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Carmina Burana – Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

past event


The 120 voices of our Symphony Chorus fill the Sydney Town Hall with Carl Orff’s kaleidoscopic Carmina Burana – one of the best-known choral extravaganzas of the 20th century. Based on a collection of medieval poems and profane songs, this thrilling work sings of the fickleness of fate and fortune, the circle of life and the earthy pleasures of wine, gambling and lust. The music drives through roaring rapids of primal ecstasy, dancing whirlpools and gentle pools of lullaby. Our performance will use the scintillating arrangement for two grand pianos and six percussion instruments made by Orff’s student Wilhelm Killmayer.

But before we sing to the Moon in the opening O Fortuna! we exalt the Sun as “both life-giver and dealer in death” in Peter Sculthorpe’s Sun Music for voices and percussion where he depicts “long, shimmering sonorous images” of his experiences of living in Australia. John Peterson’s The earth that fire touches captures in music the diverse Australian landscape – from dense, green forests to sparse, red deserts, with long single notes for the wide, open spaces, to celebratory dances of nature’s rebirth after fire.

Two sound worlds that span continents and centuries – vastly different but equally strange and familiar, intimate and remote, mysterious and wild.

The program will run for approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, including a 20-minute interval.

Saturday 22 May 3pm
Sydney Town Hall


Deborah CHEETHAM & Matthew DOYLE Tarimi nulay – Long time living here†
Peter SCULTHORPE Sun Music – for voices and percussion
John PETERSON The earth that fire touches
Carl ORFF arr. Wilhelm KILLMAYER Carmina Burana arranged for voices, two pianos & percussion
† Commissioned as part of our 100 Minutes of New Australian Music centenary project in 2020.

Brett Weymark conductor
Penelope Mills soprano
Andrew Goodwin tenor
José Carbó baritone
Symphony Chorus

Claire Howard Race piano
Catherine Davis piano
Sydney Philharmonia Percussion Ensemble

Tickets: Premium $109 | A $89 | B $69 | C $49. Concessions available
A booking fee of $8.50 per transaction applies.

Event Dates