Watch CCM faculty and alumni perform in 'Cincinnati Opera at 100' special

The CET special on Cincinnati Opera's 100th anniversary is now available to stream online

Celebrate a century of grand opera in the Queen City by watching "Cincinnati Opera at 100," presented by the nation's second-oldest opera company and CET public television. The hour-long special is now available to stream online after it was originally broadcast on July 3, 2020.

Watch the "Cincinnati Opera at 100" special.

The centennial celebration features special performances by singers from recent Cincinnati Opera performances, including UC College-Conservatory of Music alumni, and historical highlights from opera experts. Performances take place from the artists' homes as well as iconic locations throughout the city, including the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Cincinnati Music Hall and other surprise venues. Featured performers include (with CCM alumni and faculty in bold):

  • Nicole Cabell, soprano, and Craig Terry, piano
  • Alumna Jennifer Cherest (MM Voice, '11), soprano, and alumnus Henri Venanzi (BM Piano, '72), piano
  • Stephen Costello, tenor, and Anthony Manoli, piano
  • Alumna Jacqueline Echols (MM Voice, '12; AD Opera, '13), soprano; Matthew White, tenor; and Kevin Miller, piano
  • Alumnus Joseph Lattanzi (MM Voice, '15; AD Opera, '15), baritone, and CCM Opera Professor Marie-France Lefebvre, piano
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra musicians Stefani Matsuo, concertmaster, and CCM Professor Michael Chertock, piano
  • Alumna Maria Miller (BM Voice, '17; MM Voice '19), mezzo-soprano, and Cincinnati Ballet dancer Samantha Riester with choreography by Oğulcan Borova and Carol Walker, piano
  • Alumna Victoria Okafor (MM Voice, '19), soprano, and Henri Venanzi, piano
  • Rodion Pogossov, baritone, and alumna Elena Kholodova (AD Opera Coaching, '12), piano
  • Michael Preacely, baritone, and Marcellene Winfrey, piano
  • Morris Robinson, bass, and alumnus Matthew Umphreys (MM Collaborative Piano, '14), piano
  • Members of the Cincinnati Opera Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Cincinnati Opera and CCM have a history of collaboration that dates all the way back to the professional opera company's founding. CCM's progenitor, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, established its opera department under the direction of American composer and conductor Ralph Lyford in 1917. Three years later in 1920, Lyford founded the Summer Zoo Opera at the Cincinnati Zoo, which eventually evolved into the Cincinnati Opera of today.

"Just as every major arts institution in Cincinnati was founded or influenced by women, one woman was responsible for planting the seed that would take root as an opera company in 1920," writes arts reporter Janelle Gelfand in a story about Cincinnati Opera's anniversary published by the Business Courier. "Bertha Baur, president of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, brought a rising star conductor named Ralph Lyford to head her new opera department. By 1919, Lyford was producing student opera scenes at the Zoo. By 1920, he was conducting a fully-staged, ambitious season that opened with Martha, and included Rigoletto, The Barber of Seville, Pagliacci, Don Pasquale, Hansel and Gretel and The Secret of Suzanne."

The ties between Cincinnati Opera and the college have remained strong over the decades, with CCM alumni, students and faculty members regularly performing and working with the professional opera company. Cincinnati Opera and CCM have also collaborated on innovating the industry through Opera Fusion: New Works, a dynamic partnership between the two organizations that offers composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati.

Read more about Cincinnati Opera's 100-year history:

About Cincinnati Opera

Founded in 1920 and the second-oldest opera company in the nation, Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of grand opera every summer. The company's repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterworks brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative artists.

Critical support for Cincinnati Opera is provided by ArtsWave, Huntington, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund of the Greenacres Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, Patricia A. Corbett Estate and Trust, and Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation, along with many other generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect our community through diverse opera experiences. Learn more at

About CCM Opera

The Department of Opera at CCM boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, which is widely considered to be the nation’s most prestigious vocal competition. In 2019, soprano Elena Villalón (BM Voice, ’19) was named a Grand Finals Winner at the competition while she was still finishing her undergraduate degree at CCM. CCM’s other recent Grand Finals Winners include Jessica Faselt (MM Voice, ’16) in 2018, Amanda Woodbury (MM Voice, ’12) and Yi Li (AD Opera, ’13) in 2014 and Thomas Richards (MM Voice, ’13) in 2013. At least two CCM singers advanced to the Upper Midwest Regional Auditions in this year’s Met National Council Auditions: artist diploma students Amber Monroe and Teresa Perrotta.

CCM singers also recently won awards in other prestigious national competitions. Jessica Faselt won a $10,000 award and Alisa Jordheim (DMA Voice, '15; MM Voice,' 10) won a $1,000 Encouragement Award at the 2020 George London Foundation Awards Competition for young American and Canadian opera singers. Jasmine Habersham (AD Opera, 2015; MM Voice, 2013) won the silver medal in the 2020 American Traditions Vocal Competition. Edward Nelson (BM Voice, 2011; MM Voice, 2013) won first prize at the 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup. Perrotta also advanced to the finals of the 2020 Lotte Lenya Competition.

In addition, CCM Opera productions have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 non-professional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

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