A massive production of the choral fan favorite, "Carmina Burana," is in store when the Elgin Choral Union pools talents with the 70-piece Fox Valley Concert Band and Elgin Children’s Chorus for performances in Elgin and St. Charles. The experience begins with the pounding first movement sung in Latin, “O Fortuna.” The band and choral arrangement will feature rising star vocal soloists Daniel Eifert and Rosalind Lee, as well as pianists Michael Costello and Nancy Tabb.
Performances are offered at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in the Elgin Community College Arts Center and 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the Norris Cultural Arts Center, St. Charles.
Orff was a composer, musician and music educator active in the first half of the 20th century. His 1936 "Carmina Burana" is a 25-movement work based on selections of medieval poetry, with subjects ranging from nature to love to drinking songs. With its distinctive driving rhythms and simple harmonies, it remains one of the most popular pieces of 20th century classical music. The performance features a wind band arrangement by Juan Vicente Mas Quiles, as commissioned by Orff’s publisher Schott Musik.
Tickets cost $23 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for students, and $5 for children younger than 10, with purchase of adult or senior ticket. Group rates are also available.
Purchase tickets by phone at 847-622-0300 or tickets.elgin.edu or
in person at the Elgin Community College Box Office, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. For more information, call 847-214-7225 or visit www.elginchoralunion.org.
Vocal guest artists
Baritone Daniel Eifert has performed across the Midwest in both opera and concert, appearing regularly with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Grant Park Music Festival Chorus. He made his solo debut with the Grant Park Music Festival, as well as his Carnegie Hall debut, this past fall in "Carmina Burana" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This year, he will sing the role of Kurwenal in "Tristan und Isolde" with the CSO.
Soprano Rosalind Lee has appeared on the opera stage and in musicals throughout the Midwest, including productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music by the Lake, Light Opera Works, Main Street Opera, Indiana Opera Theater, Illinois Opera Theatre and The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company.
Maestro Andrew Lewis
Elgin Choral Union performs under the baton of Andrew Lewis. He is also artistic director of Bella Voce, founder and artistic director of The Janus Ensemble, choirmaster at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, and on the conducting faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Elgin Choral Union
Performing major choral works of diverse styles and sizes, ECU membership consists of volunteers who sing to professional standards, and range in age from 17 to 70. The oldest performing ensemble in the Fox Valley, Elgin Choral Union was founded in 1947, by joining 15 local choirs into one ensemble large enough to perform masterworks. Bringing together up to 100 adult volunteer singers, ECU has become one of the largest choral ensembles in the Chicago area.