From cincinnati.com – Arts in Focus
by Janelle Gelfand
Former Cincinnati resident Malcolm Fraser, 72, passed away on May 15th in Stockport, England, of natural causes relating to long term health issues stemming from a hematologic disorder.
Mr. Fraser was a prominent figure in the Cincinnati Arts community, primarily relating to his work at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati, where he was the CCM Opera department chair and holder of the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera, 1985 to 2003. Under his leadership the CMM Opera department won numerous prestigious awards, including 26 awards from the National Opera Association for the best college opera productions in North America, and he inspired and helped many people in the pursuit of their operatic careers.
In 1996 he was a co-founder with Lorenzo Malfatti, a former CCM faculty member, of Opera Theatre of Lucca, CCM’s operatic study abroad program in Lucca, Italy. Singers, instrumentalists, coaches, designers and production staff were overseen by an international faculty in the most comprehensive summer opera program in Italy.
Singers who honed their craft during his 18 years at CCM follow Mr. Fraser’s predecessors from the Italo Tajo generation and are working all over North America and Europe. Currently, CCM artists are working in the following companies (in many cases three or four with each company): Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Orlando Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Seattle Opera, Skylight Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Portland Opera, Canadian Opera, Vienna State Opera, Kassel Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Lucerne Opera, Karlsruhe Opera, Dusseldorf Opera and many more.
After he retired in 2003, he moved back to England.
In 1979, Mr. Fraser was a co-founder of the Buxton Festival, an international celebration of the arts held in Buxton, England.
He loved opera and spent his entire career advancing himself in that field and helping to spread his passion to others. He encouraged his students and colleagues to take risks and have fun with the art form that he enjoyed so much.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Fay Conway-Fraser, his four sons Dom, Sam, Hal and Tim, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and others. He was a dedicated family man who balanced his enthusiasm for opera with his commitment to and love for his wife, four sons and ever-growing family. He will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues, and will be remembered as a generous and passionate man.
His funeral will be held at 11am on Tuesday May 29th at St John the Baptist church in Tideswell, Derbyshire, England.
Click here to visit Musical America’s website and read Jenelle Gelfand’s article.
Conductor Mark Gibson and stage director Steven Goldstein from opening night of Dialogues of the Carmelites
This production marked the first mainstage opera production for Steven Goldstein as the Weinberger Chair of Acting at CCM.
Click here to read Janelle Gelfand’s interview with Steven about Dialogues of the Carmelites and his interpretation of the opera.
Click here to visit Cincinnati Opera’s website and read the official press release.
Click here to read Janelle Gelfand’s article that details this exciting joint venture between Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera.
Opera Fusion: New Works builds on an established and successful four-year partnership between Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera. In 2007, Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera launched The Corbett Foundation Opera Fusion program, created to promote and enhance young artist training opportunities, collaborative academic programming, internships, and an ongoing artistic relationship between the organizations. Opera Fusion: New Works, which is funded entirely by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, allows this existing relationship to expand into new areas. Opera Fusion: New Works will be jointly administered by representatives from each of the collaborating organizations. Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, J. Ralph Corbett Chair of CCM Opera, will act as co-artistic directors for the program.
• The 2011 CCM Opera Scholarship competition was also reviewed by Rafael de Acha, one of the many correspondents from ConcertoNet.com.
If you were not able to attend last weekend’s exciting competition, you can read Rafael’s account by clicking here.
CCM Opera Artist Diploma student Xi Wang sits down with Janelle Gelfand from the Cincinnati Enquirer
From The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 23rd, 2011
By Janelle Gefland
Soprano Xi Wang, a student at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, remembers standing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York two years ago, when she was a national semifinalist in the National Council Auditions.
“Being on that stage at age 25, I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have already fulfilled my dream.’ The stage was so huge, but you could hear a penny drop,” the singer says. “Even though I didn’t advance to the finals, I felt so grateful, so lucky to be that far.” Wang sings the role of Liù in a concert presentation of Puccini’s “Turandot” Friday and Saturday in Corbett Auditorium at CCM.
In a rehearsal last week, Wang sang with beauty, passion and bell-like timbre as she rehearsed Liù’s famous Act I aria, “Signore Ascolta,” with Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia. “I feel amazed by the music, and there is some resonance to my culture,” Wang says, struggling to find the right words in English. “(The music) is big and huge. It reminds me of China, where everything is big. And the tragic story has such beauty.”
The opera department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music received a total of 7 awards at the National Opera Association annual convention in San Antonio over the weekend.
The association awarded four of CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series of operas from the 2009-10 season some of its highest honors. In addition to the 4 top awards noted in The Enquirer article, the department received two awards in Level 11 — “Opera d’Arte” undergraduate opera productions. “La Canterina” took second place (Wesley Lawrence, director) and “Gianni Schicchi” took third place (Kenneth Shaw, director).