Composed by Benjamin Britten   
Libretto by Ronald Duncan, after the play by André Obey

Nov. 16-19, 2023, Patricia Corbett Theater


  • Conductor | William Langley, alumni guest artist
  • Director | Darya Zholnerova 
  • Faculty Advisor | Robin Guarino
  • Scenic Designer | Mark Halpin
  • Lighting Designer | Kristen Peck *
  • Costume Designer |  Jayna Fry *
  • Sound Designer | Brian Haack *
  • Wig & Make-Up Designer | Tiara Jones *
  • Production Stage Manager | Annalee Crosser *  
  • Technical Director | Troy Brizius
  • Props Manager | Mia Adrian *
  • Choreographer and Intimacy Director | Susan Moser

*CCM student

Content advisory: For mature audiences, contains scenes of self-harm and sexual violence.

By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

Any video and/or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Director’s Note

The composer Benjamin Britten, a registered conscientious objector and Christian pacifist, returned to Great Britain with his partner, Peter Pears, after a three year long self-imposed exile in the United States during 1939-42 at the peak of World War II. It was after witnessing the devastation of London and the British countryside that he began to write two of his greatest and most challenging pieces: The War Requiem and The Rape of Lucretia.

The Rape of Lucretia was his first chamber opera. In it Britten uses virtuosic vocal writing and eerie orchestral textures to weave together a hard-hitting, atmospheric theatre work that sounds and feels unlike anything else in the repertory. The story is framed by the observation and narration of a male and female chorus serving much the same role as in a Greek tragedy but in this context looking at the tragedy through Britten’s very personal Christian lens. The male and female chorus sing, “While we as two observers stand between this present audience and that scene, we'll view these human passions and these years through eyes which once have wept with Christ's own tears.”

The dramatic strength of this opera lies in its fearless treatment of taboos and the most primal means of human expression. Ronald Duncan based his English libretto on André Obey’s play Le Viol de Lucréce which in turn, was based on the 142-volume History of Rome, by the historian Livy tells the tragic story of the rape of a Roman noblewoman Lucretia by the heir apparent of the invading Etruscan military regime, Tarquinias. It was Lucretia’s martyrdom that resulted in the founding of the Republic of Rome.

The Rape of Lucretia does not back away from clearly detailing unbearable abuses of power, war, sexual violence, misogyny, xenophobia and martyrdom. The female chorus begins by stating: "It is an axiom among kings, to use a foreign threat to hide a local evil.” Britten views the story both as historical narrative and as an allegory to address the continued violence against women, colonialism, war, social, political and religious struggles still unfortunately part of the human condition.

The chorus "observers" are only tasked by Britten to recount the story. Despite this directive, they still attempt to stop Tarquinius's act of violence. Unfortunately, their attempt to change the course of history is thwarted, and they are tragically unable to prevent the inevitable crime. They can only repeat their endless narrative to each “present day audience.” 

Seen in allegorical terms, this production explores the Pagan symbolism while asking the question: how can we of faith now stand and watch without feeling complicity? Is forgiveness or redemption humanly possible? Can Christianity or any other religion help us to understand or stop the cycle of continued violence against women, the resurgence of racism, xenophobia, war and domestic gun violence? It is these questions that make this magnificent allegorical work even more relevant in our current times of violence at home and abroad.

It must be our mission as artists in society to face these challenges with diligence and depth of study coupled with a commitment to our audience to fiercely and courageously engage as artists in all aspects of the human condition. In this production we do not shy away from the reality of good and evil portrayed in Duncan’s and Britten’s allegory of “the white dove and the poisonous viper."  In our present complex world where wars still rage, Britten asks us to look with “eyes wide open” and consider with our hearts and good faith how to stop the endless cycle of violence and war and live to our greater potential as artists and human beings.

If you or someone you know is a victim of violence or experiencing a mental health related crisis the links below will direct you to resources that can help:

Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support: call or text 988; chat at 988lifeline.orgConnect with a trained crisis counselor. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365. Visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for more information at

- Darya Zholnerova, Director and Robin Guarino, Dramaturg

The Company

  • Lucretia | Salleigh Harvey*, Tess Klibanoff^
  • Tarquinius | Erik Nordstrom*, Soren Pedersen^
  • Male Chorus | Carlos Ahrens*, Henry Benson^
  • Female Chorus | Lauryn Davis*, Tanya Harris^
  • Junius | Ryan Henry*, John Potvin^
  • Collatinus | John Mburu*, Cole Stephenson^
  • Bianca | Diamond Sparks*, Junyue Gong^
  • Lucia | Oliva Knutsen*, Holly Thomas^

* Performs Thursday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 18
^ Performs Friday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 19

Orchestra Roster

William Langley, alumni guest conductor 
Stephen Hardie, graduate assistant conductor (conductor on Nov. 19)


Violin 1

  • Yasmine Bougacha

Violin 2

  • Kiran Rajamani


  • Lila Reeser


  • Myles Yeazell 


  • Lorenzo Nigrelli

Flute/ Piccolo/ Alto Flute

  • Sieun Park

Oboe/ English Horn

  • Addie Carter

Clarinet/ Bass Clarinet

  • Kotaro Fujiwara


  • Bryan Benson


  • Charlie Klukow

Timpani/ Percussion

  • Jun Zheng


  • Madeline Arney


  • Joe Stevens

Musical preparation

  • Lisa Hasson
  • Andrew Crooks

Rehearsal pianists

  • Joseph Stevens 
  • Billie Jo Miller
  • Jie Fang Goh

Pit Pianist

  • Joseph Stevens

Alumni Guest Artist

William Langley (MM Orchestral Conducting, ’18)

William Langley

Associate Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, William R. Langley, began his career as an orchestral conductor at age sixteen. In 2009 he founded the Wolf River Chamber Orchestra and in 2011 the Memphis Repertory Orchestra. The MRO served as the Orchestra in Residence at the Buckman Performing Arts Center where they gave over forty- five performances during their residency. 

An avid performer, the young Maestro has appeared as guest conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Starling Chamber Orchestra, Blueshift Ensemble, Concert:Nova, and All of the Above ensemble. In 2017 he made his opera debut with the CCM Opera Theatre where he conducted a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as a part of their "Bernstein at a 100" centennial celebration and has since gone on to work with the opera companies of Cincinnati (as the John L. Magro Resident Conductor 2021-2022) workshopping, covering, and performing various operas since 2018 and in Naples (Florida) covering Ramon Tebar and making his debut in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied (2022). Recent opera appearances include his return to CCM Opera leading productions of Gregory Spears’s Fellow Travelers and Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Langley has recorded albums with the Memphis Repertory Orchestra (Dvorak + Tchaikovsky and“Voyagers : Scheherazade + Mitton”) and All of the Above Ensemble (Double Portrait), the latter of which led to his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in the fall of 2018. 

In demand as a cover conductor, Langley has been a frequent cover with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, and Cincinnati covering such conductors as Sir Donald Runnicles, Louis Langrée, Carlos Kalmar, Juanjo Mena, Jonathon Heyward, Ramón Tebar, Peter Oundjian, Nathalie Stutzmann, Nicola Luisotti, Xian Zhang, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, to name a few.

Langley holds a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati where he studied under the tutelage of Maestro Mark Gibson. He was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Austrian Foundation to be awarded one of two esteemed Ansbacher Fellowships for Young Conductors with the opportunity to study in Austria at the 2019 Salzburger Festspiele.

Langley, who “conducts with considerable theatricality, elicited a dramatic performance from the orchestra.” (Jon Sparks/Commercial Appeal), was the subject of a featured article entitled “Young Conductor Realizing Dreams” in the Commercial Appeal as well as the Memphis Flyer’s cover story “20 < 30” as one of “20 young Memphians shaping the city’s future”. 


Production Staff

  • Assistant Stage Managers | Deborah Heyl, Kait Naylor
  • Production Assistant | Ali Fishbain 
  • Assistant Production Managers | Annalee Crosser, Katie Reus
  • Assistant Scenic Designer | Moira Seger, Jason Goodman
  • Assistant Costume Designer | Shelby Allred
  • Assistant Lighting Designers | Charlie Raschke, Adam Markus
  • Wardrobe Supervisor | Abby Powers
  • Costume Shop Graduate Assistant | Max Cotman, Lauren Fitts, Cassidy Kempthorne
  • Costume Crafts | Nato Hermann
  • Wardrobe Run Crew Head | Emily Mallendick
  • Wardrobe Running Crew | Jula Creech, Jacob Kaplan, Emma Miller, Mcgregor Phillips
  • Production Electrician | Riley Rowan
  • Assistant Production Electrician/Programmer | Kassidy Schley
  • Board Operator | Miya Chambers
  • Follow Spot Operators | Ben Stacy, Morgan Terry
  • Deck Electricians | Willow Heichel
  • Assistant Technical Directors | Benji Lookatch, Frank Jernigan
  • Head Carpenter | Corvo Hopkins
  • Set Construction Crew | Sarah Anderson, Sadie Boeskool,  Ryan Bradbury,  Anya Brennan,  Ryan Buckley,  Hank Burns-Pavlik,  Jack Capobianco,  Chloe Caudil,  Robert Chalk,  Halena Edwards,  Will Everson,  Evan Fehn,  Madeline Field,  Ali Fishbain,  Jason Goodman,  Michael Hamburg,  Chloe Hessling,  Jacob Kaplan,  Emma Miller,  Katie Mogren,  Val Molloy,  Mcgregor Phillips,  Ella Rosoff,  Joseph Schmitt,  Keira Schneider,  Ella Stumpf,  Lacey Vailikit,  Hayden Valkema,  Flynn Wilson,  Ben Wright,  Blake Yavuz
  • Scenic Charge Artist | Suzanne Barnes
  • Scene Shop Assistants | Will Blank,  Iz Dillon,  Willow Heichel,  Corvo Hopkins,  Lukas Hummeldorf,  Nick Hunley,  Hunter Lee,  Benji Lookatch,  Paloma Robles,  Morgan Terry
  • Set/Props Running Crew | Sadie Boeskool,  Ryan Buckley, Keira Schneider, Blake Yavuz, Iris Shipley
  • Sound Board Operator | Evan Fehn
  • Sound Technician | Ryan Grider
  • Sound Shop Graduate Assistants | Kaitlin Barnett, Patrick Kiernan, Bryan Pivaral
  • Wig and Make-Up Running Crew | Katie Reeser, Katie Mogren,  Ella Rosoff
  • Wig and Make-Up Graduate Assistants | Claire Bonnette, Tiara Jones, Emily Kemmerer 

On stage

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CCM News


Donate instruments at LINKS drive on May 10-11

May 6, 2024

Through the Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids (LINKS) program, you can donate your used band or orchestra instrument to a young musician who cannot afford to rent or purchase their own. The LINKS instrument donation drive is at 10 a.m.-4 p.m. this Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11 2024, at any Willis Music or Buddy Rogers Music location. A project of CCMpower in partnership with Willis Music and Buddy Roger’s Music, LINKS began in 1994 as the brainchild of CCM alumnus Bill Harvey (BM Music Education, 1971). The owner of Buddy Roger’s Music, Harvey wanted to fill the need for students whose parents were unable to buy, rent or borrow an instrument. The solution was to create a “recycling program” for musical instruments.


CCM alumnus wins 2024 Solti Conducting Award

May 6, 2024

UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnus François López-Ferrer (BM Composition, ‘12) is the recipient of the prestigious Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, awarded annually to a promising American conductor 36 years of age or younger. One of the largest of its kind, it provides essential career guidance, industry connections and a cash award of $30,000 to aid grant recipients as they further hone the skills of their craft.


Information Security Roadshow spreads awareness

May 3, 2024

The University of Cincinnati's Office of Information Security launched a series of 18 in-person sessions from January to April 2024, drawing nearly 350 attendees from the staff of various UC colleges and units. The Information Security Roadshow series aimed to equip the audience with knowledge on prevailing cyber threats, prevention strategies, how to report incidents and resources to stay informed and secure.

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The competitive scholarships CCMpower provides help attract and retain the best and brightest students, nurture professional development opportunities and – in turn – continue CCM’s tradition of excellence for the next generation of student-artists. Join or renew your CCMpower membership today to help provide critical scholarship funds.

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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
Dr. & Mrs. Carl G. Fischer 
Greg Mathein 
Gary & Barb Cummins 
Jim & Linda Miller 
George & Carroll Roden
Musical Theatre Department Sponsors
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. Sittenfeld
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman
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
  Classical Guitar Sponsor

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
Keyboard Club of Cincinnati
Louis and Susan Meisel
Piano Department Sponsors
Kevin and Nancy Rhein
   Wind Studies Sponsor
Buddy Rogers Music
LINKS Sponsor
Sponsors listed as of Sept. 7, 2023

General Information

Land Acknowledgment

The Cincinnati area and the land that the University of Cincinnati has been built on is the native homeland of the Indigenous Algonquian speaking tribes, including the Delaware, Miami, and Shawnee tribes.

Box Office

Located in the CCM Atrium, the Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.; and one hour prior to curtain for all ticketed performances. MasterCard, Visa and Discover cards are accepted.

  • Location: CCM Atrium Lobby next to Corbett Auditorium
  • Telephone: 513-556-4183
  • Email:
  • Mail: CCM Box Office, P.O. Box 210003, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003


Convenient parking is available in the CCM Garage at the base of Corry Boulevard off of Jefferson Avenue. Additional parking is available in garages throughout the UC campus. Any questions concerning on-campus parking should be directed to UC Parking Services at 513-556-2283.

Tax Credit

If you find that you cannot attend your performance, your tickets may be donated for tax credit as a charitable contribution. Simply notify the Box Office prior to the performance to release your seats, and give your name and address. A tax donation receipt will be mailed to you.

Lost and Found

If you have lost an item, contact lost and found at 513-556-9413.

House Policies

The House Manager has been instructed to minimize the disturbance to patrons already seated when accommodating latecomers. The director and producer of each production select times that are least likely to interrupt the performance, and latecomers will be seated only during these times. Latecomers who miss these opportunities will not be admitted until intermission. Children under the age of 6 will not be admitted.

Cameras, Phones and Recording Devices

The video or audio recording of performances is prohibited.

The use of cameras, with or without flashes, recording devices, cellular phones and other electronic devices inside the theater is prohibited. Please leave them with the House Manager.

Smoking and Refreshments

Smoking and refreshments are not permitted in the theater. Effective May 1, 2017, smoking and tobacco use (including chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes) shall be prohibited by students, staff, faculty, visitors, vendors and contractors at all times in or on University of Cincinnati properties, including events on university property during non-school hours. This includes all shelters, indoor and outdoor theaters and athletic facilities, bridges, walkways, sidewalks, residence halls, parking lots, and street parking and garages owned by the university.

Hearing Enhancement

Telex listening devices are available for checkout during performances in both Patricia Corbett Theater and Corbett Auditorium. Please inquire at the Box Office.

Wheelchair Seating

Wheelchair seating is available in both Corbett Auditorium and Patricia Corbett Theater. Seating is limited, so reservations should be made with the Box Office when ordering tickets. These seats are subject to availability.

Group Sales

The Box Office can accommodate groups for major productions and concerts. Preview and benefit performances are also available for some productions. For more information, call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

CCM Faculty and Staff

CCM's faculty and staff and its state-of-the-art facilities make possible the professional training and exceptional education on which CCM believes the future of the arts relies. The school's roster of eminent faculty regularly receives distinguished honors for creative and scholarly work, and its alumni have achieved notable success in the performing and media arts. More than 150 internationally recognized faculty members work with students from around the world, specializing in eight areas of study.

Know Your Exit

Map depicting exits from Patricia Corbett Theatre

Performance dates and repertoire are subject to change. View CCM's current calendar of events.

The purpose of these performances is educational, and they are part of a University of Cincinnati academic program.