CCM’s Drama Department. Featured are premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church, Michigan and Observatory Avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

_______________________________

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel

Choral Studies Sponsors: Jan Rogers; Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation

CCM News