On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August, there will be a spectacular open-air performance of ‘Carmina Burana’ during the Cultura Nova festival in Heerlen (South of the Netherlands). The Spanish theatrical group La Fura dels Baus and the Philharmonie Zuidnederland will be performing the masterpiece by the German composer Carl Orff (1895-1982) against the fairy-tale backdrop of the Beaujean silver sand quarry in Heerlen. The performance is the absolute highlight of Cultura Nova 2018.
‘Carmina Burana’, with its popular number ‘O Fortuna’, will be performed during Cultura Nova under the direction of Carlus Padrissa, the Catalan director of La Fura dels Baus. This Catalan group, which has performed at Cultura Nova several times before, produces multimedia shows that are physical, expressive, and confrontational. The renowned theatrical group made its breakthrough with the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics and, later, touched the hearts of more than 150,000 members of the audience with its ‘Carmina Burana’. It is the first time that La Fura dels Baus will be performing this show in the Netherlands.
Total theatre in the open air
‘Carmina Burana’ was adapted by Carlus Padrissa into an intense musical theatre performance. The audience is immersed in a universe full of striking images and special effects. A huge cylinder covered in tulle literally surrounds the orchestra and acts as a cinema screen, while images projected on it illustrate Orff’s hymn to Fortuna, the goddess of luck, fate, and fortune, from start to finish. With a ninety-piece orchestra and a ninety-voice choir, this is a production that is second to none and which will leave no-one – from music lovers to fans of performing arts – unmoved.
This version of Carmina Burana is a co-production by the Cultura Nova festival, Parkstad Limburg Theaters, and the Philharmonie Zuidnederland which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year with a series of special concerts. ‘Carmina Burana’ opens the series. Opera Zuid and the Aachen Symphonic Choir are responsible for the spectacular choral singing, while the musical direction is in the hands of the Spanish conductor Josep Vicent. The leading roles are played by Amparo Navarro (soprano), Jordi Domenech (countertenor), Toni Marsol (baritone), and Luca Espinosa (actress). And last but not least, twelve dancers from the Limburg House of Arts are also involved in the show. Carlus Padrissa brings together all these elements into one large-scale production.
More information about the artistic and musical leader
Carlus Padrissa evolved with La Fura dels Baus from the punk movement and now directs operas for major opera houses. Carlus Padrissa is a renowned director and multimedia artist. La Fura dels Baus created a large-scale sensation for the first time when it designed the opening ceremony for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In 1999, Gerard Mortier discovered Carlus Padrissa and his group for opera.
The musical director Josep Vicent is currently the artistic director and conductor of the World Orchestra. Vicent started his international career as a percussionist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and has appeared as guest conductor for the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
A spectacular location
The Beaujean silver sand quarry forms the setting for this fantastic open-air spectacle. The Heerlen sand quarries, including that of Beaujean, play an important part in the city’s development. The Beaujean quarry is one of the IBA locations (Internationale Bau Ausstellung) in Parkstad Limburg. This area is being given a different, recreational purpose and will gradually be returned to nature and partly be opened to allow people to experience the former quarries. ‘Carmina Burana’ marks this transition. This location is therefore the ideal place for Parkstad Limburg Theaters and the Cultura Nova festival to present to the public an innovative version of a well-known work. Festival Across the Borders from Aachen is a partner of Cultura Nova at the ‘Carmina Burana’.