The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Archive for February, 2012

Li Yi with Frederica von Stade and Zheng Cao’s Family at SFO

Li Yi and Frederica von Stade

Li Yi and Frederica von Stade

February 16th, 2012
San Francisco
The Merola Opera Program has created the Zheng Cao Opera Fund, named for mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, who was a 1994 Merola fellow and has terminal lung cancer. Cao was born during China’s Cultural Revolution and came to the United States with practically nothing, becoming a household name on opera’s greatest stages. Among her signature performances was her 2008 portrayal of Ruth Young Kamen in the world-premiere performances of San Francisco Opera’s “The Bonesetter’s Daughter.”

The fund, initially endowed by Annette Campbell-White, will fund one incoming Merola artist, either an Asian/Pacific artist or a mezzo-soprano. The fund’s first recipient is Chinese tenor Yi Li, an incoming Merola 2012 participant.

Li Yi and Zheng Cao's Family

Li Yi and Zheng Cao's Family

“So many of Zheng’s friends have wanted to help her in this brutal journey through cancer, and this seems a small way that we can let her know how much she means to us and what an impact she has made, and will continue to make, in so many lives,” said mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, a close friend and a long-time mentor to Cao.

Cao and her husband, Dr. David Larson, were on hand Tuesday night at the Opera House for the announcement of the fund and a presentation to Yi Li, who sang an opera aria and two Chinese songs to prove he is clearly a good choice as the fund’s first recipient.

Von Stade and fellow singer Nicolle Foland spoke movingly of Cao’s spirit, sense of humor and warmth. In typical fashion, von Stade effusively tried to push the spotlight on Foland, who has been at Cao’s side at virtually every hospitalization and medical test since she was diagnosed.


Tenor Marcello Giordani Performs in Dayton March 11th

Dayton Opera presents Metropolitan Opera tenor
Marcello Giordani in Recital
March 11 at 3 p.m.

Dayton Opera offers an extraordinary opportunity to hear the international opera star Marcello Giordani in recital on Sunday, March 11.

Hailed by Opera News in its March 2008 issue as “the greatest leading tenor of his generation,” Mr. Giordani maintains a heroic schedule of engagements at the world’s top opera houses. He comes to Dayton following a series of acclaimed performances at Lyric Opera of Chicago in Aida and at the Met in Madame Butterfly (photo above) and Ernani.

His Ohio appearance will take place at Dayton’s acclaimed Schuster Center, built in 2003 and renowned for its acoustics and patron amenities. Mr. Giordani will be joined by soprano Melissa Zapin and pianist Katherine Olsen.

Cincinnati Opera is pleased to share with you a special offer from our friends at Dayton Opera: a 20% discount on tickets. Regular prices $36-$92. Buying is easy! Purchase online at or call(888) 228-3630. Use the code “Music Hall” for your discount.


Marcello Giordani Star Gala
Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m.

Schuster Performing Arts Center
1 West 2nd Street
Dayton, OH 45402

Call (888) 228-3630 or visit

Opera Fusion: New Works composer Douglas Cuomo has works premiered at Carnegie Hall

This grand finale of Transient Glory features new music by today’s top composers. One of the featured composers is Douglas J. Cuomo. Last November Mr. Cuomo was invited by CCM Opera and Cincinnati Opera to workshop his opera DOUBT via the Opera Fusion: New Works collaboration. The Transient Glory program is all performed by the choral conductors who participated in the workshop and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, led by recent MacArthur “genius” fellow Francisco J. Núñez. JACK Quartet also performs, and WNYC radio personality John Schaefer leads the composers in insightful discussions.

You can read more about this program at Carnegie Hall’s website.

CCM Opera’s Yi Li receives Zheng Cao Opera Fund from Merola Opera



SAN FRANCISCO, February 14, 2012— The Merola Opera Program has created the Zheng Cao Opera Fund, named for Zheng Cao, a mezzo-soprano with Merola in 1994. Each summer the fund will sponsor one incoming Merola artist: either an Asian/Pacific artist or a mezzo-soprano. In addition to covering the artist’s training and housing costs, the Zheng Cao Fund will provide the additional funding needed to cover visa and travel costs associated with bringing an Asian/Pacific artist to San Francisco. The fund’s first recipient will be Chinese tenor Yi Li, an incoming Merola 2012 participant.

Tenor Yi Li began studying voice in 2002 and entered Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2003 where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Arts. In 2007 he began teaching at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music where he pursued a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance. In 2010, the young tenor received a full scholarship to enter the Artist Diploma Opera program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has won a number of international vocal competitions, including the 21st International Singing Contest at Marmande France in 2009.

Don Giovanni Sitzprobe Photos

In preparation for this week’s CCM Opera production of Don Giovanni, cast members worked with conductor Junghyun Cho and the CCM Orchestra on stage in Patricia Corbett Theater.
For ticket information please contact the CCM Box office.

Don Giovanni
by W. A. Mozart
Thursday, February 9th – 8:00pm
Friday, February 10th – 8:00pm
Saturday, February 11th – 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday, February 12th – 2:00pm
Patricia Corbett Theater

Don Giovanni  – Jonathan Stinson
Leporello – Nicholas Ward
Donna Anna – Holly Cameron
Il Commendatore – William Tvrdik
Don Ottavio – Ian McEuan
Donna Elvira – Samina Aslam
Zerlina – Abigail Santos
Masetto – Andrew Lovato Launches New Blog by Conductor James Conlon


James ConlonRenowned Conductor


Distinguished Bloggers with

A Rich Possession, the industry’s one-stop Webshop for breaking news and industry contacts, announces the addition of James Conlon’s new blog,

A Rich Possession, to‘s home page. Mr. Conlon — music director of the Los Angeles Opera, the Ravinia Festival, and the Cincinnati May Festival — will address some of the complex issues facing classical music in the 21st century, particularly as they relate to future generations.

In his inaugural post, A Peculiarly American Paradox, Conlon writes,”Probably no other country can boast as many great symphony orchestras, opera companies and conservatories. We are training and producing a stunningly high level of young musicians. The paradox: every arts institution I know is struggling to keep and develop its audience.

“How did we allow things to get to this point, and how can we fix it? Those of us who love classical music and live in the United States need to see with greater clarity the problem that stands in front of us.”

With A Rich Possession, Conlon joins‘s list of insightful bloggers, including Sedgwick Clark (Why I Left Muncie), Alan Gilbert (Curiously Random), Rachel Straus (The Torn Tutu), James Jorden (Rough and Regie), and Eugenia Zukerman (Verbier Blog).


Founded as a weekly newspaper in 1898, Musical America through the years has appeared in a variety of formats. Today, it is both the International Directory of the Performing Arts and

Returning to Musical America‘s newspaper roots, was launched in December 1998 and now publishes up to six performing arts news stories daily, by national and international correspondents around the globe. Most of the Directory listings are also available at

Musical America is published by UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of United Business Media plc and a leading data publisher, information services provider, and conference producer in the business-to-business community


One of today’s leading conductors, James Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire, and developed enduring relationships with many of the world’s most prestigious symphony orchestras and opera houses. He has conducted in virtually every North American and European music capital, and has been a frequent guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for over 30 years. Mr. Conlon is renowned for his efforts in championing the works of composers who were suppressed by the Nazi regime.

For more information please email