University Opera and Theatre present Sondheim musical, “Into The Woods”

Be careful what you wish for!

Freudian psychology meets musical theater in Sondheim’s Into the Woods

University Theatre and University Opera join to present Stephen Sondheim’s classic mashup

January 23, 2019

Cinderella wants to go to the ball; Jack wants to climb the beanstalk; Little Red Riding Hood wants to take some goodies to her grandmother; Rapunzel is stuck in a tower. Add to these popular fairy tales one more about a baker, his wife, and the witch next door, weave them all together, and you have the ingenious mashup otherwise known as Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods.

From February 21st through 24th, 2019, University Theatre and University Opera, in partnership with the Wisconsin Union Theater, will co-present Into the Woods at Shannon Hall in the Memorial Union, marking the first time in twelve years that the Mead Witter School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Drama have collaborated on a production. David Ronis, Karen K. Bishop director of opera, will direct, and Chad Hutchinson, orchestra director, will conduct.

Five performances are planned: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

Buy tickets here.

Into the Woods costume design for Granny and the Baker’s Wife, by Ashley Bellet.

The production will feature 20 singer-actors on stage, supported by over 70 instrumentalists, stage crew, and theater artisans from the School of Music, Department of Theatre and Drama, Department of Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, and from the campus-at-large, accompanied by the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra.

The timing of this presentation, two weeks after Madison Opera’s production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, could not be better for all lovers of musical theater and particularly the work of Stephen Sondheim. The opportunity to see two fully-realized, productions of Sondheim’s major works in such a short time will certainly make February 2019 “Sondheim Month” in Madison.

Into the Woods is a story of interconnected fairy tales where familiar characters venture into the woods to fulfill their deepest wishes. Half way through, it appears that all are succeeding and will live “happily ever after” until the real consequences of the characters’ actions come back to haunt them – and they do with a vengeance. Ultimately, each finds resolution and comfort in community, but only after sacrifices are made and difficult lessons are learned.

Into the Woods is chock full of memorable, urbane, often funny, beautiful songs – indeed many of Sondheim’s best – including Cinderella’s “On the Steps of the Palace,” Jack’s “Giant’s in the Sky,” the ironic duet, “Agony,” sung by the two Princes, the Witch’s heartfelt “Stay With Me,” and finally, the show’s moving anthem “No One is Alone.”

This elaborate production will feature the work of two student designers. M.F.A. scenic design student John Drescher, assisted by Ariana White, Jake Prine, and Emma Bruland, have crafted an imaginative set that incorporates projections and involves many moving parts. Senior Ethan White serves as sound designer, assisted by Isabel Coff, sound engineer. They are joined by professionals: costume designer Ashley Bellet, lighting designer Kenneth Ferencek, and props designer Lydia Berggruen. Completing the production team will be production stage manager Jahana Azodi, technical director Greg Silver, scene shop head Rob Wagner, assistant directors Benjamin Hopkins and Thomas Kasdorf, and assistant stage managers Molly Jean Frisch and Dylan Thoren. Additional production support is provided by scenic charge Emily Rudolf, lighting board operator Hope Robiolio, and master electrician Alice Combs.

The majority of performers on stage will be undergraduate students. Miranda Kettlewell and Elisheva Pront will split performances as Cinderella; Zoe Bockhorst and Meghan Stecker will share performances of Little Red Riding Hood; Talia Engstrom and Emily Vandenberg will both perform the role of the Baker’s Wife; Bryanna Plaisir will take the role of the Witch; Michael Kelley will be the Baker; and Christian Brenny will perform the role of Jack. The Princes will be Benjamin Galvin (Cinderella’s Prince) and Tanner Zocher (Rapunzel’s Prince) and the Wolf/Steward will be played by Cobi Tappa. Cinderella’s adopted family will be portrayed by Faith Fuller (Stepmother), Josie Brandmeier (Florinda), Shasparay Lighteard (Lucinda) and Zach Wolff (Cinderella’s Father). The triple assignment of Cinderella’s Mother, Granny, and the Giant will be fulfilled by Angela Peterson. Master’s student Kelsey Wang will be Rapunzel. Doctoral candidates Quanda Johnson and Joshua Kelly will play the roles of Jack’s Mother and the Narrator/Mysterious Man respectively. Besides Maestro Hutchinson, the musical team will consist of Mead Witter vocal coach Dr. Daniel Fung, doctoral candidate Thomas Kasdorf (musical preparation), and Wade Troyer (rehearsal pianist). In addition, doctoral student Michael Dolan will serve as assistant conductor and conduct one performance.

Buy tickets here.

University Opera is a cultural service of the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison whose mission is to provide comprehensive operatic training and performance opportunities for our students and operatic programming to the community. For more information, please contact opera@music.wisc.edu. Or visit the School of Music’s web site at music.wisc.edu.

 

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Famed scholar to illumine Schubert history; New strings scholarship created; Medical Orchestra offers musical balm

January 15, 2019

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music
University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706

http://www.music.wisc.edu/

Welcome to a New Year!

We hope that everyone enjoyed a safe and pleasant holiday season!

Send your news

Note to Alumni: The Hamel Music Center will open this fall, and we’d like to round up as many alumni stories as possible to include in various formats. Stories may include current occupations, research projects, performances and family information! Please send your updates to this email address.


Medical Orchestra soothes performers as much as patrons

On December 3, the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health presented an inaugural concert of the Medical Orchestra of Wisconsin, performing works by Dvorak, Sibelius, and Schubert.  The orchestra is composed of the school’s medical students, graduate students, faculty, and staff, and was conducted by School of Music graduate conducting assistants Jenny Yim and Michael Dolan (pictured, at the podium). The orchestra’s next concert is planned for April 14 in Mills Hall.


Renowned Schubert scholar Susan Youens to present at annual Schubertiade

Susan Youens, recently retired from the University of Notre Dame, has one of the most impressive musicology resumes in the world, and she’ll visit on January 27 to tell us a story or two about Franz Schubert. Youens has won four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. She’s written eight books, hundreds of articles, essays and chapters, and lectured all over the world.

“Dr. Youens will explore the rich relationship of Schubert’s music to the poems he chose to set and the emergence of new directions in Schubert’s style,” says co-organizer William Lutes.  “The influence of Beethoven had loomed large throughout Schubert’s music, and in the year following Beethoven’s death, the 31-year-old composer wrote works of homage to this great master, as he saw his own music becoming more widely recognized, published and performed.”

Highlights of our Schubertiade  will be a complete performance of Schubert’s 14 final songs, published after his death as Schwanengesang, or “Swan Songs” – among the composer’s richest and most forward looking works; the humorous and risqué Refrain-Lieder, the slow movement of the great Piano Trio in E-flat major, the enchanting Rondo in A major for piano four-hands; and the beautiful song Auf den Strom for voice, horn and piano, composed for a concert commemorating the first anniversary of Beethoven’s death, and filled with subtly haunting references to Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony.

Our Mills Hall living room, Schubertiade 2014. Image by Michael R. Anderson.

In addition to pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes, our guests will include voice faculty members Mimmi Fulmer, Julia Rottmayer and Paul Rowe, voice students Sarah Brailey, Wesley Dunnagan, and Benjamin Hopkins, graduate hornist Joanna Schultz, and guest singer Cheryl Bensman-Rowe. We are also pleased to present the Perlman Trio (Mercedes Cullen, violin; Micah Cheng, cello; Kangwoo Jin, piano).

We thank our generous donors Ann Boyer and Kato Perlman for their longtime support of our Schubertiades, the Perlman Trio, and other musicians and events.

2019 SCHUBERTIADE SCHEDULE:

Master class with Susan Youens. Thursday, January 24, 4:30 PM, Morphy Hall. (Free)
Pre-concert lecture: 2:00 PM, Sunday, January 27, Morphy Hall. (Free.)
Concert: 3:00 PM, Sunday, January 27, Mills Hall. (Buy tickets here.)
Post-concert reception, included with ticket purchase: Sunday, January 27, University Club, 5:30 PM.

TICKETS: $17 adults, $7 all age students/children. Free to music majors, faculty and staff. To avoid long lines, we suggest arriving 30 minutes early or buying tickets ahead of time, either in person or online. Please see link below.

Purchase options (online, by telephone and in person) here:
https://www.music.wisc.edu/about-us/tickets/

To buy tickets directly online, click here.


Announcing The Dr. Stanley and Shirley Inhorn Strings Scholarship Fund

This new scholarship was created with a generous gift from Dr. Stanley and Mrs. Shirley Inhorn. The fund supports graduate and undergraduate students who study string performance at the Mead Witter School of Music at UW-Madison. Susan C. Cook, director of the School of Music, expressed her thanks to the Inhorns. “Stan and Shirley Inhorn have been great and generous friends to the Madison music community. Their ongoing support of the Mead Witter School of Music will ensure that our wonderful students can realize their musical dreams.”

To make an online gift to the Dr. Stanley and Shirley Inhorn Strings Scholarship Fund, visit supportuw.org/giveto/StringsScholarship (or click the image above).

To make a gift by mail, please make your check payable to the University of Wisconsin Foundation and note the fund name in the memo line. Send your check to University of Wisconsin Foundation, US Bank Lockbox, Box 78808, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807.

The Inhorns will be formally recognized at a concert on February 17, featuring the world premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Sonata, performed by the Pro Arte Quartet’s Sally Chisholm and Minneapolis pianist Timothy Lovelace. The full Pro Arte Quartet will also perform.

Sally Chisholm

Read about the Inhorns and this concert.

TICKETS:  Buy tickets ($25) to the world premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Sonata, with Pro Arte violist Sally Chisholm and Minneapolis pianist Timothy Lovelace. The full Pro Arte Quartet will also perform.


Christopher Taylor to perform Liszt, Schubert and Kapustin on February 9

Christopher Taylor. Image by Michael R. Anderson.

Faculty pianist Christopher Taylor, a 1993 bronze medal winner in the Van Cliburn competition, will perform Franz Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 8 in F Major, op. 93. This will be the sixth Lizst transcription of Beethoven’s symphonies that Taylor has performed. Also on the program: Six of Nikolai Kapustin’s 24 Preludes and the Fantasy in C Major, D. 760 (“Der Wanderer”) of Franz Schubert.

Following Taylor’s 2017 performance of Liszt’s arrangement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony plus two other works, musicologist Mark DeVoto wrote this in the Boston Musical Intelligencer: “No other piano recital I’ve heard in the past three years has equaled this one for it combination of excitement, interest, and emotion. I hope Taylor will return early and often with whatever conventional or unconventional repertoire he wishes.”

DeVoto’s wish has come true: Later this year, Taylor will perform the entire Liszt-Beethoven cycle at the Isabella Gardiner Museum in Boston.

Taylor also recently performed in Madison Symphony Orchestra’s “Remembering Lenny” program of mid-November.

TICKETS:  $17 adults, $7 all age students/children. Free to music majors, faculty and staff. To avoid long lines, we suggest arriving 30 minutes early or buying tickets ahead of time, either in person or online. Please see link below.

Purchase options (online, by telephone and in person) here:
https://www.music.wisc.edu/about-us/tickets/

To buy tickets directly online, click here.


Award Announcements: Jazz Studies Professor Johannes Wallmann and graduate pianist Anna Siampani

UW-Madison’s Division of the Arts provides annual awards for arts achievements and future endeavors. This year, the School of Music is represented twice. Johannes Wallmann, director of jazz studies & associate professor of music, received the Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts. Anna Siampani, graduate pianist studying with Professor Jessica Johnson, received the David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts.

Pianist Anna Siampani

Siampani, a native of Veria, Greece, will use the project award to finance her dissertation research. That project includes first-ever primary source research into the solo piano works of Manolis Kalomiris, a composer born in Smyrna, Greece in 1883, who died in 1962. Kalomiris is seen as the father of modern Greek music. This April, Anna will present two events, a lecture and a recital delving into these works, “demonstrating the characteristic Greek idiom with the complexity and inflection of the folk rhythms, the varying touches of articulation and the flowing pacing of the performance practices. She’ll follow up with a CD recording and accompanying booklet containing analysis of the works.

Over the holiday break, Anna returned to Greece to dig into the libraries at the Manolis Kalomiris Society, The National Conservatory, National Library of Greece, and the Lilian Voudouri Music Library of Greece.


Upcoming concert highlights at the School of Music

Double Reed Fest
Saturday, January 19, beginning 1:30 PM in Mills Hall. Hosted by UW-Madison faculty Andreas Oeste, oboe and Marc Vallon, bassoon, the Double Reed Fest brings together oboists and bassoonists of all ages and abilities in a festive celebration of their instruments.

The Panama Papers: Tom Curry, tuba; Mark Hetzler, trombone; and Anthony DiSanza, percussion
Saturday, January 26, 8:00 PM, Mills Hall. Free.

Schubertiade with Martha Fischer, Bill Lutes and Schubert scholar Susan Youens (See above.)
Sunday, January 27, 2:00 PM (lecture), 3:00 PM (concert). $7 – $17.

Spring 2019 Carillon Concerts with Lyle Anderson. Observatory Drive.
All concerts are Sundays at 3:00 PM.
January 13 & 27; February 10 & 24; March 10 & 24; April 14 & 28; May 12 & 26.

Decoda Interactive Performance Residency
Final concert: Thursday, January 31, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall.
Decoda is a collective of versatile artists dedicated to creating dynamic performances and creative programs designed for social impact. Decoda’s pursuits place equal emphasis on artistry and engagement to create meaningful musical experiences around the globe through concerts in major international venues and neighborhood projects with vibrant community partners.

7th Wisconsin Summit for Band Conductors
Friday, February 1 @ 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
A workshop featuring internationally renowned clinicians focused on self-improvement for the middle and high school band directors. Hosted by Scott Teeple, professor, conductor of Wind Ensemble.


Our Full Concert Calendar

calendar

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to the School of Music.


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