CCM’s Studio Production of ‘Blood Brothers’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

From left to right: Karl Amundson, Hannah Kornfeld and Thomas Knapp in CCM's Studio Series production of BLOOD BROTHERS, running Oct. 9 - 11 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Photography by Adam Zeek.

From left to right: Karl Amundson, Hannah Kornfeld and Thomas Knapp in CCM’s Studio Series production of BLOOD BROTHERS, running Oct. 9 – 11 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Photography by Adam Zeek.

We are thrilled to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Blood Brothers with a 4.5 star rating.

Blood Brothers is the haunting story of the Johnson twins, separated at birth and brought together by the power of friendship. A tale of superstition, class distinction and adolescent love loosely based on The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas, Blood Brothers was the winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1983.

Panelists praised faculty director Vince DeGeorge “for his tight direction and bare-bones concept – he showed that one needs not have a big set and scenery to put together a powerful production.”

Faculty member Steve Goers received strong kudos for his rearrangement of the score for voices: “the vocal ensemble provided the full harmonic textures of the score that Goers’ lone piano could not. His overture had the ensemble sing the string, brass and wind parts to create a very evocative opening.”

The entire cast was commended: “a bonded ensemble that was used expressively and expertly… every performer was beautifully cast and resonated with me.” In particular, leads Thomas Knapp as Mickey, Karl Amundson as Eddie, and Hannah Kornfeld as Mrs. Johnstone were singled out for touching and believable performances.

Overall panelists found Blood Brothers “an outstanding production of a weird and wonderful show… smashing!”

League of Cincinnati Theatre panelists evaluate productions on a 5 star scale and recommend shows at either a 4 star or 5 star level. Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT gala in the spring.

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CCM Dance Invited to Perform at the Beijing Dance Academy’s 60th Anniversary International Gala Celebration This Month

Photo copyright Luke Isley.

Choreography by guest artist Michael Bearden. Photo copyright Luke Isley.

We are delighted to report that CCM’s Department of Dance has been invited to perform at the Beijing Dance Academy‘s 60th anniversary international gala celebration later on this month.

Twenty schools from around the world have been invited to participate in this event, including just two other representatives from the United States: SUNY Purchase College’s Conservatory of Dance and Brigham Young University’s Department of Dance.

This celebration runs Oct. 10 – 16 and includes performances, lectures and exchange classes in Beijing. Five dance majors will be participating in this celebration: Luca De-Poli, Regina DuPont, Gabrielle Gulan, Dominic Barrett and Claire Bergman. They will be performing Simpatico, choreographed by guest artist Michael Bearden. This piece will also be presented locally in CCM’s Fall Dance Concert later on this semester (Dec. 5 – 7).

These students will gain international performance and study abroad experience during this trip, while also strengthening  CCM’s relationship with the world-renowned Beijing Dance Academy, paving the way for future exchange programs and job opportunities. CCM Dance Chair Jiang Qi and CCM Dean Peter Landgren will also be traveling to China for this celebration.

This invitation is just the latest example of CCM Dance’s ever-rising profile. Earlier this year, Dance Magazine named CCM one of “three top programs to consider.” Read the full report here.

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

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THE VILLAGE NEWS – Fall 2014

Masthead for Fall 2014 issue of THE VILLAGE NEWS.

NOTATIONS AND OVATIONS

STUDENT PRODUCED ‘GOLD RUSH EXPEDITION RACE’ FILM SERIES TO AIR ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS NETWORK
This action-packed documentary film series will be coming to television sets nationwide this fall! Read more…

CCM WELCOMES ITS FIRST DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Anne Cushing-Reid will help CCM expand its community engagement efforts through her new role with the Preparatory Department. Read more…

ALUMNI APPLAUSE

PERFORMANCE STUDIES ALUMNA APPOINTED TO PROFESSOR OF OBOE
Merideth Hite (BM, ’06) has joined the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi. Read more…

CCM ALUMNUS MAKES HIS BROADWAY DEBUT IN THE HIT REVIVAL OF PIPPIN
After touring the nation with The Book of Mormon, Michael Schwitter (BFA, ’12) takes on the role of Pippin’s brother Lewis at the Music Box Theatre. Read more…

CCM ALUMNI WIN TOP PRIZES IN PLÁCIDO DOMINGO’S WORLD OPERA COMPETITION
Amanda Woodbury (MM, ’12), John Holiday (MM, ’12) and Yi Li (AD, ’13) were among this year’s finalists in the Operalia competition. Read more…

FACULTY FANFARE

CCM PROFESSOR OF COMPOSITION ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Joel Hoffman joined the University of Cincinnati faculty in 1978. This October, CCM will celebrate his service with a special concert featuring the Ariel Quartet. Read more…

STUDENT SALUTES

FRESHMAN DRAMA MAJOR RECEIVES CINCINNATUS PRESIDENTIAL AWARD
Isaac Hickox-Young is one of only 11 incoming UC students to receive this prestigious award, which pays full tuition, boarding fees and more for four years. Read more…

CCM DMA CANDIDATE RECEIVES MAY FESTIVAL FELLOWSHIP
First-year graduate student Daniel Blosser has been chosen as the 2014-15 May Festival Choral Conducting Fellow. Read more…

TUNE IN

THE CCM WIND ORCHESTRA TAKES THE STAGE AT A NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Watch the complete performance here.

DID YOU KNOW?

CCM’S STUDIO SERIES REMAINS ONE OF THE HOTTEST TICKETS IN CINCINNATI!
Box Office Manager Jeanne Rose provides the inside scoop on how to score tickets for this year’s productions! Read more…

SAVE THE DATE

CCM’S MAINTAGE SERIES PRESENTS MACBETH
Shakespeare’s dark and twisted tragedy makes its CCM debut Oct. 1 – 5, 2014. Read more…

THE MIND AND MUSIC OF CHOPIN
The Friends of CCM and the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute welcome special guest artist Richard Kogan on Oct. 10. Read more…

CCM IN THE NEWS

New Artist of the Month: Conductor and CCM Alumnus Isaac Selya (Musical America Worldwide). Read more…
CCM Prep Teaches More Than How to Perform (Cincy Magazine). Read more…

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CCM Faculty, Alumni and Programs Make Headlines This Summer

CCM continues to make headlines! See what the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Variety and more are saying about our faculty members, our alumni and our academic programs:

GABRIELLE-master675CCM Musical Theatre alumna Gabrielle Stravelli (BFA, 2001) received a glowing write-up in this Monday’s issue of the New York Times, with critic Stephen Holden calling her recent performance at the Metropolitan Room “intoxicating” and proclaiming that she, “recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime.” Stravelli next performs at the Metropolitan Room on July 29 and 31. Read the review here.

WorldsFairPlayFestivalThe New York Times also featured the World’s Fair Play Festival at the Queens Theater as its “Critics’ Pick” this week. A presentation of 10 original 10-minute long plays inspired by the 1939 and 19647 World’s Fairs, the festival has several notable CCM ties, with CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell serving as a producer and director of the festival and Sarah Vargo (BFA, 2014) working as Assistant Director. Todd Almond (BM, 1999) was commissioned to write one of the festival’s new plays. The World’s Fair Play Festival runs through Sunday, July 27, 2014. Read the review here.

COUPLED2AC7867C7-CBDA-0EE2-860E9ACA54983621.jpg.pagespeed.ce.SnXKSdTksPCCM Drama alumna Diane Rogers (MFA, 1992) also received accolades this week for the new musical COUPLED. Rogers wrote the music, lyrics and book to COUPLED, which Broadway World deems a “must-see.” The show plays through Aug. 10 at the Jimmy Ferraro Studio Theatre in New Port Richey, Florida. Read the review here.

mickey-fischer-extantEarlier this month, Variety published an interview with Musical Theatre alumnus Mickey Fisher (BFA, 1995), whose show Extant is one of the summer’s most highly anticipated television events. Fisher wrote the script and will serve as an executive producer for Extant, a futuristic thriller produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV for CBS with Halle Berry starring. Read the feature here.

AChorusLineThe Times-Picayue recently profiled CCM faculty members Diane Lala and Robert Pavlovich in a feature on Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre production of A Chorus Line. Lala directed and choreographed this critically acclaimed production, which starred Pavlovich as formidable stage director Zach. Fellow CCM faculty member Roger Grodsky provided musical direction. Read the feature here.

RoscoeCCM alumnus/composer Evan Mack (MM, 2005; DMA, 2008) and CCM alumnus/librettist Joshua McGuire (MM, 2005) are getting attention for their new opera, Roscoe, which received an Opera Saratoga workshop performance earlier in the summer. Last month, the Times Union profiled the opera, which is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy. Read the feature here.

EN-AB104_ORCHES_G_20140618101329Earlier this summer, CCM Prep’s New Horizons Orchestra was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported on the growing popularity of ensembles for older players. Read the feature here.

See who else is making headlines by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/in-the-news.

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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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CCM Productions Win Big at League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Awards Ceremony

League of Cincinnati TheatresWinners of the League of Cincinnati Theatres’ (LCT) 2013-14 Season Awards were announced on Monday night, with CCM faculty members, students and productions taking home a number of awards, including:

  • Best Musical (Tie): CCM’s Les Miserables (tied with Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Choreography (Tie): Diane Lala and Patti James for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain (tied with David Baum for Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Music Direction: Steve Goers for CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Scenic Design: Mark Halpin for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain
  • Ensemble in a Musical: CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Blaine Krauss in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actor in a Musical: Matthew Paul Hill in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Jenny Hickman in CCM’s Carrie

Faculty member Kelly Yurko also received a Special Contribution Award for her prosthetic design for Clifton Players’ production of The Whale. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

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Become a CCM Insider: Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS

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What’s the best way to keep up with CCM’s remarkable faculty, students, alumni, friends and benefactors? Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS, CCM’s new electronic newsletter.

  • Learn about the CCM student and alumni-led Whiz Kids Music Program, which is making a difference in disadvantaged schools throughout Cincinnati.
  • Watch all 75 current Musical Theatre majors perform CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty’s (BM, 1982) “On the Wings of a Dream” in tribute to UC alumnus and supporter Otto M. Budig Jr.
  • Find out where CCM’s latest Fulbright grant-recipient will be studying next year.
  • Read what the New York Times had to say about CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet.
  • Get to know CCM’s newest faculty members.

Subscribe to THE VILLAGE NEWS and we will deliver these transformational stories to your inbox throughout the year. If you missed our SUMMER 2014 issue, sign up today and we’ll send you a copy!

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And don’t worry: we will continue to provide you with breaking news through the CCM Blog, too!

Find out more about THE VILLAGE NEWS by visiting ccm.uc.edu/villagenews.

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