Culture - Society
VNOB to perform popular choral work
A concert by Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) will feature Carmina Burana, a popular choral work of the 21st century, on June 7 and June 8 at Hanoi Opera House.
Carmina Burana (Songs of Beuren) refers to a collection of early 13th-century songs and poems that was discovered in Beuren, Germany, in 1803. Composer Carl Orff chose 24 songs from over 1,000 pieces and set them to music, which he named scenic cantata.
"It is rare to perform Carmina Burana in Vietnam, because it requires a large number of choirs and extremely high notes at solo tenor arias," conductor Dong Quang Vinh said.
"The cantata is like One Thousand and One Nights tales, including stories about the daily life during the medieval period. This piece is distinct from other pieces composed in the previous eras. Its scale is huge."
"The work uses the words of medieval and Latin poems written in the 13th century to reflect the multifaceted life of the people of that time. Our musicians work hard on research to understand the ancient word meaning and learn them by heart. The music of this poem has become extremely popular and is played by many choruses."
The seven-chapter cantata will be performed by 80 musicians and soloists Dao To Loan, Trinh Thanh Binh and Vu Manh Dung of VNOB, and about 120 singers from VNOB choir, Hanoi Voices Choir, Hanoi Freude Choir, Xuan Voce Choir and Erato Music School.
The concert, entitled Hoa Am Mua He (Summer Harmony), also features a contemporary dance based on Franz Schubert’s Death and the Maiden. The German choreographer Hans Henning Paar set the dance for the VNOB in 2011, which was performed at the Europe Meets Asia in Contemporary Dance festival.
"Choreographer’s narrative Death and the Maiden has a twist unlike traditional representation," said Meritorious Artist dancer Phan Van Luong. "It shows the contrast between the dark figure of death and decay, and the female body as the symbol of youth, beauty and hope."
"The choreographer introduced a third figure, the lover. At the centre of the piece lies the interaction among the trio, a non-violent struggle between antagonists, Death and the lover, trying to possess the girl."
Luong, and dancers Thu Hang and Van Nam, will play the three characters Death, girl and her lover.