The Pilgrim Festival Chorus will perform Carl Orff’s masterwork Carmina Burana at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at the Church of the Pilgrimage in Town Square. PFC Music Director William Richter will conduct, accompanied by six percussionists and pianists Elizabeth Chapman Reilly and Susan Land Hotchkiss.
“Everything I have written up to now, and which you have unfortunately printed, you can shred into pulp. My collected works begin with Carmina Burana,” Orff wrote to his publisher in 1937 Composed a year earlier, the piece immediately gained popularity following its premiere. Audiences have long found its contemporary rhythms, infectious melodies and percussive elements exciting. Carmina captures some of the common experiences of humanity across all ages.
“PFC has performed many of the greatest masterworks of the choral repertoire. We’ve held this piece at bay awaiting a membership that could sustain the work’s vocal demands with great range and dynamic control,” Richter said. “It appeals to me as a director for its complexity, elements of jazz, and the novel idea that, in essence, a rock and roll opera was composed in 1936.” Richter also identifies with Orff as a music education pioneer. The “Orff method” of teaching rhythms and ostinati is still used in music classrooms around the world.
Baritone Andrew Garland, of Kingston, will perform the major solos in the piece. He’s been saluted by the New York Times as having a “distinctly American presence” with a “big voice,” “an able and comfortable performer, and a sincere one.” Also performing as soloist, soprano Kimberly Moller is rapidly gaining recognition in the Boston music scene, both on the opera stage and in the concert hall. She was recently praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer for her “bright, focused voice.”
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students older than 14. Younger children will be admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased at www.pilgrimfestivalchorus.org, at the Plymouth Center for the Arts at 11 North St. and from PFC members. To reserve tickets by phone, call Susan at 774-283-4848.
Complimentary refreshments will be served in the church hall following the performance. For more information, visit www.pilgrimfestivalchorus.org or follow Pilgrim Festival Chorus on Facebook.