Experience Carmina Burana, the thrilling 20th-century musical juggernaut by Carl Orff, when the Choral Society of Pensacola presents two performances, one on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 pm, one on Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 pm, both in the University of West Florida Center for Fine and Performing Arts.
For this epic work, conductor Peter Steenblik, who serves as the Society’s artistic director and as the director of choral activities at the University of West Florida, has combined singers from the Society and UWF to create an impressive chorus of 160 voices. Soprano Sheila Dunn, tenor Christian Sanders, and baritone Jack Chandler will sing the challenging solos, pianists Hyunjoo Kim and Meredith Stemen will perform on two nine-foot Steinways, and six percussionists, under the leadership of Matt Greenwood, will employ a huge battery of instruments to round out the forces for the most spectacular concert of the Society’s season.
The text of Orff’s masterpiece is selected from about two dozen poems included in a medieval collection labeled Carmina Burana (Songs of Beuren) after its discovery in the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuern. The powerful opening, “O Fortuna” (O Fortune), is likely to be familiar to most people through its use in dozens of films, television programs, and commercials. For instance, check out this excerpt from John Boorman's Excalibur. The songs that follow that outcry against the caprices of Fortune express a wide range of moods as they explore the delights of spring, the joys and sorrows of love, and the sensual pleasures of bed and bottle. Although the performance will be in Latin and Middle High German, projected English supertitles will ensure that the audience understands every word.
Carmina Burana is presented in association with the University of West Florida's Dr. Grier Williams School of Music.