Carmina Burana’s “Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi;” credit Stefan Cohen

Peninsula Ballet Theatre Launches New Season

Peninsula Ballet Theatre (PBT) has announced the 2022-23 season, the Company’s 55th Anniversary, will get underway September 24 and 25 with the premiere of Artistic Director Gregory Amato’s fully staged production of Carl Orff’s epic cantata, Carmina Burana, presented in collaboration with three other acclaimed San Mateo County-based performing arts organizations, Masterworks Chorale, Ragazzi Boys Chorus, and Pacific Sticks Percussion Ensemble. Dr. Bryan Baker will be on the podium leading the cast of 150 artists including guest soloists, soprano Shawnette Sulker and tenor

Corey Head; the baritone soloist is to be announced. Both performances will be given at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 North Delaware Street.

Preceding Carmina Burana, Peninsula Ballet Theatre will begin with a short program of mixed repertory dances by Amato and new works by Bay Area choreographers Marika Brussel (Pandora) and Aline Carili (Expresse).

Commenting about his upcoming Carmina Burana premiere, Amato said, “I take my inspiration for this extraordinary work from Dutch master painter Heironymus Bosch’s famous triptych of the late 15th Century, “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” and its robust representation of humanity with its eruption of fantasy and chaos juxtaposed with idyllic innocence. The dance movement I’ve created is ritualistic, sensual and ominous reflecting the formidable music as set to this codex of sacred and profane texts.”

German composer Carl Orff’s towering masterpiece from 1937, Carmina Burana – “Songs of Beuren” – remains one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable works of the 20th Century. Conceived by Orff as a theatrical cantata for orchestra, adult and children’s chorus, three vocal soloists and choreographed movement,

Carmina Burana is based on a collection of 24 spiritual and carnal songs and poems authored by anonymous 13th Century medieval monks and minstrels. Orff’s work is composed with a prologue and epilogue, and three highly descriptive scenes: “Primo Vere” (“In Early Spring”), “In Taberna” (“In the Tavern”) and “Cours d’Amours” (“Court of Love”).