Carmina Burana concert at the beautiful Chiostro di San Pietro in Vincoli a true success

“The sexiest Carmina Burana Rome has ever heard”, that was conductor Jonathan Talberg’s promise for the concert event on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 9.00 pm at the Chiostro di San Pietro in Vincoli (Monumental cloister of Saint Peter in Chains) - and he didn't promise too much. The audience of several hundred paying spectators - mainly Italians - were very moved by the performance and rewarded the musicians with minute-long applause. The setting in the historical courtyard which is now part of the Roman University La Sapienza contributed to the success of the concert that concluded the 2008 Incantato Festival.
Under the direction of Dr. Talberg, a highly-skilled US-American director and renowned university professor, almost 100 singers from three choirs performed Carl Orff’s masterwork in the reduced version for soloists, mixed choir, two pianos and percussion: The California State University Long Beach Chamber Choir supported by singers from the University Choir and the Carolina International Chorale from Chapel Hill, North Carolina (under the direction of Sue Klausmeyer).
Carmina Burana is an exciting and moving cantata based on 24 poems from the 13th century that were discovered in a Bavarian monastery. The poems cover a wide selection of secular topics as familiar to us today as they undoubtedly were in the 13th century: the transient nature of wealth, the fickleness of fortune, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and sex. The music has a here-and-now quality that captures the attention of modern audiences, it is surging, powerful and sometimes very erotic.
When asked to sum up the work in two phrases, Dr. Talberg said: "Carmina was written by monks who wish they weren't monks or in the words of the 60s, it is all about sex, drugs and rock'n roll".
The concert opened the Roman Summer Musical Festival “E Lucevan le stelle – Musica nel Chiostro” and followed the Incantato Carmina Burana Festival 2008 on the Amalfi Coast where 120 singers performed Carmina Burana with full symphony orchestra on June 27 in the Anfiteatro di Maiori. The event was organized by the New York based Performance Tour Specialists Incantato Tours & Concert Management in cooperation with the Roman Associazione Nova Amadeus and under patronage of the Italian Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali – Dipartimento dello Spettacolo. Artistic Director is Stefano Sovrani who founded the Nova Amadeus Orchestra in 1982 and has since worked with many major artists.
While the percussionists were professional Italian musicians and members of the Nova Amadeus Orchestra, the soloists and pianists come from the United States - like the choristers. The singers executed Carmina beautifully. The three soloists, Tenor Andrew Crane, Baritone Tyler Alessio and Soprano Ashley Seaton excelled. Alessio and Seaton are outstanding voice majors at California State University Long Beach and the two Italian concerts were their international premieres as soloists in a major production. Christopher Luthi and Frank Zachary were the pianists for the Rome concert.