The Ariel Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at CCM.

Ariel Quartet Closes CCM Concert Series on March 10

The internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet concludes its 2016-17 CCM concert series on March 10 with a performance featuring works by Wiesenberg and Beethoven. This special Friday night performance also features the world premiere of a new piece by Mohammed Fairouz, commissioned by Ann and Harry Santen and CCM for the Ariel Quartet.

Mohammed Fairouz. Photo by Samantha West.

Mohammed Fairouz. Photo by Samantha West.

Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation,” his large-scale symphonies, operas and oratorios all engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. Fairouz recently became the youngest composer in the 115-year history of the Deutsche Grammophon label to have an album dedicated to his works with the spring 2015 release of Follow, Poet.

Fairouz’s solo and chamber music attains an “intoxicating intimacy,” according to New York’s WQXR. A composer who describes himself as “obsessed with text,” he has been recognized by New Yorker magazine as an “expert in vocal writing” and described by Gramophone as “a post-millennial Schubert.” His principal teachers in composition include György Ligeti, Gunther Schuller and Richard Danielpour, with studies at the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory. Fairouz’s works are published by Peermusic Classical. He lives in New York City.

Reportoire
WIESENBERG: Between the Sacred and the Profane
FAIROUZ: Prophesies (World Premiere)
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132

Performance Time
8 p.m. Friday, March 10

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village,
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with 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/ariel-quartet.

Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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

Anonymous, The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander, Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bloom, Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg, Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen, Mr. & Mrs. Paul G. Sittenfeld, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman, Dr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker and The Thomas J. Emery Memorial
Ariel Quartet Sponsors

CCM News

CCM Acting Seniors Take Over Arnold’s Bar for a Shakespearean Treat

CCM Acting Class of 2017.

CCM Acting Class of 2017.

Cincinnati’s oldest tavern will offer more than just food and beverages this weekend. Eleven senior CCM Acting students will take over part of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, located at 210 East Eighth St., to present Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The production is part of a class project under CCM associate professor D’Arcy Smith — but Smith isn’t directing the show. In fact, Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream has no director and the students only rehearse the show once before the free, one-night-only performance.

This new approach to Shakespeare is based on the Back Room Shakespeare project, a Chicago-based initiative created by actor Samuel Taylor. Thanks to CCMpower, the students were able to receive guidance from Taylor, whose vision is to bring Shakespeare to the masses, without all of the frills and formality that usually accompany the Bard’s works.

“We’re not trying to re-create Elizabethan London,” according to the Back Room Shakespeare project’s website. “We’re trying make a space where Shakespeare’s beautiful, bawdy and bloody plays feel at home. Where actors can be responsible for their own creative work. We’re looking for a party. A riot! A hoot! We try to turn people on, and turn nothing off — not even the cellphone. It’s storytime, not judgement day.”

Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the first Back Room Shakespeare Project production in Cincinnati. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show kicks off at 7 p.m. After the performance, the actors will accept donations for CCMpower. Visit the Facebook event for more details.
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Performance Time
7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Location
Arnold’s Bar and Grill, 210 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Admission
Admission is free, reservations are not required.

 

Student Salutes
Moveable Feast

Maestro Mark Gibson Unveils An Upbeat Conducting Compendium

CCM Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson recently released the paperback edition of The Beat Stops Here: Lessons on and off the Podium for Today’s Conductor, which not only discusses conducting techniques but also provides lessons on score study, musical analysis and the many roles of the modern conductor.

“It is part score analysis, part scholarly thoughts on musical matters, part humorous,” Gibson says. “There is something in it for any and every musician.”

This isn’t Gibson’s first time writing a book; he has collaborated with Elizabeth A. H. Green to produce several editions of The Modern Conductor, an essential conducting text. The Beat Stops Here is less of a textbook and more of Gibson’s personal take on the nuances of his craft, and it stems from his blog of the same name.

“I have accumulated a lot of ideas and writings about conducting and music, many going against conventional wisdom, and I just felt I needed to get them out there.”

thebeatstopshereGibson’s musical reach extends well beyond CCM. He is currently the Principal Guest Conductor of the Sichuan Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and a guest conductor and consultant with the China National Opera. Prior to arriving at CCM, Gibson served as the principal conductor of the Alabama Symphony, visiting director of orchestral studies at the Eastman School of Music and music director of the New York City Opera National Company, among many other positions.

“Every time I teach — be it in writing, in class, in rehearsal, in lesson, in guest master classes — I learn,” he says. “That is one of the joys and blessings of teaching.”

The Beat Stops Here: Lessons on and off the Podium for Today’s Conductor is published by Oxford University Press and is available on Amazon in paperback for $29.95 or as a Kindle e-book for $19.99.  It will be available in hardcover for $99.00 on Thursday, Feb. 23.

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
Production photo of 'Something Rotten!' by Joan Marcus. Provided by Gabriel Firestone.

Making A Scene: Q&A with Alumnus Gabriel Firestone, Scenic Designer

Cincinnati audiences may remember Gabriel Firestone (BFA Stage Design, 2014) for his scenic designs in CCM Opera’s Mainstage production of Owen Wingrave in 2013. After graduating from CCM’s acclaimed Theatre Design and Technology program, Firestone went on to design scenery for Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional and international theatre productions. Working alongside award-winning scenic designer Scott Pask, Firestone most recently served as the associate scenic designer for the first National Tour of Tony-nominated musical Something Rotten!.

Gabriel Firestone. Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Gabriel Firestone. Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser.

Firestone isn’t the only CCM alumnus involved in the national tour. Something Rotten! is produced by Kevin McCollum (BFA Musical Theatre, 1984), and onstage performers include alumni Joel Newsome (BFA Musical Theatre, 1989) and Pierce Cassedy (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012). A fun fact from Firestone’s time at CCM: the house he lived in on Wheeler Street in Clifton was actually passed down to him from Cassedy, along with his sofa set. “CCM really is an extended family,” Firestone says.

We caught up with Firestone to talk about his experience working on Something Rotten! and what life has been like for him since he graduated from CCM.

What is it like working in scenic design for the first National Tour of Something Rotten? What does a typical day look like for you at work?
As Associate Scenic Designer for the Something Rotten! first National Tour, my job was to work along-side Scott Pask, who designed the highly successful Broadway production, and effectively translate the original design of the scenery and props into one that could be taken out on tour. There are many different physical and logistical constraints when a production is playing a wide variety of venues, and making sure the set will look just as good on the road as it did on the stage at the St. James Theatre in New York was critical.

I don’t believe there is such thing as a “typical day at work” — my responsibilities with the tour changed as the design progressed. The beginning stages involved lots of modeling and sketching. Later, I was drafting and documenting how all of the scenic pieces moved onstage. I spent a few weeks running back and forth between the scenic shops who built and painted the scenery and drops, giving notes and making sure everything was looking and functioning as it should. Finally, I spent a month out on the road with the show, overseeing as the various elements finally came together in the theater, and reacting to any last-minute changes. Each day was a different and exciting challenge.

What has been your most challenging scenic design project and why?
While every design presents its own set of challenges, one of the more interesting ones I’ve encountered involved transferring a design I did for Red Light Winter in New York City to the National Theatre in Warsaw, Poland. The set in New York was a small, drab room with three crumbling plaster walls and the suggestion of a ceiling — all grounded in realism. Due to limitations for the re-mounted production, we couldn’t use our scenery overseas. Although it might not seem like a huge challenge, the creative team had to reconcile the telling of this story, where the constricted environment itself becomes a major player, with the comparatively spacious bounds we were given in which to work. We reconfigured the staging and design in a pretty remarkable way that didn’t detract from the story, but rather added to the audience’s understanding of what happens to the characters in the brief moments after they leave the room we no longer represented so literally. The sometimes one-dimensional characters suddenly became multi-faceted, and what was lost in the way of aesthetic realism was replaced by much more emotionally driven performances. It was a fascinating production to have been a part of.

Do you have a specific CCM memory or experience that you would like to share?
A favorite memory of mine was going through the design process for CCM Opera’s Owen Wingrave as part of the year-long centenary celebration of Benjamin Britten’s career. Due to a directorial change, all the work had to be scrapped and we started over from the beginning. It was exciting to re-envision the piece under the lens of a different director, and to figure out what changed and evolved from the previous iteration. Although we as a creative team were working within a truncated amount of time, I think the design ended up being every bit as bold and grand as we had imagined. The first time you see the scenery, which takes months to realize, assembled on-stage is always a magical experience; it never grows old.

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Do you have any advice for current or soon-to-be graduating CCM students?
My advice to somebody who’s soon-to-be graduating is to be patient and not to believe he or she is above getting people coffee for a while, so-to-speak. As a young theatre arts professional, there are an endless number of opportunities to get one’s foot in the door, but the people who get those jobs, keep those jobs and grow in those jobs are the ones who have a great attitude every day, show up with a smile and don’t mind supporting the team in ways sometimes deemed menial. In an industry where we spend so much time working in large groups, you can quickly earn a lasting reputation as somebody who is passionate and dependable, and when it comes time to take on more advanced work, your name will be the first one considered. Don’t be disheartened if it takes a while to make the right connections.

And also, try to find some balance in life between success in a career and a personal life. Both are more fun and fulfilling when there is a sense of balance between them.

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Something Rotten! photo by Joan Marcus; provided by Gabriel Firestone.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

Vocalists Compete for 2017 CCM Opera Scholarships on Feb. 25

Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li with Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.Every year since 1976, the young vocalists of UC’s College-Conservatory of Music take the stage by storm to compete for five coveted full-tuition scholarships and $62,500 in awards that accompany them. This year, the competition will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Twenty-five current and incoming students will compete before a panel of acclaimed judges for the five scholarships and named awards, including:

  • Corbett Award ($15,000): Supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with CCM.
  • Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000): Supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with CCM.
  • Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500): Supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.
  • Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000): Supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.
  • John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000): Supported by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.

Each contestant will be judged on the basis of voice, acting, language, musicianship and style in a complete dramatic performance of an aria. This year’s judges are Benita Valente, Stephen Lord and Roberto Mauro.

Valente is an acclaimed American soprano who has performed and recorded with some of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Additionally, many composers have collaborated with her to create new works, including William Bolcom, Alberto Ginastera and Libby Larsen. Lord is an American opera conductor who is currently the music director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and who will become the principal conductor of Michigan Opera Theatre in the 2018-19 season. Mauro is the Director of Music and Artistic Administration for the Canadian Opera Company.

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 AuditionsAs reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, four singers with ties to CCM advanced to the semi-final round of the 2016 Met Auditions. This year, alumna Summer Hassan (MM Voice, 2014) and alumnus Cody Quattlebaum (BM Voice, 2015) were first place winners in their respective regions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

In addition, CCM’s Mainstage Opera and Studio Opera Series 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 2016-17 Mainstage Opera season concludes next month with Mozart’s Idomeneo, conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Marcus Shields. The production runs from March 30 through April 2. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/idomeneo.

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2017 Opera Scholarship Competition

Performance Time
Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission

Admission to the Opera Scholarship Competition is FREE and open to the general public. Reservations are not required and audience members may enter and exit the theater at appropriate times throughout the day.

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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

 

Student Salutes
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Guest Artists in HYPERCUBE Quartet Perform at CCM Next Week

New-York-based quartet HYPERCUBE combines contemporary art music with rock-and-roll in true Big Apple fashion, and it will bring that energetic style to CCM next week during its three-day residency with the Composition Program. The residency includes two performances and a workshop with CCM composition students.

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HYPERCUBE. Photo by Michael Yu.

HYPERCUBE will be in residence at CCM from Monday, Feb. 20 to Wednesday, Feb. 22. The residency includes an 8 p.m. recital on Monday in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and an open workshop with CCM student composers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, also in Werner. The ensemble’s final concert will feature work composed especially for HYPERCUBE by CCM student composers at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in Werner.

The group consists of Erin Rodgers, saxophone; Jay Sorce, guitar; Andrea Lodge, piano and Chris Graham, percussion. While they often play works that call for all four instruments, the members will often perform duos and trios during their recitals.

Formerly known as the IKTUS Combo, HYPERCUBE has been performing as an ensemble since 2012 and has made appearances at universities and new music festivals across the eastern U.S.

“Hypercube is no stranger to CCM; they performed and did some workshops with our students last year as the IKTUS Combo. They are amazing performers who give electrifying performances,” said Michael Fiday, associate professor of composition at CCM.

Visit hypercubemusic.org for more information about HYPERCUBE. This residency is graciously supported by the Dean’s Office.

Event Information

8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20
• Guest Artist Series •
Hypercube, Composition Program Ensemble-in-Residence
A quartet of saxophone, guitar, piano and percussion, New York’s Hypercube is a slick combination of chamber music and straight up rock-’n’-roll. This first concert of Hypercube’s CCM residency features high-quality, cutting-edge, challenging work from their repertoire.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22
• Guest Artist Series •
Hypercube, Composition Program Ensemble-in-Residence
A quartet of saxophone, guitar, piano and percussion, New York’s Hypercube is a slick combination of chamber music and straight up rock-’n’-roll. This second concert of Hypercube’s CCM residency features work composed especially for Hypercube by CCM student composers.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE

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 U-Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

CCM News
ccm-mack-mabel-header

Jerry Herman’s ‘Mack and Mabel’ Makes CCM Mainstage Debut

CCM proudly presents Mack and Mabel on Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 5 in Corbett Auditorium. Aubrey Berg directs with choreography by Patti James and musical direction by CCM graduate student Evan Roider.

ccm-mack-mabel-eblastThe performance is rare treat for Cincinnati audiences; a major production of Mack and Mabel has not been staged in the Queen City for over a decade, and it has never been presented as a CCM Mainstage production. With a memorable score by Broadway master Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!; Mame; La Cage aux Folles), Mack and Mabel received eight Tony Award nominations after its original premiere in 1975.

“The CCM production of Mack and Mabel is a rare opportunity to see an all-but-forgotten work by one of the masters of Musical Theatre, Jerry Herman,” Berg says. “It is notable for its interesting concept and its melodic, memorable score, one that Herman cherishes as his personal favorite.”

Mack and Mabel is a star-crossed, bittersweet love story that explores both the lighter and the darker side of the Golden Age of Comedy. It focuses on the tumultuous relationship between legendary director Mack Sennett and his greatest star, Mabel Normand.

Mack, an aging director whose silent films become obsolete in the age of “talkies,” tells the story in a series of flashbacks. He recalls his first encounter with Mabel, a feisty barista who Mack turns into a silent film star. However, following a torrid affair with Mack, Mabel leaves to act in dramas for a rival director.

Mack and Mabel struggle to find their places in the changing film industry, and both experience their own triumphs and failures along the way.

Praised by the New York Times as “a musical in the old and true tradition,” Mack and Mabel’s musical style is reminiscent of the silent film era in which it is set. CCM’s production includes silent movie clips, hundreds of costumes and props, a Keystone Kops ballet and a large cast of 38 performers. The show is a perfect vehicle and challenge for CCM’s student performers and technicians, says Berg.

“This is a great opportunity to see and hear a rarely-performed Jerry Herman musical with all the stops pulled out,” adds Evan Roider, music director of the show and a CCM graduate student in orchestral conducting.

“The score highlights Herman’s tremendous talent for melody — brassy two-steps, voluptuous ballads and a tap number that rivals those of the early 20th century,” Roider says. “Audiences can expect an old fashioned score that will have them humming as they leave the theater.”
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MACK AND MABEL
Based on an idea by Leonard Spigelglass
Book by Michael Stewart
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, March 2
8 p.m. Friday, March 3
8 p.m. Saturday, March 4
2 p.m. Sunday, March 5

Location
Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Mack and Mabel are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 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/mack-and-mabel.html.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

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

Mack and Mabel is presented by a special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

CCM News