Here’s what happened when word got out about our plans to stage Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana: We had interest from singers, “Carmina groupies” one board member dubbed them, who wanted to join us in the last quarter of the season. Just to sing the masterwork.
VCS: You do realize you’ll still have to pay dues, buy the music, and the attire, and it’ll be just for this one concert, right?
Singer: Yes! OMG I just want to sing Carmina! Please can I join? Here, take my money!
And then there were the singers who came back from retirement and/or rearranged previous work conflicts that had dogged them all season, just so they too could sing Carmina.
What the heck is it about Orff’s masterwork that moves us so?
For the uninitiated, you may assume that Carmina Burana is your stereotypical classical work. Complete with soaring music, a text with Kyries and Glorias, and a stationary, oh-so-serious chorus of voices singing music that moves you, but you don’t know why. Between the sweeping phrases of Latin (and German!), the thunder of the timpani, and that vague recollection of an Old Spice or an Australian beer commercial (“It’s A Big Ad!”), you are ready to enthusiastically applaud at the end of the 40-50-60 minute stretch. [Read more…]