CityBeat: CCM's 'Galileo Galilei' blends science and opera

Anne Arenstein and CCM Prof. Greg Eldridge give a preview of CCM's production of Philip Glass' opera

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) continues its CCMONSTAGE Opera Series with Philip Glass' Galileo Galilei, running March 31-April 3, 2022 at Patricia Corbett Theater. Conducted by CCM Professor Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by CCM Professor Greg Eldridge, tickets for the opera are on sale through the CCM Box Office.

Read more about the production in a feature by Anne Arenstein for CityBeat.

CCM's production of "Galileo Galilei" photos by Mark Lyons.

CCM's production of "Galileo Galilei" photos by Mark Lyons.

Philip Glass’ opera tells the story of renowned historical figure Galileo Galilei in reverse chronological order. The one-act production opens during the final days of his life and ends when he is a child watching an opera (within the opera) that his father composed. The work draws from Galilei’s letters and communications to family, introducing the audience to his daughter Maria Celeste. It also shares his strong friendship Cardinal Barberini, despite the hindered relationship with the Catholic Church which rejected Galilei’s scientific approach to art and religion. The story is sure to entertain audience members of all ages, with a minimalist yet captivating score and stunning onstage visuals.

“The music of Philip Glass is both haunting and deeply, powerfully emotional, and the significance of this work demands a true collaboration across all the fields of artistic endeavor," Eldridge says. "Our production brings together some of the finest artists from across all of CCM's world-renowned disciplines.”

Eldridge spoke to CityBeat's Anne Arenstein about the cross-college collaboration that will bring Galileo Galilei to life on stage. In addition to the opera and voice students performing on stage and the student musicians performing in the orchestra pit, the production includes choreography by CCM Dance students, projections and lighting design by CCM Lighting Design and Technology students, as well as stage designs and creations by CCM's Theatre Design and Production programs including wig and make-up, costumes, props, scenic design and more. 

“We’re trying to provide as much opportunity as we can for technical design students to develop their suite of skills alongside the performers,” Eldridge told CityBeat. “When I walked into the design studios for hair, wigs and makeup design, I thought I was in Covent Garden. It’s such a professional setup, just like at the biggest national houses.”

The 2021-22 CCMONSTAGE Opera Series presents Galileo Galilei March 31-April 3, 2022 at Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office; student discounts are available.

UC has updated its indoor masking policy to align with the CDC's recommendations for masking. Beginning on Saturday, March 12, all masking restrictions will be eliminated in all CCM spaces, so long as rates of hospitalization and transmissibility remain in the low-to-medium zones. This means masking will no longer be required in classrooms, rehearsals, performances, etc. for everyone — students, faculty, staff, campus visitors and audience members. Members of our community who prefer to continue to wear a mask when indoors or in close proximity with others for personal safety should continue to do so. Please continue to be sensitive and respectful to the needs of others as we work through this transition. Beginning on Thursday, March 31, 2022, CCM will also lift the 50% capacity limit in performance venues. Additional measures may be in place as conditions develop based on guidance from the CDC and UC’s physician-led COVID response team. Visit the UC Public Health website and CCM's COVID-19 website for additional information and updates.

Galileo Galilei

An Opera by Philip Glass
Libretto by Mary Zimmerman
With Philip Glass and Arnold Weinstein
Music by Philip Glass

Galileo Galilei will last 90 minutes with no intermission

  • Conductor Aik Khai Pung
  • Director Greg Eldridge
  • Choreographer Hazel Alexander*
  • Scenic Designer Mark Halpin
  • Lighting Designer Thomas Hase*
  • Projection Designer Ian Macintosh*
  • Costume Designer Reba Senske
  • Sound Designer Matt Tibbs
  • Wig & Make-Up Designer Colin Gallaher*
  • Production Stage Manager Avery Woodruff*
  • Props Manager Madison Frazier*
  • Technical Director Stephanie O’Rear*
  • Musical Preparation Kathleen Kelly

*CCM student

  • Older Galileo | Corbin DeSpain^  Aaron McKone~
  • Pope Urban VIII /Cardinal Barbarini / Simplicio | John Mburu
  • Cardinal 1 / Oracle 1 | Nicholas Kelliher^, Chuanyuan Liu~
  • Cardinal 2 / Servant / Oracle 2 | Justin Burgess
  • Cardinal 3/Priest/Father | Ryan Wolfe
  • Maria Celeste / Duchess Christina | Christina Kerstan^, Ashlyn Rock~
  • Scribe / Maria Maddelena | Jaime Sharp^, Natasha Naik~
  • Sagredo/Marie de’ Medici/Eos | Hayley Maloney
  • Salviati / Younger Galileo | Erik Nordstrom
  • Dancers | Katie Griffith, Morgan Montour, Erin Decker*

^Thursday/Saturday Performances  
~Friday/Sunday Performances  

Performance Times

  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31 
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 1 
  • 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2 
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3 


Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village 
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Single tickets are $39.50. Student discounts and group rates are also available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-box office.

Learn about additional ticket options for current CCM students.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit for detailed driving directions to CCM Village.

Parking is available in UC’s CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit

Featured image at the top: A model of the stage design for Galileo Galilei by CCM Professor Mark Halpin. Image provided by Greg Eldridge.  


Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust 
Scholarship and Resident Artist Sponsor

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 
CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Sponsor

The Corbett Endowment at CCM 
Dance Department Sponsor 
All-Steinway School Sponsor

Louise H. & David S. Ingalls Foundation, Inc. 
Community Partners

The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel 
Visiting Artists & Thinking About Music Sponsor

ArtsWave: Funding Arts, Fueling Community 
CCMpower: Friends and Alumni Fueling the Future of the Arts 
The Strader Fund at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation
CCMONSTAGE ONLINE Broadcast Sponsors

Dr. & Mrs. Carl G. Fischer 
Musical Theatre Department Sponsor

Genevieve Smith 
Opera Production Sponsor

Rafael and Kimberly de Acha 
Opera D’Arte Sponsor

An Anonymous Donor 
Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander 
Mrs. William A. Friedlander 
Dr. Randolph L. Wadsworth 
Judith Schonbach Landgren and Peter Landgren  
Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen 
Elizabeth C.B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld+ 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman 
Dr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker+
Mrs. Harry M. Hoffheimer 
Ariel Quartet Sponsors

Jan Rogers 
Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation 
Choral Studies Sponsors

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn 
Orchestral Sponsor

Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation 
Starling Pre-Collegiate Sponsor 
Starling Strings Sponsor

Dr. Timothy E. and Janet L. Johnson 
Thom Miles and Roberta Gary 
Organ Department Sponsors

Louis and Susan Meisel 
Piano Department Sponsor

Richard E. Thornburgh 
Edward Donovan and Cheryl Carter 
Jeff Thomas Catering 
The Castleberry Family 
KMK Law 
Sandra & Stephen Joffe 
Paula Boggs Muething & Brian Muething 
Patti Myers & Alan Flaherty
Trish & Rick Bryan 
Prestige AV & Creative Services 
Graeter’s Ice Cream 
Rhinegeist Brewery
The CCM Harmony Fund: Challenging Hate & Prejudice through the Performing Arts 
Event Sponsors

Buddy Rogers Music 
LINKS Sponsor

Sponsors listed as of August 30, 2021

Headshot of Jaime Sharp

Jaime Sharp

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Jaime Sharp is a master's student studying Vocal Performance at CCM. She serves as the Vice President of the CCM Graduate Student Association and Student Liaison for the CCM DEI Committee. Jaime holds a bachelor's from the University of Michigan.