February 28, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FATE, FORTUNE, DESIRE, DANCING & DRINKING!
ANGELES CHORALE PRESENTS A UNIQUE PERFORMANCE OF CARL ORFF’S ICONIC MASTERPIECE, “CARMINA BURANA,” FEATURING DUAL PIANOS, A PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE, AND ORIGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY BY ARTISTS PLUS
“DESIRE!” will open with works by Eric Whitacre and Daniel Pinkham, plus an arrangement of a traditional English folk song by conductor Charlene Archibeque
“DESIRE! Fate, Fortune & The Music Of Carl Orff”
Angeles Chorale presents a unique performance of Carl Orff’s iconic
Featuring dual pianos, percussion ensemble, & original choreography by ArtistsPlus
Also on the program:
One May Morning, arr. by Charlene Archibeque
The Wedding Cantata by Daniel Pinkham
This Marriage by Eric Whitacre
Saturday, April 2
First United Methodist Church
500 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA. 91101
$25 if purchased in advance online
$30 at the door
$20 student tickets with valid ID at the door only
LOS ANGELES, Calif. Even those who don’t recognize its name may well recognize its opening movement. “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s iconic masterpiece, Carmina Burana, has been used in films from “Excalibur” to “The Doors”, on “The Simpsons” and “Tonight Show”, and even in commercials for aftershave (Old Spice) and pizza (Dominoes). But those who attend the Angeles Chorale’s performance of Carmina Burana on Saturday, April 2, at 7:30 pm at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena will hear the work in a much different setting…and not simply because the music takes place in a concert hall rather than onscreen.
“Orff authorized a version of Carmina Burana utilizing not an orchestra but two pianos and five percussionists,” explains Angeles Chorale’s Artistic Director, John Sutton of his decision to present this non-orchestral rendition. “Yes, the audience won’t hear the orchestral colors, but they’ll experience Carmina Burana with a new clarity – hearing choral colors that are often masked by an orchestra.”
Carmina Burana, which is Latin for “Songs from Beuern,” is a collection of 24 poems Orff selected from a manuscript of 254 11th through13th century dramatic texts compiled under the same title. Frequently irreverent and satirical – sometimes even bawdy – most scholars believe the texts were written by a group of clergy and monks called Goliards. Traveling entertainers, the Goliards often wrote the poems as ‘protest songs’ against the growing contradictions they saw within the church.
Other times, the songs simply celebrate life at its most passionate and elemental. “Carmina Burana gives us a chance to explore one of our most primal instincts, desire,” Sutton says. “I don’t know a person, for instance, who isn’t addicted to excess – whether it’s exhibited in excessive shopping, excessive eating, excessive sex, excessive control, excessive narrow-mindedness.”
Or excessive drinking. “One song is so funny,” Sutton continues. “It talks about all of the people who are drinking. It goes through this litany of lawyers and plumbers and carpenters and chambermaids and priests. Everybody’s drinking!”
However, according to Sutton, the songs go far deeper than this. “As my mentor – and Angeles Chorale’s former Artistic Director – Don Neuen often said, Any good idea taken to an extreme becomes a bad idea,” Sutton comments. “The opening lyrics of ‘O Fortuna’ encourage us to delve more deeply into this conundrum.”
like the moon
you are changeable,
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
it melts them like ice.
Joining the Angeles Chorale are dancers from ArtistsPlus, who have choreographed several of the songs – an undertaking Orff more than likely would applaud. As musicologist Jonathan Babcock writes, “Orff's artistic formula limited the music in that every musical moment was to be connected with an action on stage. It is here that modern performances of Carmina Burana fall short of Orff's intentions."
“I like to think Orff will be watching from the wings, smiling his approval of our efforts to bring his original vision to life,” says Sutton.
DESIRE! will also bring to musical life our Primal Instinct to love and be loved. Opening the program is what Sutton describes as “a little triptych of falling in love, getting married, and then reflecting on the marriage” – One May Morning, an English folk song arranged by conductor Charlene Archibeque, The Wedding Cantata by Daniel Pinkham, and This Marriage by Eric Whitacre, written for his wife, soprano Hila Plitman, while Whitacre was composer-in-residence at Azusa Pacific University, where Sutton is Associate Professor and Chair of Choral Activities.
Tickets for DESIRE! are available for $25/person if ordered in advance online and for $30 at the door. Student tickets may be purchased for $20, with a valid ID, at the door only. To order tickets or learn more about the Angeles Chorale, visit www.angeleschorale.org or call 818.591.1735.
First United Methodist church is located at 500 East Colorado Blvd, in Pasadena 91101.
The Angeles Chorale thanks the Los Angeles County Arts Commission for its help in supporting this performance.
ABOUT THE CHORALE
The Angeles Chorale is a 100-voice, auditioned, professional-level, volunteer choir rehearsing and performing in the Los Angeles area. Its mission is to engage, enrich and inspire its audiences, singers, and our diverse community by performing great choral music with a passionate commitment to excellence, and to increase access to and appreciation of choral music in greater Los Angeles.
The Chorale was founded in 1975 by Bill and Ada Beth Lee, who led the organization until 1987 when John Alexander assumed the mantle of Artistic Director. In 1996, Donald Neuen, Director of Choral Activities at UCLA, stepped to the podium and led the Chorale for the next thirteen years. Under his direction, the Angeles Chorale became best known for its productions of classical masterworks for chorus and orchestra. The Chorale’s 41st concert season, entitled “Primal Instincts” and the sixth under the direction of Dr. John Sutton, will explore music that captures the human spirit, including Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s epic Carmina Burana, and the poignant sounds of the Freedom Train.
The Angeles Chorale has performed with many local orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, and the American Youth Symphony.
The Chorale appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2012 under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel as he conducted Mahler’s 8th Symphony, the Symphony of a Thousand, at the Shrine Auditorium. That season, the Angeles Chorale also was honored to perform with Barbra Streisand at the Hollywood Bowl and with Julie Andrews at the annual Holiday Sing-Along at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, part of the LA Philharmonic’s “Deck the Halls” concert series. In summer 2014, 30 members of the Angeles Chorale returned to the Hollywood Bowl to appear with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a performance entitled “An Evening of Chinese Splendor,” featuring Song Zuying, one of China’s most prominent and best-established artists, and pop singer Wang Leehom. Most recently the ensemble appeared with the Young Artist’s Symphony Orchestra in its inaugural performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. The Chorale will also once again lead the LA Philharmonic’s annual Holiday Sing-Along at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on December 19, 2015.
For the past seven years, the Angeles Chorale has worked with Immediate Music, one of the largest leasing libraries for movie previews and television commercials, as well as many other similar organizations. Chorale voices can be heard in many Hollywood movie trailers, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Tangled, Meet the Parents: Little Fockers, and Prince of Persia.
ABOUT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JOHN SUTTON
John Sutton’s professional choral career spans over four decades of work in the community, church, academic, and professional settings. From major choral and instrumental works, concert and chamber choirs, to music for television and movies, John is recognized for his work with children, youth, adults, and with amateurs and professionals alike. Today is one of the most active professional conductors in the nation, conducting over 400 singers and orchestra members weekly.
As a student, Dr. Sutton has studied with some of the most distinguished conductors in the field of choral music. John holds degrees from Northwest University (B.A. in Sacred Music and Biblical Literature), San José State University where he was a student of Dr. Charlene Archibeque (MA in Choral Conducting), and the University of California at Los Angeles, where his mentoring professor was Donald Neuen (DMA in Choral Conducting). He continues to actively study with both Dr. Archibeque and Professor Neuen.
Beyond his focused choral training in the university setting, John has studied and performed with notable choral luminaries such as Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Eric Ericson, Weston Noble, Frank Pooler, Howard Swan, Paul Salamunovich, Anton Armstrong, Eph Ely, Jerry Blackstone, and others. In addition, he has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad in choral concert tours and recording projects which include performances at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and Constitution Hall. He has conducted international concert tours with church and university choirs thoughout Canada, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and South Korea. In 2011, Dr. Sutton led choirs on concert tours of Argentina and the Southern United States. In 2012, John prepared choirs from the United States and United Kingdom for performances at the Brittania Music festivities in Birmingham and London, England.
His enthusiasm for the choral art and his commitment to excellence has made him a popular choral clinician, festival conductor and adjudicator, leading workshops for the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Church Musicians, American Christian Schools International, Choristers Guild, the national Conference on Liturgy and Worship, the Mount Herman Summer Choral Camp, and many others. In January of 2010 he was the featured speaker at the National Association of Church Musicians, Mid-Winter Conference. In 2011, John was the featured clinician for the Lake Tahoe “Summer Sing,” and in June 2013, Dr. Sutton was the featured clinician and guest conductor at the Exultate Deo Choral Festival in Buenas Aires, Argentina. In 2015-’16 John will be conducting concerts, adjudicating choral festivals, and leading choral workshops throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2000, John has conducted choral music heard on weekly television series, and national ad campaigns for major motion pictures such as the Harry Potter series, the Spider Man series, The Divinci Code, Fantastic Four, and countless others. In 2005, he was appointed as the Music Director/Conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s annual Christmas Holiday Sing-a-Long. His relationship with the L.A. Phil has resulted in Hollywood Bowl performances with pop singer Barry Manilow (2009), the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone (2009), Barbara Streisand (2012), and two sold out performances with Julie Andrews (2012-13) at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Once again he also led the L.A. Phil’s Holiday Family Sing-a-Long in December 2015 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
2010 marked Dr. Sutton being named as the Artistic Director of the Angles Chorale, and being selected as the Azusa Pacific University (APU) nominee for the national Arlin G. Meyer Award for Outstanding Musical Performance. In May, 2014, Dr. Sutton was the inaugural recipient of the Faith & Fine Arts Award, presented by the APU’s College of Music and the Arts.
John is an Associate Professor at APU in the College of Music and the Arts, where he leads and gives vision to the entire choral program as the Director of Choral Activities. He conducts the Oratorio Choir and the University Choir and Orchestra, in addition to teaching classes in conducting, and Church Music. Dr. Sutton continues to lead and consult with the choral and worship programs at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, where he has served since Fall 2000.
John resides in Altadena, California with his wife, Dr. Cecilia Patiño-Sutton.
Publicist: Jenine Baines
Executive Director: Rae Macdonald
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