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Bel Canto Chorus and Boy Choirs Present Carmina Burana

May 1, 2014

Bel Canto Chorus, Richard Hynson, Music Director, and Bel Canto Boy Choirs, present Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 7:00 pm in the Milwaukee Theatre Grand Rotunda.

With its famous opening theme “O Fortuna,” used in countless films, movie trailers and commercials, Carmina Burana is a high-energy, strongly rhythmic, hour-long musical celebration. Tickets ($30) are available online at www.belcanto.org or by phone at (414) 481-8801. Senior, student, and group discounts are available.

Guest performers joining Bel Canto Chorus and Boy Choirs include the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Sarah Richardson, soprano, Andrew Wilkowske, baritone, J. Raymond Meyers, tenor, Stefanie Jacob and Steven Ayers, piano, and percussionists from the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. The UW-Milwaukee Percussion Ensemble will open the performance with Nathan Daughtrey’s “Sizzle,” a high-energy piece using vocal effects in addition to instruments.

Carmina Burana was composed in 1936 by German Carl Orff. The song's text was discovered in 1803 at the Monastery of Benediktbeuren near Munich as part of a collection of Latin poetry dating back to the 12th century, penned by clergy and divinity students in Italy and Western Europe for traveling scholars, universities and theologians. Written exclusively for entertainment, Carmina Burana confronts issues similar to those we face today: fortune, joy, drinking, lust, gluttony, and the fleeting nature of life. Because of their intended use, the text was written in vernacular Latin, medieval French, and German so as to be easily understood and accessible. When composing Carmina Burana, Orff selected 24 of the poems and arranged them by thematic content: Fortune, Empress of the World, Springtime, In the Tavern, and The Court of Love.

Founded in 1931, Bel Canto Chorus enriches the lives of its audiences and members through the presentation of fine choral music. The group has been led for more than 25 years by Richard Hynson, considered one of the nation's finest choral and orchestral conductors (American Prize Winner 2012). Bel Canto Chorus ranks in the top ten percent of choral organizations in the country in terms of budget, longevity, and repertoire. Educational outreach includes Bel Canto Senior Singers and Bel Canto Boy Choirs. Characterized by a heartfelt belief in the value of Bel Canto Chorus, and supported by its 100 devoted singers, audiences, talented artistic and administrative staff, and dedicated board members, the group's passion for sharing the thrill of live, choral music has remained steadfast throughout its long, proud history.

For additional information, photos, or interview requests, contact the Bel Canto office at (414) 481-8801.

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