Carmina Burana to be presented
A multi-community musical production of Carmina Burana will take place on Sunday, March 4 at the Jefferson High School gymnasium in Alexandria. There will only be one performance and it is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935-36. It is based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana. The work calls for a large orchestra, a large mass choir, and several soloists.
The Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (CLSO) will perform under the direction of Brad Lambrecht. The group boasts more than 55 members from surrounding communities including Alexandria, Carlos, Farwell, Fergus Falls, Garfield, Glenwood, Holmes City, Kensington, Miltona, Osakis, Villard and Vining.
Steven Deitz, director of choirs at Jefferson High School, will direct a chorus of 150 voices. Singers are adults and high school students also from regional communities including Alexandria, Brandon, Evansville, Farwell, Garfield, Glenwood, Long Prairie, Parkers Prairie and Starbuck.
Featured soloists include soprano Dr. Leesa Levy, director of choral activities at Valley City State University, tenor Brian Kuhl from the Minnesota Opera and baritone William Schmidt from Rochester.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available in Alexandria at Carlson Music, Cherry Street Books, the Community Education Office at Woodland Elementary School and at the door the day of the event.
One half hour before the performance, Lambrecht and Levy will present "Maestro's Notes" - an informational session about the musicians and the performance.
This production is dedicated to the memory of Jody Sundlee who was a member of the CLSO.
Dr. Leesa Levy
Since 1999 Dr. Leesa Levy has served as director of choral activities at Valley City State University in North Dakota, where she is also associate professor of voice.
She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Mansfield University; Master of Music degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from the University of Texas Austin; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and literature from North Dakota State University.
She completed more than 10 years of teaching K-12 vocal music in public schools stateside and in Europe, and taught voice and conducted the community choir at the Franz Grothe School of Music in Weiden, Germany.
Levy performed as a soprano soloist with the Weiden Synfoniker and in concert and recital venues throughout Bavaria and beyond. She has been directing choirs since age 16 and has been active in community and semi-professional music-theater and opera on two continents.
Brian J. Kuhl
Tenor Brian J. Kuhl began his musical training as a member of the St. John's Boys' Choir in Collegeville, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from St. John's University.
In 2006, he received a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota. Most recently, he sang Rinuccio in Puccini's one act opera Gianni Schicchi at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University Opera Workshop.
In 2011, Kuhl participated in the James M. Collier Apprentice Artist Program with Des Moines Metro Opera, where he covered the role of Chevalier de la Force in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites.
Other recent credits include Frederic in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance at the Tall Ships Duluth 2010 festival, Second Priest/First Man in Armor in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Spoletta in Puccini's Tosca with Minnesota Orchestra, the 4th Jew in Strauss's Salome with the Minnesota Opera, and Ferrando in Mozart's Così Fan Tutte with the St. Petersburg Opera.
Baritone William Schmidt is a founding member of the Rochester Aria Group, having sung more than 30 performances of opera and art song repertoire with that organization.
In addition to an undergraduate degree in vocal performance, he has a Ph.D. in computer science and is employed by IBM.
He previously performed Carmina Burana with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, Minnetonka Choral Society, Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester, and Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra.
Most recently he performed as soloist in the Hodie of Vaughan Williams, Beethoven's Mass in C, and Mendelssohn's Elijah.