Carmina Burana


Amidst the festivities of Artsfest, the buzz of excitement is amplified in Lilly Hall as Jordan College of the Arts singers prepare the final Artsfest performance, “Carmina Burana.”

“Carmina Burana” is a cantata of 25 movements of choral music with medieval Latin text by Carl Orff.

Orff composed the masterwork in 1940, yet the piece has a pop-style aesthetic.

The story behind the latin text is one of sensual love and humorous festivity, taking the listener on a journey through a romantic meadow, then to a boisterous tavern, and finally into the “Court of Love.”

Each movement is different, and the songs range from powerful and dramatic to peaceful and lighthearted.

The powerful opening and closing piece, “O Fortuna,” frames the entire work in incredible drama.

Conductor Dr. John Perkins has been diligently preparing the choirs for the performance all semester, not only teaching the notes on the page but also the story behind the music.

The impetus behind the piece is the question for every conductor, he said.

Graduate conducting major Ali Darley will perform “In trutina,” a piece that numerous classical artists have made popular.

For her performance, the grad student said she is working to develop the character behind the piece.

The text of the piece “describes the character making a choice, and you have to put that into your singing,” she said.

Sophomore baritone Patrick Lord-Remmert is also performing in several solo sections in the piece.

“I enjoy singing ‘Circa mea pectora’ because it is really intense,” he said, noting the piece is a turning point in the love story.

Graduate student and soprano Shelby Jones Wehrenberg said she has enjoyed rehearsing her solo for the performance, as well as preparing to be the understudy for “Dulcissime.”

“It is nice to be an understudy, because you still get to learn the music,” she said. “ You just have to be ready just in case the person who is supposed to sing it is sick.”

Thaddaeus Bourne, who graduated from Butler and is now an adjunct professor, will be singing several of the baritone solo selections.

Bourne is an accomplished performer and has sung in operas and concerts throughout America, Italy, Ireland and Austria.

“‘Carmina Burana’ is an iconic work,” he said. “There’s an irresistible frenetic energy. There’s something for everybody.”

Bourne has been instrumental in creating the staging of the performance.

“Orff wanted this to be a theatrical kind of piece, though it is a concert,” Bourne said. “There is a tiny bit of staging throughout to bring out the story.”

In all, each of these performers hopes to use their talents to create a beautiful show.

Perkins called “Carmina” a “wonderful, interesting drama with vivid pictorial music” that in itself portrays the words.

The performance will be held April 19th in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $7.50 for students and $15 to $30 for adults and are available at the Clowes Memorial Hall Box office.