‘Carmina Burana’ to bring 200 performers together this week

The UALR Community Chorus will presenits final performance tonight, April 30, of an innovative interpretation of Carl Orff’s 20th-century masterpiece “Carmina Burana” at 8 p.m.  in the Maumelle Performing Arts Center. The first performance, presented last night, was a sell-out.

Touching on themes of love and loss, victory and despair, and suffering and ecstasy, Orff’s music is a perennial favorite at symphony houses and stages around the world.CarminaSmWhite

The staged extravaganza will feature more than 230 singers, professional orchestral accompaniment, and choreography developed exclusively for the 2014 production by Arkansas Festival Ballet choreographer Rebecca Stalcup.

The Maumelle Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Maumelle High School, 100 Victory Lane in Maumelle, is the temporary home of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra during the renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

“We are excited to perform in this gorgeous, almost brand new auditorium, which seats 1,200 and offers ample free parking,” said Dr. Karen M. Kuralt of UALR’s Choral Program.

The collaboration features performers from the Arkansas Festival Ballet, Little Rock’s Second Presbyterian Church Choir, and the choirs of five local high schools, including J.A. Fair, Little Rock Central, Maumelle, Mount St. Mary Academy, and Parkview High School.

UALR faculty, staff, and students may each obtain a free ticket by showing identification either at the Music Department office in Room 151 of the Fine Arts Building or at the door the night of the performance.

Additional tickets are $20 each. Tickets may be purchased online at http://ualr.tix.com or by calling 501.569.8993.

Seating is unassigned, so audience members are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early for best seats.

Artistic Director Dr. Bevan Keating, associate professor of music at UALR, will conduct the orchestra and choirs. He and producer Bruce Rentz have dramatized the music through the stories of three couples as they progress through the triumphs and defeats dealt them by the whims of the goddess Fortune. Each couple is personified by two singers and two dancers who bring their own unique spin to Orff’s words and music.

The opening and closing movement, “Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi,” permeates popular culture as background music for numerous movies, advertisements, and video games.

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