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.

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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

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.

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Story by Curt Whitacre

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
Cherished by music-lovers since its 1843 premiere, DON PASQUALE will delight audiences of all ages. Mark Gibson conducts this beloved opera buffa, with stage direction by Omer Ben-Seadia. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Announces 2016 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Five voice students were named winners of CCM’s 2016 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held on Saturday, March 12, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

Since its inauguration in 1976, 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 2016 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Kayleigh Decker (first year Master of Music student)
From Woodstock, Md., studying with William McGraw
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.

Christian Pursell (first year Master of Music student)
From Aptos, Calif., 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.

Erica Intilangelo (second year Master of Music student)
From Fairfield, Conn., studying with William McGraw
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.

Murrella Parton (first year Master of Music student)
From Seymour, Tenn., studying with William McGraw
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.

Grace Newberry (first year Master of Music student)
From San Rafael, Calif., studying with William McGraw
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:

Alexandra Schoeny (incoming Doctor of Musical Arts student)
From Cincinnati, Ohio
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 2016 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Michael Heaston, Director of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and Advisor to the Artistic Director at Washington National Opera and Associate Artistic Director of Glimmerglass Festival
  • Peter Kazaras, Professor of Music and Director of Opera at UCLA Herb Albert School of Music
    Stage Director
  • Viswa Subbaraman, Artistic and Music Director of the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee

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. As recently reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, four singers with ties to CCM advanced to the semi-final round of this year’s Met Auditions.

In addition, 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 2015-16 opera season concludes next month with Janáček’s classic The Cunning Little Vixen (April 8 – 10), conducted by Mark Gibson with stage direction by Vince DeGeorge. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/cunning-little-vixen.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News Student Salutes
CCM Village panoramic photo; Winter of 2015. Photography by Curt Whitacre.

Preview the Artistic Tracks and Silent Auction Items from CCM’s Moveable Feast!

Cincinnati’s favorite fundraiser returns this Friday as CCM proudly presents its annual Moveable Feast! Today, we are happy to provide you with a sneak peek of this year’s Artistic Tracks, along with a first look at the one-of-a-kind experiences you can bid on during Moveable Feast’s Silent Auction.

Artistic Tracks
Back by popular demand, the Friends of CCM have created a series of Artistic Tracks to help guide you to the programs and performances that best match your interests! Newcomers and seasoned veterans alike can enjoy these pre-planned pathways through CCM Village. Preview this year’s Artistic Tracks below!

Artistic Tracks for CCM's 2016 Moveable Feast.

Artistic Tracks for CCM’s 2016 Moveable Feast.

  • Classical: From opera arias to the Ariel Quartet, sample the best in classical music.
  • Newbie: Is this your first Feast? Don’t miss these audience favorites.
  • Theatre: Do you have a flair for the dramatic? Interested in show tunes? Step this way.
  • Party People: Looking for high energy, interactive arts? Don’t miss this party.
  • Best Kept Secret: Go a bit off the beaten path to check out some over-looked gems.
  • Parents Sampler: A behind-the-scenes look at CCM’s prep programs and facilities.
  • Create Your Own: Mix and match from the full list of performances to create a Feast of your own!

Silent Auction
Interested in a private tour of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts with CCM Dean Peter Landgren? Want CCM students to perform at your house party or compose a piece of music just for you? Browse and bid on a variety of unique experiences with CCM students and faculty members, along with invitations to exclusive events with Dean Landgren, during Moveable Feast’s Silent Auction!

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Moveable Feast’s silent auction will be open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22. You do not have to be present at Moveable Feast in order to participate.

Bidding from your phone? Download the Handbid app before arriving at Moveable Feast! The app is free and no credit card information is needed. Search “Handbid” in the app store.

Bidding from your computer? Register and start bidding by visiting www.handbid.com/auctions/moveable-feast-2016.

Proceeds will provide support for student scholarship, travel opportunities and special collaborative projects at CCM.

Event Time
6:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22

Location
CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to “Moveable Feast” are moving fast, so don’t delay – get yours before they’re gone and experience an unforgettable evening of artistic and culinary delights! Tickets can be purchased online at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/MoveableFeast2016 or over the telephone at 513-556-2100.

  • Host Tickets: $125 (ticket price includes valet parking)
  • Friends of CCM Member Tickets: $50
  • General Public Tickets: $75 (ticket price includes a Friends of CCM Membership)
  • Young Professional (40 and under) Tickets: $35
  • CCM Alumni Tickets: $35

Seating is limited. Event proceeds raised by the Friends of CCM, a group of 600 volunteers and an active board, support student scholarships for CCM’s “stars of tomorrow.”

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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. 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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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News
Opera Fusion Fall 2015: Shalimar the Clown.

CCM, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Stream Excerpts from ‘Shalimar the Clown’ on Dec. 8

CCM and Cincinnati Opera awarded the fall 2015 Opera Fusion: New Works residency to the new American opera Shalimar the Clown, which will have its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis on June 11, 2016. Composed by Jack Perla to a libretto by Rajiv Joseph, and adapted from the Salman Rushdie novel, the opera was workshopped from Oct. 7 -17, with a free public performance of excerpts on Oct. 17 at the Transept in Over-the-Rhine. The workshop was directed by James Robinson, artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, who will also direct the mainstage premiere, and conducted by Roberto Kalb, the resident assistant conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

On Tuesday, December 8, a recording of that live performance will stream online, one time only, at 3 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Central. To watch, visit livestream.com/cincinnatiopera/ShalimartheClown.

Artists featured in the workshop performance include instrumentalists Javad Butah (tabla) and Hans Utter (sitar), and singers Brandon Scott Russell, Andrea Wells, Tyler Alessi, Christian Pursell, Chelsea Melamed, Ann Toomey, Kayleigh Decker, Blake Lampton, Vernon Hartman, Robert Stahley and Ben Lee.

About Shalimar the Clown
Shalimar the Clown tells the story of Shalimar and his beloved Boonyi, who have grown up together in a pastoral Kashmiri village, making people laugh as acrobats and dancers in a traditional folk theater. Though one is Muslim and one is Hindu, they fall in love—and despite all odds, their village embraces their marriage. But when a new American ambassador sees Boonyi dance, dark clouds gather. The promise of a new life tears their love apart and sends Shalimar down a path of revenge.

About Opera Fusion: New Works
Opera Fusion: New Works, a unique collaboration between Cincinnati Opera and CCM’s Department of Opera, was created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas. The program offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati, utilizing the talent, personnel, and facilities of both organizations. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a public performance. The program is led by co-artistic directors Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at CCM. Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works awarded its first workshop to composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in support of their new opera Doubt, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in January 2013. In 2012, Opera Fusion: New Works provided workshops for Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2013; and Morning Star, by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist William M. Hoffman, which premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2015. In 2013, the residency went to Fellow Travelers, by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce, which will have its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera on June 17, 2016. In 2014, the program invited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally to workshop Great Scott, which premiered at The Dallas Opera on October 30, 2015. For the final workshop of the original six-workshop grant, the residency was awarded to Meet John Doe, with music and libretto by the late Daniel Catán. The first workshop of the second six-opera grant cycle was given in October 2015 to Shalimar the Clown.

About composer Jack Perla
Composer and pianist Jack Perla is active in opera, jazz, chamber, and symphonic music. His operas and instrumental compositions have been widely performed, and he has performed in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, forging a reputation for his unique cross-fertilization of jazz and classical music. Perla has been commissioned by Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Houston Grand Opera, and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. He is also a recipient of the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Composers Award, as well as awards, support, and recognition from the Argosy Fund for New Music, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and numerous other organizations. Called “a gripping piece of musical theater,” An American Dream, Perla’s fifth work for a major U.S. company, received its premiere with Seattle Opera in August 2015. Enormous Changes, Perla’s third jazz recording, was recently released on Origin Records, and Pretty Boy, a new disc of chamber and vocal music, is slated for release this winter. Perla grew up in Brooklyn and lived in New York City while attending NYU and the Manhattan School of Music. He earned his D.M.A. in composition from the Yale School of Music, and lives and works in San Francisco.

About librettist Rajiv Joseph
Rajiv Joseph is the author of the Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. Joseph’s other plays include Guards at the TajThe North PoolGruesome Playground InjuriesAnimals Out of PaperMr. Wolf, and The Lake Effect. Joseph has written for television, including seasons 3 and 4 of the award-winning Showtime series Nurse Jackie. He also has written for film, and is the co-writer of the 2014 Lionsgate feature Draft Day and the upcoming release, Army of One. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn.

About stage director James Robinson
James Robinson is the artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he has directed the world premieres of Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 in addition to John Adams’s Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. His work has been seen throughout the world at such companies as the Wexford Festival, the Royal Swedish Opera, Opera Australia, Canadian Opera Company, the London Symphony, Welsh National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has directed several productions for the Santa Fe Opera, including the American premiere of Huang Ruo’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and will return in 2016 for Vanessa. Other future projects include Nixon in China for Houston Grand Opera, The Elixir of Love for the Canadian Opera Company, and the world premiere of Shalimar the Clown for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Opera Fusion: New Works is sponsored by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 

CCM News
Illustration by Edward Sorel, courtesy of bolcomandmorris.com.

CCM Opera Presents the Cabaret Songs of William Bolcom, Oct. 23 – 25

From Oct. 23 – 25, CCM’s Department of Opera will present the cabaret songs of acclaimed American composer and pianist William Bolcom in a series of special performances in CCM’s intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater. Cincinnati audiences will have a rare opportunity to hear all of the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer’s cabaret songs in one evening during this Studio Series production.

Admission to William Bolcom: Cabaret Songs is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, Oct. 19.

Illustration by Edward Sorel, courtesy of bolcomandmorris.com.Better known for his work on the operas McTeague and A View from the Bridge, Bolcom and his longtime collaborator/lyricist Arnold Weinstein wrote 29 cabaret songs from 1963 to 1996.

Rarely performed in one night, CCM Opera has combined these witty, thought-provoking and frequently hilarious songs into a showcase of one of the greatest living composers of our time.

CCM Associate Professor of Music in Opera/Voice Coaching Lydia Brown  is the music director for this Studio Series production. A personal friend of Bolcom’s, Brown chose CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater as the setting for this show because of the intimacy of the music.

“These songs are a real hybrid of concert song and musical theatre,” she explains. “Like traditional cabaret, these songs are text-centered so I wanted a space where the audience would be able to feel the emotion. In a space like CCM’s Studio Theater, the choices about each word become really important.”

Bolcom’s compositions are deftly set to Weinstein’s lyrics. In 2003, New York Times Chief Music Critic Anthony Tommasini observed, “In these works Mr. Bolcom always finds apt, smart and evocative music to convey the shifting moods and often elaborate predicaments in Mr. Weinstein’s lyrics.”

Brown agrees with Tommasini’s assessment. “Bolcom instinctively knew how to set Arnold’s words,” she says. “ When you hear these songs, you can’t imagine any other music for them.”

A Professor Emeritus of Composition at University of Michigan, Bolcom is in residence at CCM for the week prior to the show to extensively coach the cast and attend opening night. In addition, he will give two master classes, one to voice students and the other to the composition department.

With free admission and limited seating, CCM’s Studio Series productions remain one of the hottest tickets in town. Learn more about how secure your tickets by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/did-you-know/how-to-studio-series.

This production contains mature subject matter.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, October 23
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, October 24
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, October 25

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, Oct. 19. 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

CCM News
Opera Fusion Fall 2015: Shalimar the Clown.

Opera Fusion: New Works Grant Renewed by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

 

Cincinnati Opera and CCM are pleased to announce that their groundbreaking joint program, Opera Fusion: New Works, has been renewed by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a gift of $300,000, which will fund another six workshops over the next three years.

Thanks to a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works was created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas. The program offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati, utilizing the talent, personnel, and facilities of both organizations. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a public performance. The program is led by co-artistic directors Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at CCM.

“We are thrilled that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recognized the impact and importance of this collaboration,” said Patricia K. Beggs, The Harry Fath General Director & CEO of Cincinnati Opera. “The mainstage success of the operas that have come through Opera Fusion: New Works is a testament to the invaluable workshop opportunity the program offers to a new piece.”

“Opera Fusion: New Works provides CCM’s students with something truly remarkable: an opportunity to work directly with world-class artists on the development of new creative works,” said Peter Landgren, the Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music and Dean at CCM. “This workshopping process allows our students to exercise a very different set of artistic and pedagogical muscles, when compared to the process of learning standard repertoire. These life-changing opportunities would not be possible without The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s generous support of experiential learning at CCM, and we could not have a better partner in this endeavor than Cincinnati Opera.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the trust in and recognition of our work with Opera Fusion: New Works over the past three years that is expressed through this generous grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,” said Marcus Küchle, co-artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works. “These are exciting times for the development of new opera and we are thrilled to continue to play a meaningful role.”

In 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works awarded its first workshop to composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in support of their new opera Doubt, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in January 2013. In 2012, Opera Fusion: New Works provided workshops for Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2013; and Morning Star, by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist William M. Hoffman, which premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2015. In 2013, the residency went to Fellow Travelers, by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce, which will have its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera on June 17, 2016. In 2014, the program invited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally to workshop Great Scott, which will premiere at The Dallas Opera on October 30, 2015. For the final workshop of the original six-workshop grant, the residency was awarded to Meet John Doe, with music and libretto by the late Daniel Catán.

“Over the past three years, Opera Fusion: New Works has had a seismic effect on the current art of opera, developing six world premieres, all operas with vital themes for today’s audiences,” said co-artistic director Robin Guarino. “We kick off the next three years and the renewal of our grant with an opera by an innovative composer and librettist team.”

'Shalimar the Clown' is adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie.

‘Shalimar the Clown’ is adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie.

The first opera to benefit from the new cycle of workshops will be Shalimar the Clown, which will receive a residency in Cincinnati from October 7 to 17, 2015. The new opera features music by Jack Perla and a libretto by Rajiv Joseph, adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie.

The opera will have its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis on June 11, 2016. The workshop will be directed by James Robinson, artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, who will also direct the mainstage premiere, and will be conducted by Roberto Kalb, the resident assistant conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. This is the second time that Opera Fusion: New Works has awarded a workshop to an opera with an upcoming premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; the first was the aforementioned Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer.

The 10-day workshop will culminate in a free public reading of excerpts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the newly-opened Over-the-Rhine event space The Transept, 1205 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Tickets are available now through the Cincinnati Opera box office; call 513-241-2742 to reserve. The performance will stream on the Cincinnati Opera website at cincinnatiopera.org.

“I’ve been hoping to work with Robin, Marcus, and Opera Fusion: New Works for some time, and I couldn’t ask for better than to do so with Shalimar the Clown,” said composer Jack Perla. “This is a tremendous opportunity to test and fine-tune this opera stem to stern—to assess its pacing, vocal writing, and dramatic development, well in advance of production and the work’s premiere. Director Jim Robinson, librettist Rajiv Joseph, and the Opera Fusion: New Works team all together in one place, focused on that effort? I couldn’t ask for a better situation for developing this ambitious piece.”

“Workshops such as these are essential for the development of new works such as Shalimar,” said librettist Rajiv Joseph. “It’s one thing to sit in one’s room and write out a bunch of sentences and lyrics, hoping they’re perfect. But, for me at least, it’s not until I can hear them read—and sung—aloud in a room that I have any idea whether what I’ve done is working. Usually it’s not, and so the real work begins.”

About Shalimar the Clown
Shalimar the Clown tells the story of Shalimar and his beloved Boonyi, who have grown up together in a pastoral Kashmiri village, making people laugh as acrobats and dancers in a traditional folk theater. Though one is Muslim and one is Hindu, they fall in love—and despite all odds, their village embraces their marriage. But when a new American ambassador sees Boonyi dance, dark clouds gather. The promise of a new life tears their love apart and sends Shalimar down a path of revenge.

About composer Jack Perla
Composer and pianist Jack Perla is active in opera, jazz, chamber, and symphonic music. His operas and instrumental compositions have been widely performed, and he has performed in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, forging a reputation for his unique cross-fertilization of jazz and classical music. Perla has been commissioned by Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Houston Grand Opera, and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. He is also a recipient of the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Composers Award, as well as awards, support, and recognition from the Argosy Fund for New Music, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and numerous other organizations. Called “a gripping piece of musical theater,” An American Dream, Perla’s fifth work for a major U.S. company, received its premiere with Seattle Opera in August 2015. Enormous Changes, Perla’s third jazz recording, was recently released on Origin Records, and Pretty Boy, a new disc of chamber and vocal music, is slated for release this winter. Perla grew up in Brooklyn and lived in New York City while attending NYU and the Manhattan School of Music. He earned his D.M.A. in composition from the Yale School of Music, and lives and works in San Francisco.

About librettist Rajiv Joseph
Rajiv Joseph is the author of the Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. Joseph’s other plays include Guards at the TajThe North PoolGruesome Playground InjuriesAnimals Out of PaperMr. Wolf, and The Lake Effect. Joseph has written for television, including seasons 3 and 4 of the award-winning Showtime series Nurse Jackie. He also has written for film, and is the co-writer of the 2014 Lionsgate feature Draft Day and the upcoming release, Army of One. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn.

About stage director James Robinson
James Robinson is the artistic director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he has directed the world premieres of Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 in addition to John Adams’s Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. His work has been seen throughout the world at such companies as the Wexford Festival, the Royal Swedish Opera, Opera Australia, Canadian Opera Company, the London Symphony, Welsh National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has directed several productions for the Santa Fe Opera, including the American premiere of Huang Ruo’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and will return in 2016 for Vanessa. Other future projects include Nixon in China for Houston Grand Opera, The Elixir of Love for the Canadian Opera Company, and the world premiere of Shalimar the Clown for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Opera Fusion: New Works is sponsored by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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