Carmina Burana is widely recognized as one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire. Nothing else in the world is like it!
Movies have included it more than any other musical work. Audiences and musicians love it. It’s raw, nasty, gorgeous, lyrical, and overwhelming. The cast of performers includes singers, drummers, and pianists.
Monks get distracted. Imagine a tavern filled with medieval monks and their students, kvetching about fate and love, drinking, and roaring out rhymes one after another. A 14th century manuscript collected two hundred of these poems, and Carl Orff discovered it in 1935. He chose 24 poems and set them to music that powerfully conveys not just the meaning but also the spirit behind the text. And that spirit is sometimes not so nice!
More than a composer, Carl Orff was a visionary who created a dramatic concept combining music, spoken word, dance, and scenic design. Most frequently today, his Carmina Burana is performed simply by a chorus and instrumental ensemble with no stage movement. That is how Chorus Polaris will perform it in our first year, 2017. In 2018 we will add elements of dance, poetry, and staging. In 2019 we will add an orchestra and scenic design, film, and dramatic lighting.
Carmina Burana Soloists:
Baritone Elias Mokole, voice professor at University of Minnesota-Duluth, is an internationally renowned soloist with various opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. His solo performances include Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium in Japan [Osaka, Tokyo], as Valentin in Faust and the Mozart Requiem [Paris], as Agamemnon in Offenbach’s La Belle Helène at UNESCO [Paris], in Lyon, France with L’Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain as soloist in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 and Sharpless in Madame Butterfly Algiers [Africa].
Soprano Kristin Morant has performed numerous times with the Minnesota Opera and this spring soloed in Brahms’ Requiem with Exultate Festival Choir and Orchestra. Nationally, Moranthas performed appear with the Virginia Consort and with the World Project’s international music festivals, with whom she appeared at Carnegie Hall, L.A.’s Disney Concert Hall and the Chicago Symphony Hall. She has soloed with Chorus Polaris in Mozart’s Regina Coeli and Vesperae solennes de confessore and has served as soprano section leader.
Countertenor Timothy Faatz has performed as guest soloist for oratoro and concert performances throughout the United States, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and the Ukraine. He has also sung with many Twin Cities ensembles including Apollo Master Chorale, Bach Society of Minnesota, Minnesota Chorale and Consortium Carissimi.