On March 1 and 2, the voices of the 55-member Center Chorale will join forces with the bodies of the Mojalet Dance Collective for a spectacular presentation of Carl Orff’s most widely recognized music, “Carmina Burana,” offering concertgoers a feast for the eyes and ears.
Conducted by Dr. Joe Stanford, The Center Chorale, the premier adult choir of the Escondido Choral Arts program, will perform “Carmina Burana” in the Center Theater at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido at 7 p.m. on Sat., March 1, and again at 3 p.m. on Sun., March 2. Tickets range from $10-$25 (see below for detailed ticket information).
“Carmina Burana” is music that everyone knows, but don’t know they know it. The music is very often used in commercials and movies, and can also be heard in some unlikely places. One of the marching bands played it, if only a few opening measures, at the San Diego Holiday Bowl football game, for example. The music is spirited and colorfully percussive with clever, singable melodies. The unfortunate thing is that most people are familiar with only tidbits of Orff’s composition, and the whole work, which is 70 minutes long, is full of exciting, energetic music, interspersed with moments of gloriously beautiful melody. The Center Chorale’s March concerts will feature the entire work.
The music has quite the backstory: When composing “Carmina Burana,” Orff chose texts that were found written in the margins of clerical books of the 12th and 13th centuries. The Medieval monks who wrote these colorful, suggestive and, sometimes, downright bawdy poems in Latin and ancient German might have been chagrined to know that 800 years later their little off-color poems would be set in stone for posterity. Their subjects included the lament over bad luck in gambling, various dimensions of love, and imbibing spirits — one whole section being titled “in the tavern.”
Generously sponsored by Jean Will, this performance of “Carmina Burana” is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Center Chorale’s 2013-14 season.
“It is exciting to present this choral masterwork, ‘Carmina Burana,’ as the fourth concert in our series,” said Stanford, coordinator of Escondido Choral Arts. “We are able to do so only through the support of many in our community. This concert would not have been possible without the generous offer of Jean Will, who is underwriting our costs.”
A well-known work for chorus and instruments, “Carmina Burana” will feature two pianos and four percussion players accompanying the vocalists. Soloists for the performance will be Caroline Nelms (soprano), Dennis Jackson (baritone) and John Nettles (tenor), with Joseph Valent and Michael Munson on piano. The percussion ensemble is comprised of Heather Barclay, Emily Just, Tim McMahon and Carol Pelkner.
In addition, portions of “Carmina Burana” will be danced by Faith Jensen-Ismay and her Mojalet Dance Collective. Many dance companies and dancers in general know of “Carmina Burana” because of its rhythmic energy and vitality — it lends itself to dance. Fourteen members of the Mojalet Dance Collective will dance four of the work’s movements, accompanied by the Chorale, pianists and percussionists.
Also featured on the concert program are two additional, shorter choral works: “The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard” by Benjamin Britten for men’s voices and piano, and “Salut Printemps” by Claude Debussy for women’s voices.
Tickets for “Carmina Burana” cost $15-22 for Center members, $18-25 for non-members, $10 for students and military with ID, and FREE for children 12 and under. To get their discounted rate, Center members should call the Ticket Office at (800) 988-4253. Special group rates are also available through the Ticket Office. In addition, tickets can be purchased online at www.artcenter.org/events.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the Center’s Choral Arts program, including a SNEAK PEEK of “Carmina Burana,” watch this NEW video:
About Choral Arts at the Center
The Choral Arts program, which is coordinated through the Center’s Education department, is an exciting venture aimed at furthering the art of singing in the community and providing opportunities in music for young people. Escondido Choral Arts is made up of the Center Chorale, the adult ensemble, and three children’s choirs. These four ensembles perform in the Center’s Concert Hall and Center Theater throughout the year.
Introduced last season, the Center Chorale has become, under the guidance of Joe Stanford, North San Diego County’s premier choral ensemble. As the past chair of the Palomar College Performing Arts Department, Stanford led the Palomar Chorale for most of his 37 years at the college. Under his direction, the Palomar Chorale presented hundreds of concerts in the region as well as in Europe, Mexico, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Following the performances of “Carmina Burana,” the Choral Arts 2013-14 season will continue with the 85-voice Center Children’s Chorus presenting a multi-cultural concert called “Singing ’round the World” on March 16. The Center Chorale will return to the Center Theater stage on May 3 to conclude the Choral Arts season with the timeless music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
To learn more about the Escondido Choral Arts program, visit www.escondidochoralarts.com.
About the California Center for the Arts, Escondido
A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Center’s creation was sparked by a civic vision—one that recognized the vital role that the arts play in strengthening and uniting the community. Our commitment to enriching lives and improving access to the arts, especially for low-income individuals and families, is exemplified through our extensive educational programming and robust series of free community events. The Center is guided by an enthusiastic Board of Trustees and passionate staff who are dedicated to furthering arts education and access, and to creating programs that provide cultural enrichment for residents of North County and beyond.
You can join this inspiring mission by becoming a donor. Visit artcenter.org/support or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation about how you or your company can make a difference right here and right now in your arts community.
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