Southeastern choirs to present ‘Carmina Burana’

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
by: Tonya Lowentritt

HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University choirs will join with the Northshore Choral Society, Mandeville Middle School Choir and Northlake Performing Arts Society to present Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond on Tuesday, April 28.

Scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and sponsored by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, the 100-voice choir will be co-directed by Alissa Mercurio Rowe, director of choral activities, and Brian Martinez, University Chorus conductor. The performance will feature solos by Colby McCurdy and Cedric Bridges, both Southeastern graduates, and Kristen Marchiafava, Southeastern lecturer of voice.

"This fantastic work has achieved rock-star status the world over," said Kenneth Boulton, interim head of Southeastern's Department of Fine and Performing Arts. "The entire region will certainly be clamoring to hear it."

Rowe said the concert will include a performance by Boulton and JoAnne Barry as the piano duo play the two piano reduction written by Orff himself.

Rowe said that Orff described "Carmina Burana" as a "scenic cantata." It uses a very large orchestra and was originally designed for the stage with dancing and mime accompanying the music. It was first performed at the Frankfurt Opera House. Southeastern's production is the reduced version for two pianos and percussion.

"The work begins and ends with a powerful hymn to the goddess Fortuna, the Empress of the World, seen as a monstrous whirling wheel carrying its victims first to the heights, then dashing them to the ground," Rowe said. "In between come three main sections.

"The first is a depiction of spring, 'Primo Vere,' illustrated by rustic songs and dances. The second is set in a tavern, vividly described by a succession of characters, including the swan on spit (tenor solo), who laments his dreadful fate," she added. "Part III, 'The Court of Love,' is an uninhibited celebration of the delights of love. The final number, 'Blanziflor and Helena,' leads back to the opening hymn, thereby not only unifying the whole work, but also acting as a pertinent reminder that our lives are ever subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune."

Tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office, 220 East Thomas Street, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and one hour before the performance. General admission tickets are $10; $5 for Southeastern alumni, faculty. All students are admitted free with student identification. For more information on tickets, contact the Columbia Theatre box office at 985-543-4371.


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