Different worlds come together with production of ‘Carmina Burana and Selected Works’

Composite stock image | Photos courtesy Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University’s department of theatre arts & dance and the department of music, in collaboration with SUU choirs and orchestra and the Red Rock Singers, are preparing for an exciting production of “Carmina Burana and Selected Works: An Original Choreographed Dance Concert.”

The concert will open Wednesday in the Randall L. Jones Theatre and run through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. each night with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Closing night will be March 5.

Based on 24 poems from the collection of Carmina Burana, Carl Orff created a musical production that has impressed audiences since 1935.

Southern Utah University’s department of theatre arts and dance and the department of music will assemble their collective talents to take this historic production one step further, pulling together dancers, choirs and the orchestra in a dynamic production of movement, sound, design and technology.

Working with other performers to create an integrated work is perhaps the most effective way to learn workflow, artistic vision, perspective, roles, and concert and technology management,” Patricia Meredith, artistic director, said. “The difficulty of the score, the sheer number of forces required, and the artistic and technological integration of this performance, creates challenges. Working with students and colleagues to overcome these challenges are truly the best parts of working in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.”

Nicole Holt, a senior dance performance major from Spanish Fork, also spoke of the value of the collaborative effort.

“All year we have been rehearsing for this performance,” Holt said. “There has been a lot of time and energy that has gone into putting this production together not just by the dancers and faculty who are choreographing, but also by the music department. It has been amazing to see everything come together and how our hard work is paying off.”

For sophomore vocal performance major Treyson Sherratt, working on the production has provided a focus for moving forward in both education and career.

“The most challenging part has been the rhythms of all the pieces I’ve worked on,” Sherratt said. “This production taught me that if I want to perform opera as a career then I need to take the right steps to truly know my music so I can be the best (instrument) for the music to speak through. It’s not enough to just stand there and sing notes. I must invest every bit of my heart and soul into this extraordinary piece of work.”

This production will incorporate community musicians as well. Founded in 2015 and comprising Iron County community members, the Red Rock Singers will join the SUU Choirs and Orchestra to create the musical background of this performance.

Lawrence Johnson, chairman for the department of music, called Carl Orff’s production a “tour de force.”

“SUU’s production will be no exception,” Johnson said, adding:

After weeks of intensive rehearsals of this challenging music, the reward is going to be extraordinary when the students and faculty show off their talents and hard work. It may be decades before you see and hear again this grand of an undertaking of this unique masterpiece in our corner of the world, so be sure not to miss it.

Event details

  • What: Southern Utah University’s collaborative production of “Carmina Burana and Selected Works: An Original Choreographed Dance Concert.”
  • When: Wednesday, Feb. 28, through March 3 and March 5 at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performance March 3 at 2 p.m.
  • Where: Randall L. Jones Theatre, Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, Southern Utah University campus.
  • Details: Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Southern Utah University faculty, staff and students are free with a valid ID. Faculty and staff IDs are allowed one guest. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the show or online.

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