La Boheme, Wolf Trap Opera Company

Arts Administration Students Reflect on Summer Internships

CCM is partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked Lindner College of Business in one of the few MA/MBA graduate Arts Administration programs in the country. We train future CEOs and senior managers of nonprofit arts institutions by giving our students real world experience at local and national arts organizations.

In the past six years, 100% of arts administration graduates have found jobs in their field. Many go on to leadership positions in small and large organizations, while others launch their own nonprofits. In the summer between the first and second year, students work full time at summer internships in organizations all over the country. Below, you can read reflections from two students who interned over the summer at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and Wolf Trap Opera in Virginia.

Claire Jagla | CCM 2nd-year Graduate Student in Arts Administration
Internship: Assistant Program Administrator at Aspen Music Festival and School

Arts Administration student Claire Jagla interned at the Aspend Music Festival and School this summer. Photo provided.

Arts Administration student Claire Jagla interned at the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer. Photo provided.

This summer, I served as the Assistant Program Administrator at the Aspen Opera Center in Aspen, Colorado. My responsibilities included scheduling opera rehearsals and then communicating the schedule and any changes to students and faculty. This sometimes involved coordinating 100 people in 200 to 300 events a week but I felt prepared for the task because of my first-year experience at CCM. I arrived in Aspen ready to put what I had learned into practice.

My job felt like working on the spoke of a wheel: though I could not always see the hub of the wheel while scheduling, every spoke needed to be strong in order for the program to roll. While the faculty and students appreciated sound scheduling, the true reward of the summer was watching the wheel finally spin as students embraced opportunities to perform. Attending an Aspen Opera Center production of La bohème was one of these wheel spinning moments. I had seen the opera before, but this production was particularly vibrant because of the student cast. Singers played characters their own ages, which is not common in opera. Their ages and maturity lent themselves beautifully to the production’s drama. As I sobbed through La bohème’s fourth act, I knew I had contributed to something special.

Working at a prestigious summer festival allowed me to gain insight into how an art organization runs smoothly and efficiently. The Aspen staff and faculty responded to the inevitable challenges and changes of a summer season with grace and calmness, which allowed for seamless performances and exceptional student experiences.

Eventually, I would like to start a non-profit organization that connects people with special needs to opera. In Aspen, I developed opera operations acumen and learned how to better communicate with artists and teachers, both of which will prove to be invaluable in my future as an arts leader. I left Aspen more graceful, more focused, and ready for my second year at CCM.

Rachel Stanton | CCM 2nd-year Graduate Student in Arts Administration
Administration & Operations Intern at Wolf Trap Opera


Rachel Stanton. Photo courtesy of Steve Shin.

This summer, I learned why Wolf Trap Opera has a reputation as one of the leading young artist programs the world and personally contributed to the culture that makes it so special. Becoming a part of the Wolf Trap team over the summer meant I was responsible for a variety of tasks including the creation of supertitles, setting up for pre-show talks, and managing a recital at The Phillips Collection in DC.

The organizational culture at Wolf Trap Opera is centered on the concept of creating an environment where singers and artists can feel as comfortable as possible. Because of this, musicians are able to put their best work forward, audiences leave performances completely fulfilled and the administrative staff can leave the offices as if we had performed ourselves. One of the most memorable experiences of the summer was during the intermission of La bohème. When I emerged from the supertitles booth and began to make my way backstage, I passed through the audience of 6,000 and was able to catch snippets of praise about every aspect of the performance.

The internship program within the Wolf Trap Foundation led me to confirm many of the concepts that I’ve learned in the Arts Administration Program at CCM. With weekly seminars showcasing various department heads, I was able to observe how each department functions.

Not only did this help me to get a better sense of nonprofit organizations as a whole, but it also helped me to determine where I would like to see myself in the near future. Now that I’ve begun my second year at CCM, I feel more prepared than ever to take the next step of my career into Operations at an opera company.

La bohéme production photo courtesy of Scott Suchman and Wolf Trap Opera.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Artist Diploma Student Talya Lieberman Wins Outstanding Performance Award at 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

We are happy to report that soprano Talya Lieberman, an Artist Diploma candidate in CCM’s Opera program, won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, this year’s competition was held at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music on April 18. Named in honor of Weill’s musical assistant on Broadway, the Lys Symonette Award comes with a cash prize of $3,500.

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. The judges of this year’s competition were Rebecca Luker, James Holmes and Theodore S. Chapin. You can view a full list of this year’s competition winners by visiting

Lieberman is the latest in a long line of CCM-trained singers to take home top honors at the Lotte Lenya Competition. 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.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw.

A soprano, Lieberman will be singing Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist this coming summer. She has been invited to make her recital debut with the San Francisco Opera Center as part of their Schwabacher Debut Recital series this spring. She was most recently seen performing Gretel in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

This past summer she sang the title role in Handel’s Semele as part of the Schwabacher Concert Series (Merola Opera Program). Highlights from 2013-14 include performing selections from Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auverge” with the CCM Philharmonia, as well as performing David del Tredici’s “Haddock’s Eyes” with CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. She won the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition (Columbus Opera, 2014) and Alida Vane International Voice Competition (2013) in Latvia, where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship for the 2012-13 school year.

Lieberman made her New York City debut prior to departing for Latvia, singing in concert with Schubert & Co. In the summer of 2012 she participated in the voice program at the Chautauqua School of Music, where she was featured in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” with the cello studio.

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 Award and Italo Tajo Award, respectively—at CCM’s annual Opera Scholarship Competition.

Lieberman has lived a few lives before coming to opera full-time; she worked on sleep apnea research as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, served as program coordinator for the El Sistema inspired program Play On, Philly!, and had a short stint as a singer-songwriter. She is an avid student of contact improvisation and various forms of meditation. She loves reading, writing, editing, working with children, teaching and being an aunt.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Alumni Amanda Woodbury and John Holiday Named 2014 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipients

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We are delighted to report that two CCM alumni – Amanda Woodbury (MM, 2012) and John Holiday (MM, 2012) – have been named 2014 Sara Tucker Grant Recipients by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation!

Soprano Amanda Woodbury, 25, is a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at LA Opera and was a winner of the recent Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She made her LA Opera debut as Micäela in Carmen and also appeared as Papagena in The Magic Flute. This summer she will make her debut at the Cincinnati May Festival as a soloist in the Mahler 8th Symphony and will join the Merola Opera at San Francisco Opera to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She was a second place winner at the McCollum Competition in Houston and received degrees from Indiana University and CCM.

Counter-tenor John Holiday, 29, has been heard recently as Radamisto at the Juilliard School and will debut with Wolf Trap Opera this summer in the title role of Giulio Cesare and be heard this fall as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with LA Opera. He will also return to the St. Paul Chamber Festival in concert. Other recent engagements include Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” at Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony, covering Nereno in Giulio Cesare at the Met, and Glass’ Galileo Galilei at Cincinnati and Portland Opera. Holiday was an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and holds degrees from SMU and CCM.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

CCM Alumna Featured in L.A. Times

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CCM alumna Cameron Anderson is certainly making a name for herself in the design world today. Anderson, who received her MFA in Scenic Design from CCM in 2002, has since designed for over 50 productions spanning dance, opera, theatre and other concerts. Her work has graced the stage in productions by Roundabout Theater, San Francisco Opera Center, Wolf Trap Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, to name but a few.

CCM Alumni Applause