CCM Presents New Semi-Staged Production of Honegger’s ‘Joan of Arc at the Stake’ on Feb. 13

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies presents four exciting concerts this semester, beginning with a new semi-staged production of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. This concert will be sung in English with surtitles.

Poster for CCM's production of Honegger's 'Joan of Arc at the Stake.'Honegger’s monumental oratorio premiered in Basel, Switzerland, in May of 1938. Over the course of eleven scenes, Joan of Arc at the Stake recounts the timeless tale of 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc. Inspired by both popular and classical music trends of the 1930s, Honegger sprinkled his oratorio with flares of jazz, military fanfares, atonality and Hollywood styles.

CCM’s semi-staged concert production of this imposing work is a massive undertaking, requiring the combined forces of the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Chorale, along with the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. The production also features soloists from CCM’s voice and dramatic performance programs, along with technical support from the Lighting Design and Technology department, all of which allows Joan’s brief life to unfold in a truly dynamic fashion on stage.

CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts this performance. “The drama takes place during Joan’s last minutes on the stake, with flashbacks to her younger days and her trial. Honegger entitled his work a dramatic oratorio, adding speaking roles and actors,” he says. “Joan’s life unfolds in cinematic scenes of heavenly visions, conquests, her trial and her eventual fate at the stake.”

Artist Diploma candidate Marcus Shields provides the stage direction for this production, explaining, “In a typical concert presentation of Joan of Arc at the Stake, the soloists would be using music with music stands. For our production, all of the solo parts are going to be memorized, allowing us to realize Joan’s story in three dimensional space. This allows us to shift the focus to real characters forging real relationships, detached from a music stand.”

This production’s feature soloists include soprano Tara Morrow as St. Catherine, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Narum as St. Marguerite and soprano Ann Toomey as the Virgin, along with tenor Robert Stahley and bass-baritone Junbo Zhou.

Joan of Arc at the Stake‘s two primary roles are actually spoken roles, so Rivers and Shields have also enlisted two actors from CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance: Laura McCarthy as Joan and Landon Hawkins as Brother Dominique.

The last documented performance of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake in Cincinnati was at the May Festival in 1952, making CCM’s new production a very rare treat.

CCM’s Department of Choral Studies also presents three other exciting concerts this spring. On Wednesday, March 30, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers perform Daniel Elder’s The Brightest Heaven and a variety of other celebrated masterpieces.

On Sunday, April 17, the Jazz and Choral Departments share the stage in a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass. Prepare to be dazzled by this fusion of jazz and gospel.

Finally, the Department of Choral Studies concludes this year’s series with a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This concert features talent from CCM’s Drama Department, along with premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio, and Jake Runestad.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

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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 for more information on parking rates.

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8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
CCM Philharmonia, Chamber Choir and Chorale; UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses; and Cincinnati Children’s Choir Earl Rivers, conductor

Marcus Shields, stage director
CCM showcases the American university premiere of a staged concert production of Arthur Honegger’s 1938 Joan of Arc at the Stake (Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), featuring Joan of Arc in the final moments of her life, with flashbacks to her trial and younger days. Actors, soloists, choristers and children play and sing multifaceted roles in Honegger’s borderline opera and oratorio of classical, popular and jazz styles. This program also features the Overture to Verdi’s take on the Joan of Arc story: 1845’s Giovanna d’Arco.
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Performance Sponsor: Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Foundation


8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30
Christopher Albanese and Alex Sutton, conductors
Comprised of students from all 14 UC colleges, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Cabaret Singers present a variety of classical, popular, folk and jazz works. The program will include a newly commissioned work from Daniel Elder titled The Brightest Heaven (with texts from Shakespeare’s Henry V) and highlights from the UC Choruses Spring Break Tour to Washington, D.C., featuring masterpieces by Bernstein, Dickau, Barber, Miller, Belen, Gibbs, Lang, Mendelssohn, Pergolesi, DeCormier, Nelson, Burchard, Sperry and Thompson.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE


3 p.m. Sunday, April 17
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Chorale and Central State University Gospel Choir
Scott Belck, Brett Scott and Jeremy Winston, directors
Featuring guest artist Damien Sneed, conductor
Commissioned to celebrate the 2008 bicentennial of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, Marsalis’ Mass is a landmark collaboration of jazz, gospel, instrumentals and vocals with “hand-clappin’” and “tambourine-slappin’,” reflecting the form of the African American church service.
Location: Zion Baptist Church, 630 Glenwood Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.

Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Visiting Artists.


7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
CCM Chamber Choir and CCM Drama Department
CCM’s Choral Department culminates its two-year Shakespeare Quadricentennial, honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing (April 23, 1616). The Chamber Choir will perform music on Shakespeare’s texts with scenes presented by actors from CCM’s Drama Department. Featured are premieres of newly commissioned choral works on Shakespeare texts by American composers Ola Gjeilo, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church, Michigan and Observatory Avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Admission: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel

Choral Studies Sponsors: Jan Rogers; Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation

CCM News

CCM Opera Presents Two One-Acts by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith in Free Production Oct. 24 – 26

CCM’s Department of Opera will present a mini recreation of the legendary Baden-Baden Contemporary Music Festival of 1927 with a cabaret lab production running Friday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 26 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Baden-Baden 1927 is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 20.

During the original composer-organized summer festival, which occurred in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1927, four one-act operas were presented in one evening. CCM’s recreation will present two of these mini-operas: Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and Paul Hindemith’s Hin und Zurük (There and Back). Despite being nearly 100 years old, each of these pieces will resonate with audiences today.

According to graduate student Frances Rabalais (AD Opera, Stage Directing) who is directing Baden-Baden 1927 under the guidance of CCM Assistant Professor of Opera/Directing Emma Griffin, post-Word War I Germany was a time and place of great artistic exploration as artists rejected past understanding and searched for new ways to ask, “How can we use art to better society? How can we find new ways [to involve] the audience in a fulfilling opera experience?”

“The intimacy of a smaller venue like the Cohen Family Studio Theater is thrilling and special,” says Rabalais. “The audience can experience the art in a way that’s very personal.” A single piano accompanist will compliment the talented singers in both performances. Baden-Baden 1927 features musical preparation by graduate student Levi Hammer (DMA, Orchestral Conducting), under the guidance of Junghyun Cho. Hammer and Kihwa Kim provide accompaniment.

This up-close performance is an especially unique experience because the pieces by Hindemith and Weill contrast both stylistically and narratively. Hin und Zurük is a kind of dramatic palindrome, a tragedy unfolds involving jealousy, murder and suicide. It is then replayed with the lines sung in reverse order to produce a happy ending. “Mahagonny Songspiel takes a dark approach to tackling questions about society and authority,” says Rabalais. Visually, the pieces will be styled similarly and use the same scenic elements. “I think the unified look will heighten the contrasting strengths and emphasize the stylistic impact of each opera,” explains Rabalais.

CCM News

CCM’s Undergraduate Voice Students Shine in ‘Serse’

One of Handel’s most performed operas comes to life at the hands of talented undergraduate students when CCM presents the annual Opera d’arte production on March 30 and 31 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free but reservations are required.

The CCM Undergraduate Opera program’s 2010 and 2011 productions were both recognized by the National Opera Association‘s Annual Production Competition. The 2012 production of Serse is conducted by Brett Scott with stage direction by Kenneth Shaw.

CCM News

CCM Wins Big in National Opera Association’s Annual Production Competition

CCM's Spring 2011 Mainstage Production of Poulenc's 'Dialogues of the Carmelites.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM's Spring 2011 Mainstage Production of Poulenc's 'Dialogues of the Carmelites.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

The National Opera Association has announced the results of its annual Opera Production Competition and CCM’s 2010-11 Mainstage, Studio and Undergraduate Series of Operas have again received some of the competition’s highest honors.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Slideshows: Dialogues of the Carmelites

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This weekend, CCM proudly presents Francis Poulenc’s gripping opera Dialogues of the Carmelites (Dialogues des carmélites). Based on a true story, this heartbreaking saga of martyred nuns runs through May 15 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. You can read Janelle Gelfand’s preview of the opera here.

Learn more about CCM’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites here.

Tickets are $27-$29 general admission, $17-$19 students. Contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or for more information.

CCM News CCM Slideshows

Poulenc’s Heartrending Opera ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’ Closes CCM’s Mainstage Season

Dialogues of the Carmelites photography by Mark Lyons.

Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM completes its record-breaking Mainstage Season with the intensely psychological journey encapsulated in Francis Poulenc’s gripping opera Dialogues of the Carmelites (Dialogues des carmélites). Based on a true story, this heartbreaking saga of martyred nuns runs from May 12-15, 2011 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on the University of Cincinnati campus. Learn more about the opera after the jump.

CCM News

“The Cunning Little Vixen” Gives Undergraduate Opera Students a Chance to Shine

CCM Undergraduate Opera students gain experience in Janáček’s reflective opera The Cunning Little Vixen, playing at 8 p.m. in the Cohen Family Studio Theater on April 1 & 2. The opera, which was adapted from a daily newspaper comic strip, is an anthropomorphic fable that jumps from the human to the animal world. In the human realm, the protagonists fret about loneliness and isolation, lost youth and old age. Janáček uses the animals to pay homage to the amazing beauty and power of nature and marvel at the natural cycle of birth, love and death.

CCM News