What to do in Oklahoma on April 13, 2019: Hear Canterbury Voices perform the raucous crowd-pleaser 'Carmina Burana' at the Civic Center
Today's featured event:
Hear Canterbury Voices close its 50th anniversary season with Carl Orff’s iconic 1930s cantata “Carmina Burana” at 7:30 tonight at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
“It’s a pretty nice history when you think about an independent choir running well and in business for 50 years. It’s pretty amazing,” Artistic Director Randi Von Ellefson told me in a recent interview. “It’s a popular piece that’s part of the repertoire, and it’s exciting. … It’s become one of those pieces that everybody knows whether they know it or not.”
A raucous crowd pleaser, “Carmina Burana” is especially known for its opening and closing movement “O Fortuna,” which has been used in hundreds of times in popular culture, from movies like “The Doors” and “Speed” to TV shows like “Wrestlemania” and “Glee.”
Along with Canterbury’s adult chorus, more than 140 voices strong, tonight's concert will feature a full orchestra from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, plus soloists Nicole Van Every, soprano; Rodney Westbrook, tenor; and André Chiang, baritone.
“You have a baritone who has to sing very dramatically and bold in the low notes but also has to sing his falsetto, and the soprano … has to be very virtuosic,” Ellefson said.
“The third soloist for ‘Carmina,’ it’s a very unique thing. Rodney Westbrook … he sang in Germany and he sang the tenor solo for ‘Carmina,’ I think he told me over 130 times. And it’s a very odd solo because he sings as a swan being roasted on a spit. You hear in the orchestra … the swan’s head being chopped off. And he cries out in very high notes all about ‘I’m a swan, I’m being roasted, I’m turning black.’”
In addition, Canterbury Youth Voices’ 40-member Central Chorale, under the direction of Stephen Ziegler, will sing in two movements, including one in which Ellefson said they will portray street urchins.
To read more of my recent story on tonight's concert, click here.
For tickets and information, call 232-7464 or go to canterburyokc.com.
For more Oklahoma events, go to newsok.com/calendar.