Carmina Burana, or the songs of Beuren, are based on the 13th century manuscripts found in the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuren in 1847. Its authors must have been troubadours, monks, or errant students. From this collection, numbering around two hundred songs, Carl Orff has chosen 25. The beginning and the end of the work invoke the Wheel of Fortune which controls man's destiny; the central parts: Springtime, On the Lawn, In the Tavern, and Court of Love, have love as their main theme. Described as a scenic cantata by its composer, this work was first presented at the Frankfurt Opera in 1937.
Fernand Nault set this ballet for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal in 1966. It received great acclaim during the Expo '67 World Festival and has since been seen in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, and in South Korea with great success.
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