So: Take the 40 dancers of the Nashville Ballet; add 120 singers and 60 musicians, including The University of Missouri-St. Louis Orchestra and Singers, The Bach Society of Saint Louis, and The St. Louis Children’s Choir; then set them loose on Carl Orff's 1936 "Carmina Burana" on the Touhill Center's big stage. What you get is an impressive piece of dance theatre that succeeds both as Spectacle and as Art.
If you harbor any lingering doubts as to the St. Louis Symphony’s status as a top-drawer orchestra, you should hie yourself to Powell Hall this weekend. The sheer virtuosity on display in every minute of the world premiere performance of Christopher Rouse’s manic Symphony No. 3 – accurately described as a “wild ride” in David Robertson’s brief introduction – will surely win you over, even if the piece itself does not. The Carmina Burana that followed it was pretty hot stuff as well.