CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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CCM Presents Contemporary American Masterpiece ‘El Niño’ in Concert This Sunday, March 2

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This Sunday, March 2, CCM’s American Voices Concert Series proudly presents John Adams’ El Niño in concert.

According to the Wall Street Journal this stunning oratorio, “capture[s] the intimacy, mystery and apocalyptic nature of the Nativity story in a thoroughly contemporary idiom, fusing [Adams’] well-known minimalist style with a rich blend of text in English, Spanish, and Latin for an effect ultimately as timeless as the story itself.”

According to the New York Times, “John Adams’ celebration of the Nativity bears so many gifts that the senses stagger under the load.”

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. Tickets are on sale now.

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LISTEN: WVXU Previews CCM’s Concert Production of John Adams’ ‘El Nino’

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WVXU contributor Anne Arenstein recently spoke with CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers about our upcoming concert production of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ American oratorio El Niño.

You can listen to audio of the full interview here.

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael ManiaciEric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance.

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CCM’s American Voices Concert Series Proudly Presents John Adams’ ‘El Niño’ on March 2

"Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa'Ti Xicana" painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

“Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa’Ti Xicana” painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts.

“John Adams’ El Niño is a joyous composition,” says Rivers. The text of El Niño retells the traditional biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Although this composition is about a specific event, the true subject is larger and widely relate-able: the inexhaustible miracle of birth. “The opening movement of El Niño pulsates with repetitive, engaging rhythms,” Rivers explains. “The strong rhythmic drive of the opening sets the stage for the unfolding of the work.”

A piece told in three languages, El Niño was originally a co-commission by four major arts organizations: the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center in New York City and the Barbican Center in London. It was created to be performed as either an oratorio or a staged production. CCM will be presenting the work as an oratorio.

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Discussing ‘The Damnation of Faust’s Visuals with CCM E-Media’s Raul Barcelona

CCM Assistant Professor of Electonic Media Raul Barcelona.

CCM Assistant Professor of Electonic Media Raul Barcelona.

This Saturday, CCM presents a unique multimedia production of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust. CCM E-Media faculty member Raul Barcelona recently discussed his work on the project with CCM Public Information Assistant and Arts Administration student Lillian Matchett.

Lillian Matchett: Could you give me a little background about your work at CCM?

Raul Barcelona: I’ve been here now for almost two years. My role here is Assistant Professor of Electronic Media, and I specifically teach new media and video production classes. My main focus is film making, but in the past I have also worked as a web designer and graphics designer, so I am also teaching some of those new media courses as well.

LM: Could you tell me a little about how you originally got involved with the production of The Damnation of Faust?

RB: Earl Rivers [CCM’s Director of Choral Studies and conductor] approached me to see if I would be interested in developing some visuals for the performance. He had this idea that it’s a work that is very cinematic in nature, even just by itself, and he thought that it would be a good opportunity to collaborate so that the music is accompanied with visuals.

LM: What was your original inspiration for the visuals we’ll see on Saturday?

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LISTEN: CCM’s ‘The Damnation of Faust’ Featured on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati

Robyn Carey-Allgeyer discussed the upcoming multimedia production of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust with CCM’s Earl Rivers on the latest edition of WVXU’s Around Cincinnati.

You can listen to the full interview here. Performance information for The Damnation of Faust is available after the jump!

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CCM Presents Romantic Dramatic Legend ‘The Damnation of Faust’

Footage by Raul Barcelona.

CCM’s Chamber Choir, Chorale, Philharmonia Orchestra and Cincinnati Children’s Choir combine for an unforgettable performance of the grand and romantic The Damnation of Faust. Hector Berlioz’s imaginative work will be presented at Corbett Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, featuring cinematic visual elements that are the result of collaboration with CCM’s Division of Electronic Media.

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