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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 10:45 am | Fair 62º


Santa Barbara Symphony Teams with State Street Ballet and Choral Society for Monumental ‘Carmina Bur

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 Oct. 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 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 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.

Carmina Burana is a piece for all senses, and having it staged and choreographed with more than 200 people on the Granada stage will definitely make these performances an unforgettable experience.”

Composed in 1935–36, Orff’s sprawling masterpiece is based on a collection of medieval verse that alternately contemplates life’s vicissitudes and celebrates feasting and merriment. At once bawdy and endearing, it is among the most iconic and recognized choral works of the 20th century.

Performing as soloists in this production of Carmina Burana will be soprano Maria Rey-Joly, countertenor Randall Scotting and baritone Nigel Smith.

Born in Madrid, Rey-Joly has received plaudits for her versatility and sensitivity on concert and opera stages throughout Europe.

Hailed for his “mellifluous” (Musical America) and “clarion” (New York Times) singing voice, Scotting is fast emerging as a standout interpreter of baroque opera heroes.

A native of Canada, Smith was a prizewinner at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition before embarking on a successful performing career, principally in Europe.

Named music and artistic director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006, Nir Kabaretti has established an outstanding international career as a dynamic and innovative conductor with vast experience in both the symphonic and operatic repertoire.

He continues to collaborate with many of the world’s most renowned musicians, orchestras and opera houses. Maestro Kabaretti has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, to name just a few.

His extensive operatic experience includes productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Real in Madrid, Switzerland’s Opéra de Lausanne and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Winner of the 1993 Forum Junger Kunstler Conducting Competition in Vienna, he was named the music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony in 2014.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2015–16 season will continue Nov. 14 and 15 with “Shakespeare Set to Music,” a collaboration involving the Ensemble Theatre Company featuring Mendelssohn’s incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Walton’s film score for As You Like It and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

Following a New Year’s Eve pops concert, the Symphony will present the U.S. premiere of Italian composer Cristian Carrara’s Machpelah featuring guest artists Francesca Dego (violin) and Robert deMaine (principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic) Jan. 16 and 17.

That program will also include Gabrieli’s Sacrae symphoniae (for antiphonal brass), Handel’s Water Music and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.

Additional upcoming highlights include a program of Rachmaninoff featuring guest artists James Rudd (conductor) and Ian Parker (piano) February 13 and 14, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring guest soloist Timothy Chooi April 9 and 10, and guest artist Pablo Sainz-Villegas performing Elmer Bernstein’s Guitar Concerto in the season’s final concerts May 14 and 15.

All performances will take place at the Granada Theatre, located at 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Complete season information is available at www.thesymphony.org/performances/season_2015-16.

The October 17 and 18 concerts are generously supported by title sponsors Roger and Sarah Chrisman and diamond sponsor Sara Miller McCune. 

To place a subscription order for the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2015–16 season, go to www.thesymphony.org/tickets/subscriptions.

Single tickets can be purchased at www.granadasb.org or by calling 805.899.2222.

— Tim Dougherty represents the Santa Barbara Symphony.


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