Carl Orff’s cantata was intended to be an exploration of medieval poetry, but has become one of the iconic works for chorus and orchestra. It makes a suitably powerful conclusion to the 2016/2017 Masters series and is joined by works from two of the ESO’s former Composers in Residence, including a brand new Trumpet Concerto by John Estacio. YYYY/MM/DD
Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
William Eddins, conductor
Robin Doyon, trumpet (pictured)
Andriana Chuchman, soprano
Andrew Haji, tenor
Michael Nyby, baritone
Kokopelli and Òran (Scott Leithead, Artistic Director)
Belle Canto, Vox Hominis and Cantilon Chamber Chorus (Heather Johnson, Artistic Director)
Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton (Orest Soltykevych, director)
Vox Hominis (part of Cantilon family of choirs)
Carl Orff’s cantata was intended to be an exploration of medieval poetry, but has become one of the iconic works for chorus and orchestra. It makes a suitably powerful conclusion to the 2016/2017 Masters series and is joined by works from two of the ESO’s former Composers in Residence, including a brand new Trumpet Concerto by John Estacio.
Orff – Carmina Burana
Estacio – Trumpet Concerto
Rival – Northwest Passage Variations
Stay after the performance for Afterthoughts, in the Main Lobby, a casual and fun Q&A with guest artists and composers, free to all ticket holders
$79 Dress Circle (A)
$69 Terrace (B)
$59 Orchestra (C)
$39 Upper Circle (D)
$29 Gallery (E)
Tickets subject to applicable service charges.
Northwest Passage Variations (2014 ESO commission) (12’)*
Trumpet Concerto (2017 ESO co-commission) (22’)*
Triton’s Trumpet: Tranquillo
Rondo: Fast and lively
INTERMISSION (20 minutes)
Carmina Burana (65’)*
Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Fortune, Empress of the World)
1- “O Fortuna”
2- “Fortune plango vulnera“
I- Primo vere (In Springtime)
3- “Veris leta facies”
4- “Omnia sol temperat”
5- “Ecce gratum”
Uf dem anger (On the Lawn)
7- “Floret silva nobilis”
8- “Chramer, gip die varwe mir”
10- “Were diu werlt alle min”
II- In Taberna (In the Tavern)
11- “Estuans interius”
12- “Olim lacus colueram”
13- “Ego sum abbas”
14- “In taberna quando sumus”
III- Cour d'amours (The Court of Love)
15- “Amor volat undique”
16- “Dies, nox et omnia”
17- “Stetit puella”
18- “Circa mea pectora”
19- “Si puer cum puellula”
20- “Veni, veni, venias”
21- “In truitina”
22- “Tempus est iocundum”
Blanziflor et Helena (Blanziflor and Helena)
24- “Ave formosissima”
Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Fortune, Empress of the World)
25- “O Fortuna”
program subject to change
*indicates approximate performance duration
Northwest Passage Variations (2014 ESO commission)
(b. Calgary, 1975)
First performed: May 11, 2014
This is the second ESO performance of the piece
Program note by the composer:
Ah, for just one time, I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea
Tracing one warm line through a land so wide and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.
—Stan Rogers (1949-83), “Northwest Passage” [chorus]
In planning the third year of my residency with the ESO I told Rob McAlear, Artistic Administrator, that I wanted to write some orchestral variations. “How about using a popular tune?” he casually suggested. “How about a Canadian one?” Instantly folk legend Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage” came to mind, a 1981 classic that still makes me weep—something about his rich baritone, the melody’s sweep and craggy rhythms, the expansive a cappella harmonies—and, of course, the poetry. Instinct told me that the tune, stripped of its words, had the stuff to withstand the rigours of variation form: simplicity and modularity of phrase and harmonic structure; a melodic and rhythmic profile with character. Solidity of design on several levels assures that the theme’s identity persists in the face of the inevitable and manifold contortion. And even as Rogers’ words are muted, their images, emotions and ideas invisibly guide the shape of the variations. Variation form, by definition, invites a purely musical exploration: a search for the essence of the subject being transformed, adorned. Rogers meditates on explorers of the past. I, in turn, reflect lovingly upon his song—and legacy. I gratefully acknowledge Roger’s widow, Ariel Rogers, and Fogarty’s Cove & Cole Harbour Music, for granting permission to undertake this project.
Trumpet Concerto (2017 ESO co-commission)
(b. Newmarket, Ontario, 1966)
This is the ESO premiere of the piece, as part of its co-commission
Program note by the composer:
The first of three movements is titled Triton’s Trumpet and takes its inspiration from the Greek myth about Poseidon’s son, Triton, who used his conch shell as a trumpet to calm or raise the ocean waters. The movement begins in a tranquil state and features a lyrical and florid cadenza for the solo trumpet over sustained tremulous strings. An undercurrent of disturbance by the lower brass warns that this tranquility could be disrupted, but is calmed by the mellifluous tones of the trumpet. Gradually however, the discordance in the depths of the orchestra eventually takes over and builds to a giant wave of sound and energy almost overpowering the soloist. However, as with Triton, the soloist eventually calms the waters and the tranquil music from the opening reappears, albeit in a slightly disquieting setting. The opening themes are developed with solos for the clarinets before the trumpet takes over with a revision of the opening cadenza. However, once again, ominous tones overtake the tranquil mood and suddenly thrust the soloist into a more fervent tempo that eventually builds to a swirl of chaos and incivility that threatens to overtake the solo trumpet. The lengthy first movement is approximately half the length of the concerto.
The middle movement is titled Ballad and features extended lyrical phrases for the solo trumpet. The strings introduce a primary melody that feels somewhat unsettled and ungrounded. The winds play a solemn chorale that will eventually become the driving force behind a regal sounding climax. After the portentous first two movements, the third movement, Rondo, is a much needed balm. It is written in a quick 6/8 meter and begins with a quixotic melody that will return several times throughout this mercurial kaleidoscope of energy, colour and fanfare.
(b. Munich, 1895 / d. Munich, 1982)
First performed: June 8, 1937 in Frankfurt
Last ESO performance: April 2009
The Benedictine abbey of Benediktbeuren dates back to the eighth century, and is about 65 kilometres from Munich. In 1803, when some 70 ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire were secularized as compensation for territory annexed during the French Revolution, the abbey was occupied and inspected, and some 200 poems dating back to Medieval times were discovered.
Mostly in Latin and Middle High German, the poems showed that there was more on the minds of the abbey’s inhabitants than the monastic vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. The texts were edited and published in 1847, and came to the attention of Bavarian composer Carl Orff. Carmina Burana, or “songs of the Beuren,” is a large cantata divided into sections, each of which pertains to many of the poems’ running themes of love, drink, and other worldly matters.
A very ancient symbol frames the production – the wheel of fortune, perpetually turning. This is the reason for the work opening and closing with “O Fortuna, velut luna, statu variabilis” (translations for the texts are provided in tonight’s insert). In between this opener/closer to the cycle, the work follows in three sections, three “forces” that humanity encounters: Nature in spring, Nature in wine, and Love.
The homage to Nature takes us to verdant pastures, where girls dance and the uninhibited monks imbibe. Scholars praise the impetuosity of youth. Throughout the work, Orff’s grasp and fascination with rhythm is all pervasive. His orchestration is imaginative, and he evokes an essential and accessible clarity from his subject by means of clear-cut patterns. His basic form is a strophic song (a common form in which the same music is repeated in each verse), with a diatonic melody. These melodies are easily identifiable: we hear elements of Litany, and Gregorian plainchant. The work has jusitifiably become one of the most popular and well-known of 20 century choral works; “O Fortuna” in particular has been heard in television commercials, movie scores (Excalibur, Warlock), and was even used as entrance music by the Rolling Stones. “My collected works begin with the Carmina Burana,” Orff has famously said.
Program notes © 2017 by D.T. Baker, except as indicated
A native of East Angus, Québec, Robin Doyon was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in September 2008. Since that appointment, he has appeared as soloist with the ESO, as well as the Red Deer Symphony and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. He received his Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Classical Interpretation at the University of Montréal with Jean-Luc Gagnon. He has studied with many masters of the trumpet, including Allen Vizzutti, Jens Lindemann, and James Thompson. In 2002, he was Laureate of the National Music Festival, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Competition, and the Radio-Canada Young Artists Competition.
Mr. Doyon has also been the recipient of numerous other prizes, including the 2007 prix avec Grande distinction from the Montréal Conservatory of Music. He has been a member of the Grand Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and is a regular performer with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Laval, Longueuil, and the Metropolitan orchestras. He also performed with the Contemporary Ensemble of Montréal and the Contemporary Music Society of Québec. Robin currently teaches at the University of Alberta.
Mr. Doyon last appeared as a soloist with the ESO in January 2016.
This season, soprano Andriana Chuchman made her debuts at the Houston Grand Opera and San Diego Opera. She also returned to the Washington National Opera, and appears in concert with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Next season she returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Chuchman most recently created the roles of Boonyi/India in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Jack Perla's Shalimar the Clown at the Opera Theater of St. Louis. Other recent opera engagements have included the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival Tour, Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Omaha, the Glimmerglass Festival, Michigan Opera Theater, the Bard Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival USA, and the Chicago Opera Theater. A graduate of the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ms. Chuchman has appeared on the opera company's main stage, and sang student matinee performances. She was also a member of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.
Ms. Chuchman recently sang the premiere of Larysa Kuzmenko's Golden Harvest with the Winnipeg Symphony. She made her debut at the Canadian Opera Company as Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and has also appeared with Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera. Born in Winnipeg, Ms. Chuchman received her Bachelor's Degree in Voice Performance from the School of Music at the University of Manitoba. She is the recipient of the Opera Theater of St. Louis' 2017 Mabel Dorn Reeder Award, and was also a prizewinner at the Finals of the 2009 Neue Stimmen Competition in Germany and received a Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Award in 2007.
Ms. Chuchman last appeared with the ESO in December 2015.
Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stages. A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Andrew’s recent operatic roles include Tamino in The Magic Flute (COC, 2017), Hélios in Félicien David’s Herculanum (Wexford Festival Opera, 2016), Rodolfo in La bohème (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 2016), Alfredo in La traviata (COC, 2015), Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville (COC, 2015), Rodriguez in Massenet’s Don Quichotte (COC, 2014), and Ferrando in Così fan tutte (COC, 2014).
Andrew graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in 2013 with a Master of Music in Opera degree, and in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree. In September 2014, Andrew Haji was the recipient of the Grand Prix, the Press Prize, and the Junior Jury Prize at the 50th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. In July 2013, He received an Encouragement Award in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition held at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. In November 2012, he was selected as the second prize winner of the Canadian Opera Company’s second annual Ensemble Studio Competition. Mr. Haji’s recent and upcoming oratorio engagements include performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Mozart’s Requiem, Great Mass in C minor, and Coronation Mass.
Mr. Haji last appeared with the ESO in December 2015.
Baritone Michael Nyby is establishing himself on both the concert and opera stages throughout North America. In the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Nyby will be heard with Toronto Operetta Theatre in The Chocolate Soldier. On the concert stage he debuts with the Cathedral Choral Society in Washington, D.C. singing Dvo?ák’s Te Deum and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. Last season, he was Danilo in The Merry Widow for Edmonton Opera and in concert sang the Messiah for the Windsor Symphony, later returning as Schaunard in a concert version of La Bohème. He appeared as Seth in the world premiere of Togni and Singer’s Isis and Osiris for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert in April 2016.
In February 2015, Mr. Nyby sang the world premiere, fully-staged concert performance of the opera Georgia Bottoms, and later that spring, the role of Demetrio in the world premiere of Il sogno for Opera Ithaca. Passionate about the music of our time, he also performed the world premiere of Scott Wheeler’s 200 Dreams from Captivity in 2014 with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and created the role of William Dale in Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of Kevin Putz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night. He performed the role of the Young Man in the Canadian Premiere of Joe DiPietro’s play The Last Romance for Theatre Aquarius in 2013, for which he received numerous accolades. Michael was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition’s Western Canada District, and won third place in the Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper International Vocal Competition.
This is Mr. Nyby’s debut with the ESO. He sang the role of Dandini in Rossini’s La Ceneretola with Edmonton Opera, with the ESO accompanying, earlier this season.
Founded in 2002, Òran began as an alumni offshoot of the Kokopelli Youth Choir, but it has since developed into a group made up of young adults from all over Edmonton and the surrounding area. The choir is dedicated to sharing joy in song with each other, with other choirs, and with audiences around Edmonton and across Canada. Òran was featured at the 2005 Festival 500 in St. John’s Newfoundland, and participated in the Laval International Choral Festival in Quebec in July 2009, as well as a cultural tour to Cuba in May 2011. Members of Òran travelled to Europe for a tour in July 2012 including stops in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. In May 2014 season Òran was delighted to perform as an invited ensemble in Halifax at Podium 2014, the biannual conference of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities.
Founded in 1996, Kokopelli celebrated its twentieth season last year. Kokopelli was the winner of both the 2016 National Music Festival and the 2015 Canadian Competition for Amateur Choirs (Mixed Youth Choir Category). The ensemble’s members range in age from 14 to 23. The choir aims to share music across the boundaries of culture and place, using song as a tool of communication and community. Kokopelli has been a featured ensemble at many events, provincially, nationally, and internationally. The choir has toured to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Malaysia, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and Zambia. Kokopelli is often the ambassador for the choir association and as such, has received several awards for their work with youth, music education, and the African Projects Fund. The current season will feature a performance at the Rocky Mountain Festival and a major overseas tour in the summer of 2017.
The choirs last appeared with the ESO in December 2016.
The Cantilon Chamber Choir is widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading children’s choral ensembles. Since its inception, the Cantilon Chamber Choir has been honoured with numerous awards in national and international competitions. The choir has traveled extensively, competing successfully in the Béla Bartók International Choral Competition in Debrecen, Hungary and the 57th International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. In addition to its regular concert series, the Cantilon Chamber Choir regularly performs with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro Canada, Edmonton Opera, and the Richard Eaton Singers. The choir has released four CDs: The Time of Snow, That Yongë Child, Blessed Is the World That Sings, and Bonny Wood Green.
Belle Canto Women’s Choir, founded in 1991 by conductor Heather Johnson, is regarded as one of Canada’s leading women’s choral ensembles. Originally a group of university students, the choir now consists of amateur singers from all walks of life. The choir is particularly well-known for their adventurous programming of new works, their stunning ability to sing in a wide variety of languages, and their full use of the women’s vocal palette. Their two CD recordings – Sing! (2010) and Invocation (2006) – feature many of the works by Eastern European and Scandinavian composers as well as Canadian commissions that form the core of the choir’s repertoire. The choir has been invited to perform in numerous international choral competitions and festivals including the Johannes Brahms International Choral Competition, Seghizzi International Choral Competition, the Cork International Choral Festival, and the 3rd Annual International Choral Olympics. Multiple first place awards in the biennial Canadian National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs have further solidified the choir’s place as a leader in the world of women’s voices.
Cantilon Choirs is pleased to announce the start of a new era with an all-male choir, Vox Hominis. The ensemble is sure to be a fabulous addition to our programs and we are thrilled to have Edmonton’s own John Brough and Mona Holton co-conducting the ensemble.
Members of the Cantilon Choirs group last performed with the ESO in April 2016.
For over 32 years the Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton (UMCE) has pursued the objective of developing, promoting, and fostering a greater appreciation of the traditions of Ukrainian choral singing.
The UMCE’s first major performance was at Expo ’86 in Vancouver and was proud to represent Canada at the 1996 International Choral Festival in Missoula, Montana. The chorus toured Poland and Western Ukraine in 2002, and returned to Ukraine in 2011 for a concert tour. The choir also travelled to Australia in 2008, and has performed in all of the major cities in Canada.
In the summer of 2014, the UMCE participated in the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. The choir also performed in Poland and Austria. In July of 2017, the choir will touring Spain and Portugal. Throughout its existence, the UMCE has hosted and performed at numerous events in the Edmonton area, and every December hosts a Christmas concert called "A Festive Mosaic". The choir has released 4 recordings: That Old Sheepskin Coat, The Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton LIVE!, Malanka Suite, and Kateryna.
The founding director and current Artistic Director of the UMCE is Orest Soltykevych.
The choir last appeared with the ESO at Symphony Under the Sky 2016.
Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
#4 Sir Winston Churchill Square
The Francis Winspear Centre for Music is on the corner of 102nd Avenue and 99th Street, in the heart of The Arts District in downtown Edmonton. It is readily accessible by car, Edmonton Transit (bus and LRT), and the Pedway system.
The City of Edmonton provides over 1500 convenient parking stalls within a 5-minute walk from Winspear Centre, The Citadel Theatre and Shaw Conference Centre. The Library, Canada Place and City Hall Parkades provide heated underground parking with pedway connections to the event venues. Parking is also available at on-street meters in the vicinity.
Nearly every level of the Winspear Centre is able to accommodate patrons with wheelchairs. Please advise our Box Office staff when you purchase your tickets that access to wheelchair seating will be necessary.
The Winspear Centre can provide an assistive listening device if you require one. Please visit the concierge desk in the main lobby.
Dining Near the Winspear
The Winspear Centre's downtown location is ideally situated for some of the best dining experiences Edmonton has to offer. Whether you're seeking dinner before the show or a late night treat after, you can find it at one of these restaurants located within a few blocks of the Winspear Centre.
At the Event
What to Wear
For some, an event at a world-class facility like the Winspear Centre is a great excuse to dress to the nines. But it’s hardly necessary. If that’s your style – go for it! If it’s not – hey, you paid for the ticket, so do what makes you feel comfortable. You’ll see a wide range of dress, from casual to pretty classy, depending on the kind of event it is. Business casual is probably a great middle ground for most Edmonton Symphony Orchestra concerts.
Perfume & Scents
In consideration to your fellow patrons who may have sensitivities or allergies to scented products, we ask that you use such products with great discretion. If, as a patron, you experience difficulty due to another patron’s use of fragrance, please alert our front of house staff, who will do everything possible to accommodate you.
Food & Beverage
The Winspear Centre has a number of stations in operation pre-show and during intermission. Bars, coffee bars, dessert stations and a martini bar are waiting for you. A good bet for intermission is to pre-order your drink before the show, and it will be waiting for you, so you can avoid lining up during the break.
Click here for more information on planning your experience.