Opera Tickets Italy

Gran Teatro La Fenice

Platea B, € 108
Platea A, € 96

Carmina Burana, Carl Orff

Carmina Burana, Carl Orff

Venice's Gran Teatro La Fenice stages a run of concerts presenting Carl Orff's best-known work, Carmina Burana. These concerts feature a special version with an interesting, non-standard orchestration for a choir, two pianos and percussion. This powerful piece of twentieth-century music will be performed by the Teatro La Fenice Choir, along with the Piccoli Cantori Veneziani, under the musical direction of Choir Master, Alfonso Caiani.

The German composer, Orff, began writing Carmina Burana in 1935 finishing it the following year. Its premiere took place by the Oper Frankfurt, one of Germany's top operatic companies to this day, on 8 June 1937. It is worth noting, however, that Carmina Burana is part of a much wider piece by Orff, known as Trionfi, which also includes Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite, both cantatas. Orff conceived of this work after he happened upon the 1847 edition of a written work of the same name by Johann Andreas Schmeller. This tome was then considered to be the reference work for a much older text dating predominantly from the 11th and 12th centuries, although some parts date from the 13th century. Enchanted by the poems the book contained, Orff decided to set them to music.

Orff's musical vision for Carmina Burana meant he wanted to structure the work into five major sections. The entire piece is made up of 25 movements in total, including one that is repeated and another that is entirely instrumental. Like the poems themselves, Orff set his music in various scenes, meaning certain movements are played together in their respective sections. For example, one section is referred to as 'In Taberna' and features music that is particularly rowdy in nature because it is set in a tavern. Another is set in a meadow while another is simply given a springtime setting.

Without doubt, the most famous of all of the movements is O Fortuna. This Latin text commences proceedings but is also heard at the end in the form of a choral reprise. Orff was inspired by the text as well as the mediaeval concept of the Rota Fortunae which roughly translates as Wheel of Fortune today. Carmina Burana and O Fortuna, in particular, were a hit following their first performance. The latter has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable pieces of early 20th-century music ever written.

This run of concerts under the baton of Alfonso Caiani with a great choir and setting will thrill and spark plenty of interest among fans of all types of music.

image Gran Teatro La Fenice / Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, Michele Crosera