Santa Barbara Symphony News

[Independent] ‘Carmina Burana’ at the Granada

October 21, 2015

Ballet, Choir, and Symphony Present a Masterpiece

In the land described in the book The Hyborian Age by author Robert E. Howard, a Cimmerian boy, born on the battlefield to a blacksmith, arose to conquer, swearing to a deity called Crom. Conan, as he was named, eventually claimed vengeance on the evil sorcerer Thulsa Doom, infiltrating the Temple of Set as the cult indulged in cannibalistic orgy.

Ironically, just as pulp fiction writer Howard wove his tale in the 1930s of Conan — later to be portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger on the big screen — Carl Orff, music educator and composer, discovered the medieval sultry poem manuscript Carmina Burana, later to be turned into a 25-song epic masterpiece. Both Conan and Carmina Burana deal with themes of fate, merrymaking, love, warfare, religious worship, and satire. Musically, Orff’s Carmina Burana shares threads of Verdi’s Requiem and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and later in the 1982 film of Conan the Barbarian, film composer Basil Poledouris’s music score shares the epic choir and medieval soundscape inspired by Carmina Burana.


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[Scene Magazine] A ‘Carmina Burana’-powered launch

October 16, 2015

Santa Barbara Symphony kicks off the season with a program centered around Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana,' and a collaborative enterprise with local performing arts groups

October, traditionally a culturally dense month as various arts groups launch their seasons, has been a big period for Symphonic splashes. Following the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra's recent "Firebird"-themed gala season opener, the Santa Barbara Symphony gets in the game and ups the ante with an ambitious program centered on Carl Orff's epic, sublime and wild "Carmina Burana," in an unusually inter-organizational collaborative show also featuring the State Street Ballet, the Santa Barbara Chorale Society and guest vocal soloists.

This season, the orchestra's 63rd, will also be the tenth season with maestro Nir Kabaretti at the helm. The Israeli-born conductor, who splits his time between Italy and Santa Barbara and regularly works in Europe, with a specialty in opera, has been a great boon to the symphony since taking over the position from previous conductor, the adventurous Gisele Ben-Dor, in 2006. Under his watch, the symphony made the auspicious move from the Arlington Theatre to the acoustically-superior Granada Theatre.

We recently checked in with the maestro, on the eve of the Orff performance, and his own season number ten.


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[Independent] ‘Carmina Burana’: Three Companies Collaborate at the Granada

October 15, 2015

Symphony, State Street Ballet, and Choral Society Perform Orff

It’s the most popular classical composition of the 20th century; it’s also one of the most eccentric. Carmina Burana, the “scenic cantata” by Carl Orff that will be presented at the Granada Theatre on Saturday-Sunday, October 17-18, defies categorization even as it goes from triumph to triumph in the spheres of advertising, popular music, and film scoring. Relentless excerpting and recontextualizing has seen Orff’s work, and in particular the big opening number, “O fortuna imperatrix mundi,” turn up in such unlikely places as raps by P. Diddy and Nas, and even as the opening sequence of Jackass: The Movie.

What’s happening at the Granada, however, represents a turn in the other direction, away from fragmenting the piece and toward rendering it whole. This weekend’s production is nothing less than a full-scale Carmina Burana as its composer intended it, with a huge orchestra, multiple vocal soloists, a 100-voice-strong chorus, and a dozen trained dancers performing an original full-length ballet. To pull off this spectacular feat of theatrical production, four organizations have come together. Through pooling resources, the Santa Barbara Symphony, State Street Ballet, the Santa Barbara Choral Society, and the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts have met every challenge faced by such an unusual and ambitious event.


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[CASA Magazine] A conversation with the principals of Carmina Burana

October 02, 2015

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[Backstage at the Lobero] What You Should Know About the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

September 29, 2015

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Santa Barbara Symphony Teams with Area Arts Groups for Monumental ‘Carmina Burana’

September 22, 2015

State Street Ballet, S.B. Choral Society, and S.B. Center for the Performing Arts will co-present the masterwork Oct. 17 & 18 to open the Symphony’s new season.

Santa Barbara, CA — Four area arts organizations will come together for an ambitious, multidisciplinary production of German composer Carl Orff’s epic cantata Carmina Burana to open the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2015-16 season on October 17 and 18. Featuring the full Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, as well as dancers from State Street Ballet, singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, and a trio of internationally celebrated vocal soloists, the performances will be presented in association with the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts at the city’s historic Granada Theatre at 8 pm on Saturday, October 17, and at 3 pm on Sunday, October 18. Each concert will open with Beethoven’s intensely dramatic Leonore Overture No. 3 and Bernstein’s tuneful choral work Chichester Psalms, the latter conducted by Santa Barbara Choral Society Artistic Director JoAnne Wasserman. The production will mark the first collaboration involving the Symphony, Choral Society, and State Street Ballet. Tickets are now available.

“I am so excited about this spectacular production and the collaboration among four leading arts organizations in putting it together,” said Maestro Kabaretti, now entering his 10th season as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s music and artistic director.


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