In a co-presentation, Richmond Ballet and Richmond Symphony are set to bring the iconic Carmina Burana to the Carpenter Theatre stage at Dominion Energy Center September 22 through 24.
After a triumphant performance at the legendary Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in August, Richmond Ballet and Richmond Symphony return to Richmond with John Butler’s powerful Carmina Burana and Ma Cong’s exhilarating Thrive. The extraordinary evening will feature nearly 200 performers, including dancing from Richmond Ballet’s company dancers, music by Richmond Symphony’s musicians and vocals from members of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and The City Choir of Washington, all at the helm of Richmond Ballet Resident Conductor Erin Freeman.
The program will open with the invigorating Thrive, the most recent work choreographed by Richmond Ballet Associate Artistic Director Ma Cong. This joyful ballet, set to music by modern English composer Oliver Davis, explores the depth and intensity of energetic human connections. This will be the first time that Richmond audiences will hear Davis’ score performed live, as he recently re-arranged the music for its orchestral debut at Wolf Trap. Concertmaster Daisuke Yamamoto, celebrating his tenth season with the Richmond Symphony, will also be featured violin soloist.
Originally choreographed in 1959 for New York City Opera, John Butler’s Carmina Burana is one of the most popular works in the Richmond Ballet repertory. Sixteen dancers create an abstract landscape of movement, celebrating the joys of spring; living the pleasures, extravagances, and despairs of tavern life; and closing with passionate love poems. Using carminas, or songs, discovered in a Bavarian monastery to form the basis of the Latin text, Carl Orff’s chorus sings of earthly pleasures, while lamenting the powerful and heavy hand of fate. Butler’s groundbreaking Carmina Burana was the first ballet in the U.S. to use the commanding score, which has since become a recognizable mainstay across arts and media.
Carmina Burana at Carpenter Theatre Stage at Dominion Energy Center, September 22 through 24
Appearing on stage alongside the Richmond Ballet dancers will be three renowned operatic soloists: tenor Lunga Eric Hallam, a recent graduate of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; baritone Daniel Rich, a member of The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program; and soprano Esther Tonea, a 2022 winner of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. Members of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and The City Choir of Washington will be stationed throughout the Carpenter Theatre, creating an unforgettable evening of immersive music and dance.
While Richmond Ballet and Richmond Symphony perform together often, this performance is unique in that it is a co-presentation. Richmond Ballet Managing Director Brett Bonda said of the partnership, “We are thrilled to work with the Symphony to present Carmina Burana. There is not a more fitting work in our repertory to bring together our two organizations in celebration of the arts in Richmond and the outstanding talent of this great community.”
“These collaborative performances of Carmina Burana showcase the rich and vibrant culture of Richmond,” said Lacey Huszcza, Executive Director of the Richmond Symphony. “With the orchestral power of Richmond Symphony and the Ballet’s vibrant dance, this is the Carmina of a lifetime.”
Tickets to Carmina Burana start at $25. Tickets may be purchased online at etix.com, by phone at 804.344.0906 x224 or in person at the Richmond Ballet Box Office, 407 East Canal Street, Richmond.