CCM Students and Alumnae Advance to Semifinals of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

We are delighted to report that four current and former CCM students have advanced to the semifinal round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition! Those include Artist Diploma candidate Jasmine Habersham (also MM Voice, 2013), Artist Diploma candidate Talya Lieberman, first-year DMA candidate Reilly Nelson (also MM Voice, 2014) and alumna Christine Cornish Smith (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013).

This impressive showing gives CCM more semi-finalists than any other school in the 2015 competition!

Habersham, Lieberman, Nelson and Smith will join 24 other singer-actors from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to compete in the Lotte Lenya Competition Semifinals on March 13 and 14 in New York City.

A program of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music 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.

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.

The competition grants over $50,000 in prizes each year, and previous winners have gone on to forge prominent careers in opera houses and on Broadway. More information can be found at www.kwf.org/LLC.

About Jasmine Habersham
Jasmine Habersham returns to the Glimmerglass Festival this summer as Papagena in The Magic Flute. A member of the Glimmerglass Young Artist program in 2014, she also received the Central City Opera Guild Young Artist Award the previous year. The soprano holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from CCCM where she has appeared as Norina in Don Pasquale, Mrs. Julian in Owen Wingrave and Pearl in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star. The Georgian is a graduate of Shorter University with a Bachelor of Music degree and is currently working toward her Artist Diploma at CCM.

About Talya Lieberman
An alumna of San Francisco’s 2014 Merola Opera Program, Talya Lieberman returns this spring to the San Francisco Opera Center to make her debut as part of the Schwabacher Debut Recital series. This summer she will perform Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at Wolf Trap Opera. While pursuing her Artist Diploma at CCM, the Italo Tajo Award recipient performed Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. She anticipates her first professional opera engagement in 2016 when she will perform Musetta in La bohème at Opera Columbus. In addition to her vocal studies, Lieberman completed a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Highest Distinction in Linguistics at Duke University. Born in New York, Talya now calls Ohio home.

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. 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 Tanglewood in summers 2013 and 2014, performing Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 and Folk Songs by Bernard Rands.

About Christine Cornish Smith
A graduate of CCM with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Theater, Christine performed Polly Peachum in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Threepenny Opera, which was part of a year-long Kurt Weill Festival on campus. She also performed the Stepmother and covered the Witch in Into the Woods, and appeared in Oklahoma! and Anything Goes. Upon graduation, she performed Reuben’s Wife in the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She is currently performing in Guys and Dolls at the Goodspeed Opera House (CT). The soprano made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in the Ensemble of Oklahoma! In her native Texas, she made her Lyric Stage debut as Cutie in Fiorello! and performed as a Hot Box Girl in Guys and Dolls at Water Tower Theatre. She has also performed as principal dancer with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet. She was a recipient of an Emerging Talent Award in the 2014 Lotte Lenya Competition.

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CCM Dance Student Choreographer's Showcase rehearsal photos by Adam Zeek.

CCM’s Department of Dance Presents Nine Student-Created Original Works March 11-14

Photography by Mark Lyons.

Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Department of Dance proudly presents its annual Dance Student Choreographers’ Showcase from March 11 – 14 in UC’s intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater. Dance Department faculty members Deirdre Carberry and Andre Megerdichian direct this exciting production. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

This year’s production will feature pieces by eight undergraduate women: Emily Chu, Katie Norton-Bliss, Scarlett Rustemeyer, Christine Settembrino and Katelyn Somers, along with a work by guest choreographer Tian Tian.

Senior Katie Norton-Bliss will debut her 10-minute piece,“Po$t $omething.” Her  piece was inspired by the similarities between trends found in pop culture and in dance. “Trends run the pop culture world, and often they are updates of older styles… Trends come and go in the dance world, but we don’t usually refer to them as trend. Instead, we consider them to be genres of dance. For example, there was modern dance followed by post modern dance. This makes it harder and harder for styles of choreography to be defined,” she explains.

Norton-Bliss describes her choreographic style as an amalgamation of many different influences. Her movements are inspired by “ballet, contemporary ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop, and even current dance trends like the Schmoney dance or classics like the moon walk.” She also generates a good deal of her choreography through improvisation. Her piece will feature three different songs: “Gooo” by TNGHT, “Dawn in Luxor” by Shabbaz Palaces and a remix of “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. Additionally, she will be mixing in audio from a YouTube video called “Making Dances: Seven Post Modern Choreographers.”

Senior Emily Chu discusses her 13-year-old sister as inspiration for her currently untitled piece. Chu says she has always tried to be a role model for her sister and has made sure that her sister is exposed to a variety of strong women. And “it’s worked,” says Chu. “She dressed up as Amelia Erhart for Halloween.” Other women that will be represented in Chu’s choreography include Joan of Arc and Gertrude Etterly, the first woman to swim the English channel.

Chu’s approximately 10-minute long contemporary ballet piece will feature eight talented female dancers, not on pointe. They will perform to a mix of strings and an electronic song called “See the Sea Red” by Vitalic.

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All of the pieces this year represent a huge diversity of styles and are a compliment to the broad range of experiences and teachings available to CCM’s dance students.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 11
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 13
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to the Dance Student Choreographer’s Showcase is free, but reservations are required. Please 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: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

The Dance Department gratefully acknowledges the support of the Corbett Foundation at CCM.

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CityBeat Best of Cincinnati 2015 Poster.

Vote for CCM in CityBeat’s Annual “Best of Cincinnati” Readers Survey

CityBeat Best of Cincinnati graphic.

Click here to place your vote!

The polls are currently open for CityBeat’s 19th Annual Best of Cincinnati® Readers Survey and we are delighted to report that CCM has been nominated in several areas!

Within the Arts & Nightlife category, CCM has been nominated as Best Local Theatre Company.

Our string quartet-in-residence – the Ariel Quartet – has been nominated in for Best Local Classical Music Group.

Another ensemble-in-residence at CCM – the Cincinnati Children’s Choir – is up for Best Local Vocal Arts Group.

Several CCM faculty members have also received nods for Best Local Musician.

Within the Urban Life category, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has also been nominated as Best College/University.

Your votes count! Show your support for all of CCM’s Best of Cincinnati® nominees by visiting http://survey-citybeat.wehaaserver.com/survey-120-best-of-cincinnati-2015.html and casting your ballot today!

Voting ends at midnight on Tuesday Feb. 10. Look for results in the April 1 issue of CityBeat!

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MoveableFeast2013

Thanks to YOU For Making This Year’s MOVEABLE FEAST So Successful!

CCM's Moveable Feast benefit event returns on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

CCM’s Moveable Feast benefit event returns on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

To the sponsors, partners, Friends of CCM Members, volunteers, faculty members, student artists, staff, event attendees and everyone else responsible for making this year’s Moveable Feast such an overwhelming success: THANK YOU!

  • Check out Cincinnati Refined‘s coverage of the evening here.
  • Check out the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s coverage of the evening here.
  • Check out the News Record‘s coverage of the evening here.

It was a night to remember – thank you for sharing it with us!

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Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s ‘Legally Blonde’ Receives Rave Reviews

Photography by Mark Lyons.The critics are praising CCM’s current production of Legally Blonde – The Musical, which plays through a matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 2!

In his review for the Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard writes, “Legally Blonde – The Musical is an energetic, satisfying show and CCM has brought all of the elements together continuing their reputation as one of the best musical theatre programs in the country.” Sheppard singles out the performance of senior Lawson Young (one of two CCM students playing Elle Woods in this double-cast production), going so far as to say, “Of the five [different] productions I’ve seen, she’s by far the best and that includes the national tour and the [Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera] last summer.”

David Lyman has similar praise for the production and for senior Sarah Bishop in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “What’s really refreshing about this production,” he observes, “is that, as Elle, Sarah Bishop gives a measure of humanity that we rarely get to see. We see Elle develop a conscience and compassion and – heaven forbid – come to love a man to whom she never would have given the time of day at the outset of the show.”

The News Record‘s review praised the entire company, with Aidan Smith writing, “The humor offered by every cast member made this musical stand out, and it showed in the audience’s constant giggling.”

“Featuring strong performances, fun choreography, and a superb set design, this mounting is a true crowd pleaser,” Scott Cain observes in his review for Talkin’ Broadway.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher calls CCM’s production, “a very fun and entertaining show. Excellent work.”

Rick Pender profiles Legally Blonde director/choreographer and CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala in his “Curtain Call” column for Cincinnati CityBeat, observing that “the evidence of her success is currently onstage at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.”

You have five more chances to catch this all-singing, all-dancing production… and tickets are still available!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Customizable subscription packages are also available. 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/legally-blonde-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

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Legally Blonde: The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

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Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

UC Celebrates the Broadcast Premiere of the Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series with a MainStreet Cinema Viewing Party on Oct. 16

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

The University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will be coming to television sets nationwide this fall courtesy of a new broadcast agreement with Universal Sports Network. This week, the cable network will air the first of three installments of the action-packed documentary series with the premiere of the 2012 Gold Rush Expedition Race film.

To celebrate the occasion, UC will host a viewing party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 16, in the MainStreet Cinema of the Tangeman University Center. This screening is free and open to the general public.

The Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary films chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. Over the course of four days, teams face merciless heat and sleepless nights while trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking amidst the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) and the winning team receives an entry into the ARWS World Championship.

Each film has been produced by a team of UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Working under the guidance of professional television director/producer and CCM Electronic Media (E-Media) alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001) and E-Media Professor Kevin Burke, these students shot, edited, scripted and produced the film on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Both Leitten and Burke advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Earlier this month, GearJunkie.com hailed the Gold Rush Expedition Race project as “undoubtedly one of the most amazing educational initiatives we’ve seen.”

Learn more about the Gold Rush Expedition Race project by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

All broadcast times Eastern and subject to change. Learn more about the Universal Sports Network by visiting http://universalsports.com.

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CCM Students and Alumni Featured in NANOWorks’ Season Closing Productions June 27 – 29

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley, co-founder of NANOWorks.

We are delighted to report that North American New Opera Workshop’s (NANOWorks) season-closing production of Marie Incontrera’s At the Other Side of the Earth and Eric Knechtges’ Last Call will feature a number of current and former CCM students!

This exciting double-bill production opens with the Midwestern premiere of Incontrera’s riot girl opera, showcasing the talents of sopranos Molly Hanes (MM, 2013), Autumn West (MM, 2013) and Esther Kang (MM, 2012), along with bass-baritone Ben Flanders (MM, 1998). Instrumentalists for this piece include violinists Nick Naegele (BM, 2007; MM, 2008; AD, 2010) and Dylan Firlie (current BM student), along with rehearsal pianist Stephen Variames (AD, 2014).

The production also features the world premiere of Knechtges’ Last Call, an opera loosely based on Cincinnati’s gay bar scene. That work features mezzo-soprano Lauren McAllister (MM, 2014) and sopranos Stacey Sands (MM, 2010) and Katherine Krueger (MM, 2012).

Aik Khai Pung (MM, 2009) conducts both operas.

NANOWorks’ season-closing double-bill runs June 27 – 29 at the Cabaret Room above the Below Zero Lounge. Learn more about both works by visiting www.nanoworksopera.com.

NANOWorks was co-founded by CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (MM, 2009; DMA, 2012) and is dedicated to raising the spotlight on young singers, composers, librettists, directors, choreographers and other company artists in order to give them a stepping stone to national attention.

Last July, Opera News’ Kyle MacMillan profiled Jolly and observed that NANOWorks is based in Cincinnati “partly because Jolley and her collaborators live there and partly because of the rich pool of vocal talent there, due to the presence of the respected University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.”

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