Carmina Burana by Carl Orff at the Salamis Amphitheatre


By Heidi Trautmann ….
www.heiditrautmann.com ….

CARMINA BURANA by Carl Orff at the Salamis Amphitheatre as part of the 22nd International Famagusta Art, Culture and Tourism Festival 2018 on 4th September 2018.

A bus organized by Kaleidoskop Tourizm  took us to the Ruins of Salamis where we arrived early enough to find good seats on the stone steps of the Amphitheatre directly opposite the enormously wide stage erected for 69 musicians of the TRNC Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the Bursa State Symphony Orchestra and 63 choir members of the State Choir Turkey. For one hour we enjoyed the flow of music lovers, the crisscross and hello’s, until finally the members of the orchestra mounted the stage being reminded by an impatient audience, people who sat sweating in this unbelievable September heatwave and the great humidity. Ali Hoca, the conductor of the orchestra and Burak Onur Erdem, the Choirmaster were warmly greeted, also the solo singers Nurdan Kücükekmekci (soprano), Caner Akin (tenor) and Arda Aktar (baritone).

It is for the second time that we had Carl Orff with his Carmina Burana in North Cyprus, previously it was in 2009 at the Girne Amphitheatre. You may read about my experience then in my announcement and review by clicking here and clicking here

Fortuna, Imperatrix mundi – Empress of the world….thundering and shaking us awake and you could literally see and feel the shivers running over everyone’s body. Carl Orff’s Cantata, composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936 based on old medieval poems from the 11th and 12th century in Latin mostly, in Old French and Old German.

A cantata not really pleasing to the ears, it is life itself, happy and unhappy, and it is very demanding for the solo singers to sing these parts, often going to the extreme. Wonderful.

The selection covers a wide range of topics, as familiar in the 13th century as they are in the 21st century: the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the ephemeral nature of life, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and lust.

Carmina Burana is structured into five major sections, containing a total  of 25 movements. Within each scene, and sometimes within a single movement, the wheel of fortune turns, joy turning to bitterness, and hope turning to grief. “O Fortuna”, completes this circle, forming a compositional frame for the work through being both the opening and closing movements.

Many of us remained sitting after another Encore of FORTUNA…., as if afterthoughts were holding us back before going home…..and we took the tune with us on the bus going back to Girne. Thank you, Famagusta, for this event.