MOT Opens Season with Dazzling Staged Production of CARMINA BURANA: Orff’s masterwork presented with choir of over 100
DETROIT, Michigan (September 15, 2011)… Michigan Opera Theatre opens its 41st fall season with an all-new production and company premiere of Carl Orff’s masterpiece Carmina Burana, for five performances from October 15-23, 2011, at the Detroit Opera House. The MOT chorus will combine with Rackham Symphony Choir and the MOT Children’s Chorus to form an ensemble of over 100, joined by soloists, aerial artists from Cirque du Soleil, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, creating a dazzling multi-sensory spectacle of the rarely-staged work. The production will be sung in Latin with English supertitles projected over the stage.
Composed in 1935-36 as a grand work for chorus, soloists and orchestra, Carmina Burana is set to sometimes-bawdy texts written by thirteenth-century monks, and begins and ends with the well-known and powerful “O Fortuna,” a complaint to the Roman goddess of fate. “O Fortuna” has become one of the most well-known pieces in classical music and can be heard in countless film scores, commercials, and television shows. After the premiere, Orff was so pleased that he said anything he had written before Carmina Burana could be destroyed.
In addition to the glorious music, stunning aerial feats will be performed by acrobats who have worked with Cirque de Soleil, along with choreography from Detroit’s own Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. The production will feature new sets and costumes designed by award-winning Detroit stage designer Monika Essen.
Carmina will be paired with Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera The Medium, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Written in 1946, the dramatic thriller tells of a charlatan psychic who cheats her customers by holding fake séances, only to begin seeing ghosts herself. The opera, which has been seen on television and Broadway, was last produced by MOT in 1973. The Medium will be sung in English with English supertitles.
American mezzo-soprano Melissa Parks performs the title role in The Medium, joined by Canadian soprano Andriana Chuchman as Monica, after both most recently appeared together in the company’s fall 2010 production of The Mikado. Romanian bass-baritone Marian Pop returns as Mr. Gobineau, after last appearing with MOT in 2010?s La Bohème. MOT Young Artists Tanya Roberts and Sarah Nisbett also appear, along with actor Jason Vanden Heuvel as Toby.
Chuchman and Pop also perform as soloists in Carmina Burana, with Young Artist Jason Wickson as the tenor.
Director Robert Swedberg will stage the production with choreography by Bianca Sapetto of Cirque de Soleil, in their debuts with the company. The production will be under the baton of MOT Assistant Music Director Suzanne Acton, who last conducted A Little Night Music for the company in 2009.
A free opera talk begins one hour prior to each performance.
Ticket prices range from $29 to $121. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Detroit Opera House box office (1526 Broadway, Detroit), by calling 313-237-SING, or online at www.MichiganOpera.org. Tickets may also be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana
& Menotti’s The Medium
Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 23 at 2:30 p.m.