David Bintley’s Carmina Burana — February 3-11, 2017
Choreography by David Bintley
Music by Carl Orff
Live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra &
The Georgia State University Singers & Master Singers
Atlanta Ballet presents a lush, modern reimagining of the classic parable in which the pleasures of the flesh challenge the resolve of three young seminarians. Set to Carl Orff’s masterful score, David Bintley’s Carmina Burana is a hypnotic feast for the senses. Bold, sensual, and a bit cheeky, this production is perfect for a pre-Valentine’s date night.
Parental discretion is advised.
Images: Atlanta Ballet dancers, including Christian Clark, Jackie Nash, and Rachel Van Buskirk. Photos by Kim Kenney.
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the first major performing arts facility built in metro Atlanta in four decades.
Location and Parking
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is located in northwest Atlanta near the junction of I-75 and I-285, at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road. Self parking is available on site for a $6 fee, and valet parking is available for select performances for a $10 fee. You can also pay for paking in advance online - click here for more information. Please do not park in the Toys"R"Us lot on Akers Mill Rd. This is not approved parking for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, so your car may be booted or towed if left there. Click here for dining, hotel, and additional venue information.
Emergency Phone Number
(770) 916-2911 is the 24-hour public safety number for the Cobb Energy Centre. Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that the house manager may find you in case of an emergency.
The venue is ADA compliant. Designated seats in various locations are available for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance. The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, elevators, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains. For more information, please call (770) 916-2800.
Community and Corporate Group Tickets
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Clad in a little black dress, Fortuna appears center stage, blindfolded, in stiletto heels. A full chorus and orchestra charges the atmosphere with insistent rhythms and driving chants as she advances, marking time with menacing steps and hard-edged gestures. Her bold strokes inscribe a sexy and prophetic code as the temptress invites the innocent to pursue their passions, then doles out consequences — reminding us that most every choice is a gamble.
“Carmina Burana” and its story of the cruelty of fate remain the focus. “The music is so beautiful,” says Van Buskirk. “You marry that with the physicality of dancing, and it’s a universal story, everyone can identify with. David has done a brilliant job telling that story.”
“But it’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s surprising,” said Bintley. “It’s definitely adult. But there is a dark side to it. A glittering dark side.”
In front of a lively and spirited audience at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Pickett’s “Petal” preceded “Carmina,” creating a program that filled the senses with vivid imagery, pure kinesthesia and richly detailed music.
In a large, light-filled studio at Atlanta Ballet’s complex on the Westside, dancers are rehearsing over and over again one section of choreographer David Bintley’s “Carmina Burana.” Bintley wants them to be tougher, slouchier. He demonstrates; they watch intently. Just react, he urges. Drop the classical poses. This, after all, is not “Swan Lake.” It’s a contemporary ballet about young people rejecting the spiritual life and exploring sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Atlanta Ballet’s latest production, Carmina Burana, is a wild ride from faith to sin. Choreographer David Bintley is premiering his version of Carmina Burana for the first time in North America with the Atlanta Ballet at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre this weekend. Simply put, the show is incredible and you don’t want to miss it.
“It’s a really, really fun piece,” said Gill, who plays one of the seminary students. “It’s high energy. The music, of course, is mind-blowing. I’m really looking forward to working with the singers. And everything else, too.”
Once again, The Atlanta Ballet Company puts a beautiful, powerful, moving, artistic performance, the orchestra and the chorus were perfect, the choreography was tasteful and dancers were on the top of their game, Heath, Alex, Christian, Jackie and Nadia, flawless performance.
Looking forward to the next one.
Spine tingling performance hitting on all cylinders! One of my most enjoyable entertainment experiences.
I love Carmina Burana. Own the CD. Have seen it live many times.
But THIS was unbelievable. The dance component brought to us by Bintley adds something to CB that I didn't even realize was missing. What an incredible performance this was. The AB was wonderful, especially the female lead - the opening and closing bookend scenes were delightful, poignant. There was humor, calm, beauty, energy and delight throughout.
Very moving and inventive!
I was familiar with the overture to Carmina Burana, but beyond that, I only had an idea of what I might see. The entire experience from the dancers to the orchestra to the live choir was amazing. Not entirely what I expected, which made it all the more interesting. I also really enjoyed the first performance of the evening, Petal.
Carmina Burana was highly entertaining.
The skill level of the performers was impressive. We thoroughly enjoyed the pre intermission and post intermission performances. We were a little concerned about having our 9 year old granddaughter there, but there was really not anything that she could not see. She is a dancer and was inspired by the performance.
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David Bintley talks about creating his Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana Video Commercial
David Bintley's Carmina Burana 2017 (Atlanta Ballet)
David Bintley, CBE
David Bintley is one of the most consistent and signi cant forces in British ballet, was directly in uenced by the founders of British ballet Dame Ninette de Valois and Frederick Ashton. After he joined Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet in 1976, it was as a character dancer that he made his mark, but at the same time, his choreographic ambition was encouraged and in 1983 he became resident choreographer of the company. Three years later he left to take up the same position at The Royal Ballet and during the seven years that he spent there he created numerous ballets of which "Still Life" at the Penguin Cafe and Tombeaux were the most celebrated. In 1995, after a two-year sabbatical mainly spent abroad, he returned home as artistic director of his old company, now based in Birmingham and renamed Birmingham Royal Ballet. Although still firmly based in Birmingham, from 2010 to 2014, Bintley was also artistic director of the National Ballet of Japan, where he created Aladdin and The Prince of the Pagodas. Recent work includes The King Dances, inspired by Louis XIV and the subject of a BBC documentary, and The Tempest based on Shakespeare’s play.
Carl Orff wrote the secular cantata Carmina Burana (literally Song of Beuron) using selected poems from a collection of medieval manuscripts written by the Goliards, students, and clerics who wandered from school to school before the founding of the great universities. The poems comprise religious, political, moral, erotic Bacchic, and satirical verses, which celebrate the Goliard lifestyle. When Orff read these manuscripts from the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuron, it changed his career. Known up to this time primarily as a music educator, it was in this work that he discovered his mature compositional style of driving rhythms and exultant singing. From the collection of over 200 poems, he chose 25 to set to music. The beginning and the end of the work invoke Fortune’s Wheel, which controls man’s destiny. The central parts, “Springtime,” “The Tavern,” and “Court of Love,” refer to love as their main theme. The work became instantly popular in Germany after its premier in 1937, and internationally after World War II, becoming one of the most frequently performed choral masterworks of the 20th century.
The Georgia State University Singers is the School of Music’s premier vocal ensemble. Selected by competitive audition, the choir is comprised of music majors and non-majors, undergraduate and graduate students and represents the diverse population of Georgia State University. In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tours, where they placed second overall in the mixed choir category. The ensemble’s invited performances include appearances before the Georgia Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards. The Singers’ tours have taken them throughout much of the United States, including Carnegie Hall on two occasions, and six international tours with stops in France, Belgium, Italy, Yugoslavia, Finland, Russian, Estonia, Canada, and Great Britain. Their new CD, Evening Hymn, was recently released by Gothic Records and is available via CD and on iTunes. Click here to visit the Georgia State University Singers' website.
Deanna Joseph, DMA
Associate Professor/Director of Choral Activities
Georgia State University School of Music
Dr. Deanna Joseph is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the Georgia State University School of Music where she conducts the University Singers and leads the master’s program in choral conducting. In 2015, she was the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award at Georgia State, where she was selected out of a pool of over 800 faculty.
Under Dr. Joseph’s baton the Georgia State University Singers have been invited to perform at two conventions (2014 and 2016) of the American Choral Directors Association and two conventions of the Georgia Music Educator’s Association (2013 and 2017). In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tours where they placed second overall in the mixed choir category, and Dr. Joseph was honored with the Prix du chef de choer (conducting prize). The choir’s new professional recording, Evening Hymn (Gothic Records), is available through both compact disk and on iTunes.
Dr. Joseph is an active guest conductor and clinician and has conducted all-state and honor choirs in more than eleven states. She is a frequent conductor of choral-orchestral repertoire, and has led performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven Mass in C, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in A-flat and Bruckner’s Mass in D Minor.
Dr. Joseph’s research in the area of 19th century choral-orchestral performance-practice has led to invited presentations on the topic at several division conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association and at the national convention for the National Collegiate Choral Organization. In October of 2012 she was selected as one of 25 presenters from ten countries to speak at the Lund Choral Festival in Sweden.
Prior to her appointment at Georgia State University, Dr. Joseph served on the faculties at Smith College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Dr. Joseph holds conducting degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize. She is the founder and artistic director of the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute (ASCI), a weeklong masterclass that draws conductors from all across the country and takes place annually during June.
Jeni Houser (Soprano)
Opera News lauds Jeni Houser’s performances as “commanding and duplicitous, yet also vulnerable. She has a bright future above the staff.” This season, she sings the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte in her debut with Cincinnati Opera and also joins the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of the same title. She returns to Minnesota Opera for a workshop of William Bolcom’s new opera, Dinner at Eight, and joins the Berkshire Opera Festival in its second season. Engagements in coming seasons include her debut with Austin Opera in a leading role.
Last season, Ms. Houser sang performances of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with Minnesota Opera, where she also sang Mrs. Grady in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining. She joined Madison Opera for Amy in Adamo’s Little Women, Mill City Summer Opera for Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and On Site Opera as Susanna in Marcos Portugal’s Le nozze di Figaro in her New York City debut.
During two summers with the Glimmerglass Festival, Ms. Houser sang Königin der Nacht in the young artist performance of Die Zauberflöte and Naiad – whilst covering Zerbinetta – in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Ariadne auf Naxos, in addition to covering Cunegonde in Candide. Previous seasons found Ms. Houser making her debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in its outreach performance of The Magic Victrola, in which she sang Olympia’s aria from Les contes d’Hoffmann; singing with Madison Opera as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Johanna in Sweeney Todd; singing Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Saratoga; singing Frasquita in Carmen and covering Zerbinetta with Virginia Opera; and covering Zerbinetta whilst singing Najade with Fort Worth Opera.
On the concert stage, she joined the Madison Symphony for Orff’s Carmina Burana. With Abendmusik: Lincoln (Nebraska) she has sung Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem.
The soprano won second place at the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition in 2014. She was a district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013 and 2011, after earning an encouragement award in 2010, and was a national semifinalist in the NATS Artist Award Competition in 2010. She holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lawrence University.
Andrew Lovato (Baritone)
Called a “winning baritone” by The New York Times and “sensitive and sympathetic” by Cincinnati’s CityBeat, young American baritone Andrew Lovator is garnering excitement across the nation. Recent engagements include Papageno in Die Zauberflö-te, Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, Young Raymond in the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate, El Dancaïre in Carmen, and Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, all with the Minnesota Opera. He performed as Harry Engel in Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera, where he gave an “impassioned performance” (Cincinnati.com) and as Slim in Of Mice and Men with Austin Opera. Engagements during the 2016-2017 season are highlighted by performances of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Lakes Area Music Festival and both the roles of Young Raymond and Nominee in The Manchurian Candidate with Austin Opera. Future seasons include Harlequin in Ariadne with Austin Opera and the role of Connie Rivers in The Grapes of Wrath with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, among other engagements. Mr. Lovato is the winner of the George L. Hackett Prize in the Livingston Mather Competition.
Brian Wallin (Tenor)
Brian Wallin is hailed by The Dallas Morning News as having a “finely focused and well-mannered” voice. He completed his second season with Fort Worth Opera as a Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Artist in May of 2016. Performances with Fort Worth Opera Festival include The Reporter in the world premiere of JFK; Undertaker’s Assistant I/ER Nurse/Priest in Buried Alive and Rory in Embedded, as part of their regional premieres; Gastone in La traviata; and Second Gravedigger in Hamlet. In 2015, he was a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. Upcoming engagements include the King of El Dorado in Candide with Théâtre du Capitole and Opéra National de Bordeaux in France and a return to Fort Worth Opera in the role of El Remendado in Carmen. This summer, Wallin will perform with Opera Saratoga in Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock. He earned his B.M. and M.M. from the Maryland Opera Studio.
Ari Pelto is in demand at opera houses, ballet companies, symphony orchestras, and conservatories throughout the United States. Following his 2004 debut at New York City Opera conducting La Traviata, he returned as a regular guest conductor and led productions of Madama Butterfly, Carmen, and La Bohème. Past Atlanta Ballet shows include the world premieres of Twyla Tharp's The Princess & the Goblin and Helen Pickett's a ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, as well as Prokofiev's Roméo et Juliette and Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, among many others. Recent highlights include the world premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter and Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West at Opera Colorado, where he is music director; Rusalka at Boston Lyric Opera; Romeo & Juliet at Minnesota Opera; The Magic Flute and Le Nozze di Figaro at Portland Opera; and Hansel & Gretel at Utah Opera. Ari Pelto is on the conducting faculty at Oberlin in Italy, where this year he conducts Don Giovanni.