The wide-ranging collaboration of the Kurt Weill Foundation and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music continues. Through its sponsorship program, the Foundation is offering funding, expert advice, and other assistance to CCM as it presents a season of stage productions, concert performances, cabaret evenings, master classes, and guest lectures, all built around Weill’s works. The season revs up again at the end of February. Following on a successful production of Street Scene (15–18 November), CCM presents The Threepenny Opera (28 February–3 March, 7-10 March), directed by Robin Guarino of the Opera Department and conducted by Roger Grodsky of Musical Theatre. Both departments are nationally recognized for the stature of their programs and their success in launching students in professional careers. Tony-Award winner John Arnone will work with students on set design (see photo below). Professor Howard Pollack, author of a new biography of Marc Blitzstein, will deliver a guest lecture before the performance on 1 March.
Other events: a cabaret evening titled “Into a Lamplit Room: The Songs of Kurt Weill,” which will feature songs from Weill’s German and American works; and a choral concert (10 March) with Weill’s setting of the Sabbath prayer of sanctification, Kiddush, on the program. The final entry in the festival (12 March) will be a concert in the CCM Choral Series that will include the madrigal “Ho, Billy, O!” from Love Life, a Broadway show written with Alan Jay Lerner. The festival has already produced a wealth of events, including a cabaret evening titled “Speak Low” (19-20 October; see photo bottom right); master classes given by actress Victoria Clark and conductor and director Ted Sperling in performance and direction, respectively; a seminar on Weill’s music theater taught by Professor bruce mcclung; and a guest lecture by Kim H. Kowalke accompanying last fall’s staging of Street Scene.
The Foundation’s sponsorship program helps organizations plan festivals comprising several events, usually a mixture of performances and scholarly elements, such as symposia. Foundation staff members work with the sponsored organization from the early planning stages, offering guidance as well as financial assistance. In this case, the Foundation worked closely with faculty and staff at CCM for months, offering advice and suggestions about how to expand the festival. Director Carolyn Weber encourages other schools to seek Foundation sponsorship: “CCM’s schedule of stage productions, concerts, and ancillary activities has inspired the Foundation to expand its sponsorship program to cover academic institutions in addition to professional performing arts organizations. We hope the CCM festival will set the stage for other such sponsorships in the future.”
Broadcast discussion of Weill Festival on WVXU with Robin Guarino and bruce mcclung
Rehearsal and set-building photos from Threepenny Opera
Preview of Threepenny Opera performance
CCM press release and schedule for festival
CCM Street Scene press release
Street Scene information from CCM Opera Department
City Beat report on the festival
Cincinnati Enquirer (Threepenny Opera)
City Beat (Threepenny Opera)
Talkin’ Broadway (Threepenny Opera)
Seen and Heard International (“Into a Lamplit Room”)
Cincinnati Enquirer blog post (Street Scene)
Seen and Heard International (Street Scene)