The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Archive for March, 2012

Opera, The Golden Ticket features CCM Alumnus Daniel Okulitch

Daniel Okulitch as Willy Wonka

Did you know that The Golden Ticket, American Lyric Theater’s (ALT) first opera commission – based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – is being produced for the third time this winter? The Golden Ticket received its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2010, followed by its European premiere at Ireland’s Wexford Festival. This month, ALT is partnering with The Atlanta Opera to present The Golden Ticket…and… even more exciting news… we are recording the performances for release on CD later this year!

The recording will featuring many of the singers who premiered their roles at OTSL, including Daniel Okulitch ( as Willy Wonka, as well as many artists who first created their roles in ALT’s New York City workshops. We are also very excited to announce that the recording will be conducted by none other than the composer himself, Peter Ash!

Reviewing the world-premiere, The London Financial Times said that this operatic adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory “captures the wit, wizardry and wonder of Dahl’s story” and has a “fun-filled score, with zippy contemporary ambiance”; and The Chicago Tribune was thrilled to discover a “deliciously droll fantasy kids will cheer…and adults can savor!” By recording The Golden Ticket, audiences around the world will soon be able to enjoy this wonderful new opera for years to come.

Read more about this project at 


Musical America Names CCM Opera’s Li Yi New Artist of the Month

Click here to visit Musical America’s website and read Jenelle Gelfand’s article.

CCM Opera Scholarship Competition – Saturday, March 31st in Corbett Auditorium

The 2012 CCM Opera Scholarship will take place Saturday, March 31st  starting at 10:00 am in Corbett Auditorium. Singers compete for over $70,000 in scholarships and prize money. This Competition is open to the public and audiences are encouraged to attend.
Judges for the competition this year are: Metropolitan Opera singer Claudia Catania, renowned Metropolitan Opera Stage Director, Fabrizio Melano and  Stage Director and Artistic Director of  Opera Theatre of Saint, James Robinson.

A reception following the competition will be held in the Baur Room where the judges will announce their decision.

CCM Opera Faculty Profile: Terry Lusk

A professor at CCM since 1999, Terry Lusk brings a valuable perspective from decades of professional experience to his weekly coachings with CCM students. Recently, we sat down with Professor Lusk to reflect upon his career.

1. Where is your hometown?


2. Where did you receive your education?

Morton East High School and Northwestern University

3. Where/when was your 1st professional engagement?

New York City Opera

4. Can you tell us some of the notable artists you have worked with throughout your career (singers, conductors, etc.)

I have worked with many fine conductors: Erich Leinsdorf, Charles Mackerras, Stage director-Jean Pierre Ponnelle,S Singers-Leontyne Price, Margaret Price, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes, Dolora Zajick, Mignon Dunne, Ruth Anne Swenson, Giorgio Tozzi, Regine Crespin,

5. What opera companies have you worked for during your career?

Santa Fe, New York City, San Francisco

6. Can you tell us some of the highlights of your career? Was there a particular production you enjoyed working on?

I always enjoyed working on Jean Pierre Ponnelle productions.

7. Did you have a mentor in your career that you feel guided you in the right path?

John Crosby, the founder of the Santa Fe Opera

8. What was the most challenging job you have worked on in your career?

I taught for one year in a junior high school.

9. What was the 1st opera you worked on at CCM (either as faculty or guest artists)?

Rossini’s Voyage a Rheims

10. What do you enjoy most about working with the students here at CCM?

Their commitment

11. If you could have picked another profession, what would it have been?

Something to do with foreign languages.

12. Do you have any hobbies/activities that you’d like to share?

I love gardening.

13. What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your career path?

Study foreign languages and listen to a lot of classic recordings of opera, especially Jo Stafford, Fischer Dieskau, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, and Maria Callas.

Zhang Xuan at The Cincinnati Symphony

Zhang Xuan

Peter Landgren, Zhang Xuan & Robin Guarino

Zhang Xuan & Robin Guarino

Zhang Xuan (CCM Alumna) served as the fifth music director of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2007. In January 2008, she became the first woman to conduct the Staatskapelle Dresden in its principal hall. In March 2009, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi announced the appointment of Zhang as its next music director, the first woman to be named music director of an Italian symphony orchestra, effective with the 2009-2010 season.