Ticket Center Stage

The Book Collector / Carmina Burana


Friday, May 20, 2016 8:00PM
Mead Theatre - Schuster Center

The Book Collector / Carmina Burana
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THE BOOK COLLECTOR
World Premiere
Music by STELLA SUNG
Libretto by ERNEST HILBERT
IN ENGLISH WITH ENGLISH SURTITLES

CARMINA BURANA
Music by CARL ORFF
Libretto by MICHEL HOFMANN

IN LATIN, GERMAN AND PROVENÇAL WITH ENGLISH SURTITLES

DAYTON OPERA THOMAS BANKSTON artistic director, event producing director
DAYTON PHILHARMONIC NEAL GITTLEMAN artistic director, conductor
DAYTON OPERA CHORUS and DAYTON PHILHARMONIC CHORUS
DAYTON BALLET KAREN RUSSO BURKE artistic director, choreographer

This never-before-seen double bill—a fully staged opera and a cantata featuring vocal soloists, dancers, and chorus—crackles with the energy released when new meets old.

Starting off the double bill is the world premiere of a concise one-act opera described as a “mystical landscape” by Dayton Performing Arts Alliance's Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, Stella Sung. The recipient of a three-year Music Alive grant, international award-winning Dr. Sung has composed The Book Collector specifically to debut in Dayton.

The dramatic text to Carmina Burana dates mainly from the 11th and 12th centuries, yet composer Carl Orff’s vibrant, energetic setting of 1935–1936 is decidedly of the 20th century. The 24 poems set by Orff, written by students and clergy in medieval Latin and middle high German, are by turns bawdy, irreverent, and satirical, yet they seek serious answers.

“O Fortuna,” which opens and closes the work, is addressed to the Roman goddess of luck and fate. Will she be kind? Will she be fickle? Our worries have not changed all that much in 900 years! Borrowed for a number of film scores, this is the best-known segment of Orff’s enduringly beloved work.

Increasingly popular since its debut, Orff’s scenic cantata explores the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the passing nature of life, the joys of Spring, and the pleasures (and perils) of drinking, gluttony, gambling, and lust. Set to Orff’s infectiously rhythmic, pulsing music for soloists, double choir, children’s choir, and large orchestra with extra instruments, the thoughts of medieval writers spring once again to vivid life as the wheel of fortune continues in its inexorable turning.

Will fortune smile upon this audacious endeavor, this intersection of old, new, and brand-new? Be on hand when fortune gives Dayton a chance at the wheel!