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Carmina Burana

Ticket Information

  • Early Bird - until 17 May: $32.00 each
  • Full - after 17 May: $42.00 each
  • Concession - after 17 May: $36.00 each
  • Additional fees may apply


  • Sat 15 Jun 2019, 7:30pm–9:00pm
  • Sun 16 Jun 2019, 2:30pm–4:00pm


All Ages


Listed by


This noteworthy arrangement of the popular cantata Carmina Burana, written in 1956 by Carl Orff’s student Wilhelm Killmayer, was authorised by Orff himself as suitable for chamber performances of this large scale work. This staple piece of the classical repertoire, with its famous, dramatic and often used opening and closing chorus “O Fortuna”, is based on a collection of poems, written by Bavarian monks between the 11th and 13th century. While the poetry seems mostly bawdy, irreverent, and satirical in nature, it provides a glimpse into the true medieval mind. It seems that pleasures and woes of modern life have not changed much since, strongly suggesting that we shall always be at the whim of that eternal turning wheel: “O Fortuna, life’s only constant is change!”

Without sacrificing its grandeur, soundscape and musical drama, Killmayer’s arrangement effectively eliminates the need for a large symphony orchestra. Scored for full chorus, 3 soloists, 2 pianos, timpani, and a very large percussion ensemble, all of the original choral and vocal material remains intact, emerging from the musical texture with much greater clarity than it does within the larger orchestral version. Orff’s vision was to perform this work as part of an unfolding stage drama. This performance will therefore include a narrative element, explaining and highlighting the significance of the text. Some of the more traditional gender roles are also stretched: we don’t live in medieval Bavaria, and it seems entirely appropriate for women to join the men in our rendition of the tavern scene!

Apart from the Federation Concert Hall, Hobart has no performance venues with two identical pianos. Being quite an amazing feat in itself, a second grand piano, identical to the Yamaha concert grand that resides at the Farrall Centre, will be shipped in from the Theatre Royal. With nearly nearly 90 people on stage, including some of Tasmania's finest singers and musicians, this not-to-be-missed concert promises to depict all the naughty, tender and raucous sounds and scenes of Carl Orff’s masterpiece, which not only has delighted audiences around the world for nearly 85 years, but continues to do so.

Seats are limited and early bird tickets will be available through TryBooking if booking before 17 May.

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