February 2, 2012

The Cleveland Institute of Music Joins the Cleveland Foodbank in the Fight against Hunger in Northeastern Ohio


CIM Hänsel & Gretel Harvest for Hunger Food Drive, February 22 through March 5

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Institute of Music students will be giving more than an outstanding performance when the CIM Opera Theater presents Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel. The students, as well as faculty, staff and CIM guests, will be joining the fight against hunger in Northeastern Ohio.

Following up on its successful staging of Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon (Cinderella), the CIM Opera Theater, under the artistic direction of David Bamberger, will continue its fairy tale season with a grand production of this popular opera Wednesday, Feb. 29 through Saturday, March 3 in CIM’s Kulas Hall. The CIM Orchestra, conducted by Harry Davidson, will accompany vocalists, who will perform the work in German, with a projected translation available for the audience.

Hänsel & Gretel, both the story by the Brothers Grimm and the opera by Humperdinck, begins with a family struggling with hunger in lean economic times. Unfortunately, too many people today are trying to cope with this same issue. For one in six Americans, hunger is very real. According Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger-relief charity, 16.4% of Ohio households are dealing with hunger (aka food insecurity)—making it one of nine states with a higher rate of food insecurity than the national average.

Inspired by the story and motivated by a desire to help its neighbors, CIM is partnering with the Cleveland Foodbank in the fight against hunger in our own community by participating in the 2012 Harvest for Hunger food drive. The institution has set an ambitious goal collect 2,012 non-perishable food and household items for the 2012 drive (2,012 for 2012), while also helping raise awareness about food insecurity in Ohio and beyond. Opera patrons are encouraged to join CIM by bringing non-perishable food items to donate with them when they attend a performance of Hänsel & Gretel.

“I’m thrilled that we are able to use this production to help those facing tough times in our community,” said CIM Opera Theatre’s Artistic Director David Bamberger. “This is a unique opportunity to bring to our audiences a beautiful and well-loved masterpiece, while at the same time collecting food and other items for our neighbors in need.”

Of course, everyone is invited to participate in the food drive, and CIM hopes its neighbors in University Circle will participate en masse. The school will begin accepting non-perishable food donations via a collection bin in Pogue Lobby at the school’s East Boulevard entrance on Wednesday, Feb. 22—when The Cleveland Foodbank launches its 2012 Harvest for Hunger campaign and prior to the opera’s premiere—and will extend the collection through Monday, March 5.


“The statistics are staggering—especially when you think of the people behind them,” said CIM Director of Marketing and Communications Lorraine Schuchart. “They’re not just numbers—they’re our neighbors. We teach our students not only to be the best musicians they can be but the best people—responsible global citizens. They are or will be in a unique position to touch lives all over the world. It’s important they understand the value of giving back to the community, and it’s wonderful when we can lead by example.”