Tobias Cole

COUNTER tenor Tobias Cole is debating whether to wear a black or a white feather boa when he sings the grotesquely beautiful “Roasting swan” aria, “Olim lacus colueram” (Once I swam in lakes), from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” this weekend at Llewellyn Hall.

“CityNews” thought black would be better for a swan in his condition.

Cole will join soloists soprano Rachael Duncan and bass-baritone Andrew O’Connor, along with Music for Canberra, the Canberra Youth Orchestra, Canberra Choral Society, Seasoned Voices and Canberra Children’s Choir, which Cole directs, in CYO’s first subscription concert for 2019. Leonard Weiss will conduct.

Canberra Youth Orchestra. Photo: William Hall.

Composed by Carl Orff in 1936, the cantata is based on 24 poems from the medieval collection of the same name, turned into libretto in secular Latin verse, with some Middle High German, Old Provençal and Old French.

Orff’s selection from the texts pretty well guarantees perennial interest in the subject matter. Beginning with the famous opening movement, “O Fortuna”, he ranges over drinking, gluttony, gambling, lust, the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the passing nature of life and the return of spring.

While “Carmina Burana” is a popular piece, this will be the first time that many of these talented young musicians will have the opportunity to perform such a commanding piece.

“Carmina Burana”, 7.30pm, Llewellyn Hall, Saturday, June 29, bookings to


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Ian Meikle, editor