IF YOU GO
What: Chattanooga Symphony & Opera presents "Carmina Burana."
When: 8 p.m. Thursday and March 16.
Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
While the title "Carmina Burana" might not be familiar, the music likely is.
The opening chorus, titled "O, Fortuna," is an oft-used track in popular culture, from football games to the television show "Glee."
Composed in 1936 by Carl Orff, "Carmina Burana" is a cantana based upon 24 poems from the medieval collection of the same name.
On Thursday and March 16, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will present Orff's work, along with Gabriel Faure's Suite From Pelleas et Melisande and Zoltan Kodaly's "Dances of Galanta."
The central work features the CSO chorus and guest soloists Brad Diamond, Sarah Jane McMahon and Ronald Ulen, former director of opera at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
"I'm sorry he's so far away," CSO executive director Molly Sasse said of Ulen, who relocated to Texas last year. "We wish we still had him around the corner, but we bring him back whenever we can."
"Carmina Burana" highlights the talents of the CSO chorus.
"We always like to feature our chorus in a big work every year, and "Carmina Burana" is one of the big choral works that symphonies do," Sasse said. "It's such a neat piece. It's not a requiem; it's not a sacred piece."
In fact, she said, the work is "a little bawdy" in translation. "The soprano has the sort of romantic, mushy parts; the men have the really gutsy, fun parts," she said, citing references to drinking in taverns and blushworthy exaltations of cast-off virginity.
The other two pieces are strictly symphonic.
Kodaly is a contemporary of Orff. Both played an active role in music education. Orff's approach, more rudimentary, introduces music to children in an informal manner, by action rather than instruction. Kodaly's method introduces musical skills in accordance with the natural abilities of the child.
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...
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