Behind the scenes with Colorado Ballet's CARMINA BURANA - Day 1

Hi Everyone! I'm incredibly blessed this month to be singing during the final performances of Colorado Ballet's 2018-2019 season. (Singing? In a ballet? What?!)  

From their website: "This season’s Ballet MasterWorks program will open with George Balanchine’s Serenade, and the second half will include a performance of Carmina Burana for the first time in nearly 20 years. This production of Carmina Burana features choreography by the acclaimed Fernand Nault, along with Carl Orff’s evocative and powerful music performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra and the Evans Choir." 

As a member of the Evans Choir, I thought it might be fun to share some behind-the-scenes details with you, as we move into production week, followed by our seven performances. 

First, it's a rare treat as a professional singer to have more than one performance of anything. It's difficult in the Denver area to get a musical residency at Nocturne or Dazzle. One of my themed musical revues, like the Stephen Sondheim and Joni Mitchell shows, would be perfect for longer runs, but I have yet to get a theatre company to include them in a season. So I am really enjoying the prospect of living within this music for the next two weeks. Once you get past opening night, you can settle in and really enjoy yourself, find new nuances, grow into it. This is very meaningful to a performer. 

I adore Carmina Burana and sang it once before, with the Colorado Music Festival Chorus at Chautauqua, under director Michael Christie. It's a funny and fairly scandalous piece about the vicissitudes of Fortune, the renewal of spring and the powerful pull of lust and desire. The text is based on poems written in the 11th-13th centuries in medieval Latin, middle high German and French. Don't let the antiquity fool you - this music is as relevant as anything written today. There are songs of love and longing, songs about hooking up, the men get drunk and sing over gaming tables in a tavern, and the ballet opens and closes with an ode to the wheel of Fortune. You'll hear our 50-member chorus, a full orchestra, and three incredible soloists (my fave is the baritone, OMG wait till you hear him!). 

We'll be onstage with the dancers, far right and left, sometimes hidden behind scrims, sometimes visible, in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, which is the ballet company's home turf. Getting to sing on this hallowed stage, with THIS ballet company, is an absolute thrill for me. For over a decade, when I was Colorado correspondent for DANCE magazine, I saw every show in CB's entire season. I interviewed and got to know many of the dancers, wrote two cover stories and many reviews about the company, and fell in love with all of them. To share the stage with them now is such an honor.  

Plus - bonus!! - the company is also dancing George Balanchine's gorgeous Serenade on this program. My favorite ballet of all time; trust me, seeing it will make your world better. And I get to see it every night during these 2 wks - my idea of heaven. Aaaaah!  

So I hope you will read these posts and share this journey with me. I think it's going to be tremendous. Tickets here.

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