Talya Lieberman in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Hansel and Gretel.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Artist Diploma Student Talya Lieberman Wins Outstanding Performance Award at 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

We are happy to report that soprano Talya Lieberman, an Artist Diploma candidate in CCM’s Opera program, won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, this year’s competition was held at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music on April 18. Named in honor of Weill’s musical assistant on Broadway, the Lys Symonette Award comes with a cash prize of $3,500.

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. The judges of this year’s competition were Rebecca Luker, James Holmes and Theodore S. Chapin. You can view a full list of this year’s competition winners by visiting www.kwf.org/previous-winners.

Lieberman is the latest in a long line of CCM-trained singers to take home top honors at the Lotte Lenya Competition. 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.

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

A soprano, Lieberman will be singing Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist this coming summer. She has been invited to make her recital debut with the San Francisco Opera Center as part of their Schwabacher Debut Recital series this spring. She was most recently seen performing Gretel in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

This past summer she sang the title role in Handel’s Semele as part of the Schwabacher Concert Series (Merola Opera Program). Highlights from 2013-14 include performing selections from Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auverge” with the CCM Philharmonia, as well as performing David del Tredici’s “Haddock’s Eyes” with CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. She won the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition (Columbus Opera, 2014) and Alida Vane International Voice Competition (2013) in Latvia, where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship for the 2012-13 school year.

Lieberman made her New York City debut prior to departing for Latvia, singing in concert with Schubert & Co. In the summer of 2012 she participated in the voice program at the Chautauqua School of Music, where she was featured in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” with the cello studio.

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 Award and Italo Tajo Award, respectively—at CCM’s annual Opera Scholarship Competition.

Lieberman has lived a few lives before coming to opera full-time; she worked on sleep apnea research as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, served as program coordinator for the El Sistema inspired program Play On, Philly!, and had a short stint as a singer-songwriter. She is an avid student of contact improvisation and various forms of meditation. She loves reading, writing, editing, working with children, teaching and being an aunt.

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CCM Voice Student Andrew G. Manea Named Albert Rees Davis Scholar by the Singers’ Club of Cleveland

CCM graduate student Andrew Manea.

CCM graduate student Andrew Manea.

Late last year, CCM master of music in voice candidate Andrew G. Manea was named one of three Albert Rees Davis Scholars in the S. Livingston Mather Scholarship Competition sponsored by the Singers’ Club of Cleveland. A previous Albert Rees Davis Scholar, Manea received a $1,250 cash award.

Manea was one of 16 singers selected from 28 applicants to compete for five scholarships funded by the S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust, the George L. Hackett Scholarship Endowment and the Albert Rees Davis Endowment Fund, Inc. You can learn more about all of the current scholarship winners by visiting www.singersclub.org/scholarship-winners.

Founded in 1892, the Singers’ Club of Cleveland presents a repertoire of traditional men’s choral music, bold commissioned works and modern compositions. In addition, the Club undertakes challenging pieces typically reserved for professional choruses. A cross section of Greater Cleveland, the members come from varied ages and backgrounds, all sharing a love for performing outstanding vocal music.

A baritone, Manea has performed numerous opera roles at Music Academy of the West, Palacio de la Opera in A Coruña, Spain, Castleton Festival and Cleveland Institute of Music. He sang the role of Father in CCM’s production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel earlier this season.

Learn more about CCM’s remarkable students by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/students.

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CCM's Concert Orchestra.

Award-Winning Conductor and Educator Aik Khai Pung is Named Assistant Professor of Orchestral Studies at CCM

Aik Khai Pung, Assistant Professor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM.

Aik Khai Pung, Assistant Professor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Aik Khai Pung to the position of Assistant Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Orchestral StudiesPung first joined CCM’s faculty on a visiting basis in 2014. His new appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

An all-around conductor and educator, Pung is music director of the CCM Concert Orchestra, NANOWorks Opera and Café MoMus, CCM’s contemporary music ensemble.

An alumnus of CCM, Pung (MM Orchestral Conducting, 2009; DMA Orchestral Conducting, 2014) studied under Mark Gibson, Annunziata Tomaro, Xu Xin, Zhang Yi and Ulrich Nicolai. He has also worked with Gustav Meier and JoAnn Falletta. Pung holds a BA from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in addition to his degrees from CCM.

Prior to his engagement at CCM, Pung taught at Earlham College in Indiana, Akademie der Chinesische Bunte Blätter in Munich and Peking University in Beijing. He has served as head instructor of the Orchestral, Choir and Opera Conducting Workshop in Malaysia, and was a clinician for Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music Orchestra Festival in New Jersey.

On top of his passion for teaching, Pung is actively involved in music festivals around the world such as Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, S.C.), CCM Spoleto (Spoleto, Italy), Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Lucca, Italy), Georgetown Festival (Penang, Malaysia) and Luminato Festival (Toronto, Canada) where he conducts and assists opera productions as well as symphonic concerts.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Pung plays the piano, violin, Er-hu (Chinese traditional fiddle), Chinese dulcimer and viola da gamba. On top of instrumental music, he is equally involved with vocal music. He programs and performs new operas as the music director of NANOWorks Opera. Aside from the music from the Classical and Romantic eras, Pung has conducted his research on the music of Guo Wenjing, Toshio Hosokawa, Nico Muhly, John Adams, Philip Glass and young composers such as CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (MM Composition, 2009; DMA Composition, 2012), Danny Clay, Eric Knechtges, Li ShaoSheng and Marie Incontrera, among others.

Pung won second prize in the Taiwan Chinese Orchestra (TCO) International Conducting Competition (2015) and was the Special Award winner for Conducting Chinese Music at the First Hong Kong International Conducting Competition (2011).

He was the first international conducting student to be accepted to the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music, the top conservatory in China, where he was awarded outstanding student in 2005.

You can learn even more about Aik Khai Pung by clicking herePlease join us in congratulating him on his new appointment.

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Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM's Department of Voice.

Accomplished Tenor Daniel Weeks Joins CCM’s Voice Faculty

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Daniel Weeks, tenor, to the position of Associate Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Voice. Weeks’ appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM's Department of Voice.

Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Voice.

Praised for his Italianate timbre and sensitive musicianship, Daniel Weeks maintains an active performing schedule including opera, oratorio and recitals. As a concert artist, Weeks has sung with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Winter Park Bach Festival, the Bozeman Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Symphony of Mexico, the National Symphony of Costa Rica, the Xalapa Symphony (Mexico) and the National Youth Orchestra of Caracas (Venezuela). On the operatic stage, he has performed with the Florentine Opera, Kentucky Opera, Mercury Opera, Nevada Opera and in 2001 toured the US in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater.

Conductors with whom he has performed include Steuart Bedford, Christoph Campestrini, Hal France, Stefan Lano, Jane Glover, Christopher Larken, Hans Graf, Gustav Meier, Junkchi Hirokami, Vladimir Spivakov, Alessandro Siciliani, John Keenan, John Rutter, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Eduardo Müller, Gregory Vajda, Stefan Sanderling, Ari Pelto, Lyndon Woodside, Uriel Segal, Robin Stamper, Mark Gibson and Joe Mechavich. Stage directors with whom he has worked include Linda Brovsky, Michael Cavanaugh, Leonard Foglia, David Gately, Casey Stangl, Nicholas Muni, Donald Westwood and John Davies. In 2009, Weeks was honored by his alma mater, Belmont University in Nashville, TN, with their Second Annual “Encore Alumni Award” for excellence in the field of classical music.

A passionate advocate for Art Song recitals, Weeks taught the Vocal Literature seminars at the University of Louisville after joining the voice faculty in 1998. In 1999, he was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions and was also named Young Artist by the National Federation of Music Clubs. In October 1999, he made his New York recital debut with CCM Accompanist-in-Residence Donna Loewy on the Judith Raskin Memorial Concert Series. In February 2000, Weeks was the “On Wings of Song” recitalist with Loewy under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. For the next three years, he and Loewy presented recitals and school presentations for the Horne Foundation across the country.

Additionally, Weeks has collaborated with such notable pianists as Timothy Cheek, Valerie Trujillo and Douglas Fisher. Additionally, he and pianist, Naomi Oliphant have given over 150 performances throughout the US, Canada and Europe since 2002. These performances include recitals in Katowice, Poland, Brno, CZ and an appearance in Toronto, Canada, at the 2007 Collaborative Conference hosted jointly by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association, the Music Teachers National Association and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

In 2009, Weeks and Naomi Oliphant released their album Women of Firsts: A Recording of Art Songs by Lili Boulanger, Amy Beach, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Vítězslava Kaprálová on the Centaur Records label. Critically acclaimed in the US and Europe, this recording showcases art songs by women who were the first in their respective countries to achieve national and international recognition for composition. He and Dr. Oliphant recorded their second album entitled The Lieder of Franz Liszt, which is scheduled for release with Centaur Records in 2015.

You can learn even more about Daniel Weeks by visiting www.tenorweeks.com. Please join us in welcoming him to the CCM family!

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CCM presents COSÌ FAN TUTTE from April 9-12, 2015. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Così fan tutte

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series comes to a spectacular conclusion TONIGHT through Sunday, April 12, with a groovy new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this masterpiece this week ONLY. Mark Gibson conducts, with direction by Robin Guarino. Photography by Mark Lyons.

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 Così fan tutte are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/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 and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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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. 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 Announces 2015 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Five voice students were named winners of CCM’s 2015 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held Saturday, March 14, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

The annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes, and a panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

The 2015 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Jessica Faselt (Candidate – Master of Music)
From Iowa City, Iowa, studying with Amy Johnson
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Corbett Award ($15,000)
The Corbett Award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Jacob Kincaide (Candidate – Artist Diploma)
From Houston, Texas, studying with Thomas Baresel
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife, Mrs. Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Murrella Parton (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Seymour, Tenn.
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500)
This award is supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Cody Quattlebaum (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Ellicott City, MD, studying with Kenneth Shaw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000)
The Seybold-Russell Award is supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Benjamin Lee (Candidate – Master of Music)
From La Crescente, Calif., studying with Thomas Baresel
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000)
This award is sponsored by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The following student also received an award as part of the competition:

Christian Pursell (Incoming – Master of Music)
From Aptos, Calif.
Prize: Corbett Incentive Award for new Master of Music students ($2,000)
This award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The judges’ panel for CCM’s 2015 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Sheri Greenawald, Director of the San Francisco Opera Center and Artistic Director for the Merola Opera Program
  • Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera from 1983 to 2014
  • Evans Mirageas, Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera and Vice-President for Artistic Planning for the Atlanta Symphony

About CCM Opera
The Department of Opera at CCM boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Furthermore, CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series of Opera have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 non-professional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

CCM’s 2014-15 opera season concludes next month with Mozart’s beloved Così fan tutte (April 9 – 12), conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Robin Guarino. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/cosi-fan-tutte-mainstage.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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