MUSICALS/BALLET

Nevada Ballet Theatre presented Nicolo Fonte’s “Carmina Burana at the Smith Center, November 3-5, 2023.

The program opened with George Balanchine’s quintessential ballet, “Serenade,” to introduce the talented dancers, full orchestra, and over 70 pure operatic voices of the Las Vegas Master Singers. This masterpiece, set to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings,” remains breathtaking in its classic elegance of form. Delicate blue tulle sweeps across a moonlit stage in perfect complement to the music in the transcendent beauty of dance.

After the intermission “Carmina Burana” took the audience in its swirling storm of love and pain, life and death, fate and will of force. Carmina Burana, composed in 1936 by Carl Orff, is based on 24 poems from the collection Carmina Burana as a cantana (a vocal composition, usually a choir, accompanies an instrumental accompaniment). It was first performed by the Oper Frankfurt on June 8, 1937, opening with “O Fortuna,” which was included in the Nevada Ballet Theatre performances.

Choreographed by Nicolo Fonte with stunning costumes and scenery by Ballet West and Chorus by Las Vegas Master Singers in a medieval setting with powerful music, just stunning. Live music was provided by Doris Lee Live Music fund and The Theodore and Doris Lee Family Foundation.

Nicolo, as a choreographer, is known for his unique movement language and the highly developed fusion of ideas, dance, and design. He is a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Argentina. Nicolo studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, the San Francisco Ballet, and the School of American Ballet. He also completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. He choreographs ballets worldwide. For more info, visit nicolofonte.com.

Las Vegas Master Singers is celebrating 30 years as a community-oriented chorus based in Las Vegas. The ensemble is the chorus-in-residence with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and a partnership with Opera Las Vegas, supplying the chorus for main stage productions. They have also collaborated with the Las Vegas Sinfonietta, the Henderson Symphony, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Nevada Ballet Theater. In 2024, the chorus will perform Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna at Carnegie Hall. For more info, visit lvmastersingers.org.

https://nevadaballet.org/