Carmina Burana 

& Walpurgis Night

Eugene Concert Choir & Orchestra
Diane Retallack, Artistic Director & Conductor


Alexandria Crichlow, soprano

Laura Beckel Thoreson, contralto

Esteban Zúñiga Calderón, tenor

Phillip Bullock, baritone (newly announced)

Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 2:30 pm
Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center

Our season of musical travels concludes in Germany with two great pagan masterworks:

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana “Songs of Beuern”

Revel in the powerful songs of love, drink, and the unrelenting force of the ever-turning wheel of fate, as archived by scribes of the Buren Monastery. Silva Concert Hall will resound with the iconic and riveting opening chorus “O Fortuna” performed by 100 voices in combination with the full Eugene Concert Orchestra. From tender to seductive, the solo voices weave a mesmerizing tale of emotion. The raucous tavern scene and the grotesque roasted swan add a vivid and macabre theatricality to this grand spectacle.

Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht

The first Walpurgis Night is the eve of May Day when, according to legend, witches dance on the Brocken Peak in the Harz Mountains of Germany. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s ballad reimagines this myth as a fantastical fable enacted by Druids defending their deeply held pagan beliefs. This text spoke to Mendelssohn, whose “fairy style” music perfectly encapsulates the magical whimsy of the wild Witches' Chorus and culminates in triumphant blazing light, symbolizing victory and freedom.

Meet the Soloists! 

Alexandria Crichlow| soprano

Known for her captivating stage presence and smooth timbre, soprano Alexandria Crichlow received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morgan State University and the Master of Music in Opera Performance from Mannes School of Music.  Ms. Crichlow’s portrayal of Maria in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra production of Porgy & Bess under the direction of Marin Alsop led to a CD recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra of Porgy & Bess highlights.

This exciting artist is an honored recipient of multiple grants and competitions, including the Michael Sisca Award and the Marian Marcus Wahl Memorial award; First prize winner in The National Association of Teachers Maryland District Competition and The National Association of Negro Musicians Maryland Chapter’s Marian Anderson Vocal Competition. Oratorio and role credits include Handel’s Messiah, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and the title role of Suor Angelica.  She recently made European debuts in Prague and Berlin.

Laura Beckel Thoreson | contralto

Hailed as “one of the loveliest voices in the Northwest” (Oregon ArtsWatch), contralto Laura Beckel Thoreson enjoys a widely varied singing career in the USA and abroad. She has appeared as a solo guest artist with groups such as Portland Opera, Eugene Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Utah Festival Opera, the Oregon Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Harmonia Seattle, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Naples Symphony, and many more, and has performed internationally in Canada, England, Scotland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. 

Beckel Thoreson is an avid proponent of new composition, and a frequent collaborator with composers and ensembles, participating in world premiere performances and appearing on Billboard Top-Ten recordings. A graduate of Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music, Beckel Thoreson was a member of the voice faculty at the University of Portland for four years, and is now a Professor of Voice at Clark College in her hometown of Vancouver, WA, where she also maintains an award-winning private studio.

Esteban Zúñiga Calderón | tenor

Hailing from Cartago, Costa Rica, Tenor Esteban Zúñiga Calderón is pursuing the degree of Doctor in Musical Arts with a specialization in Historical Performance Practice at the University of Oregon, under the tutelage of Dr. Camille Ortiz. He obtained his Master’s degree in Manhattan School of Music thanks to a full scholarship, studying with former Metropolitan Opera tenor Neil Rosenshein. Zúñiga has also had the opportunity to work with a number of important figures in the world of North American Classical Music, such as Sherril Milnes, Martina Arroyo, Arturo O'Farril, Mignon Dunn, Ashley Putnam, Gary Wedow, Katherine Malfitano and Kent Tritle. 

He has been a remarkable participant at multiple performances, concerts, festivals and operas, in the United States and in Costa Rica. Zúñiga has sung the male leading roles in operas by Rossini, Donizetti, Mozart, Bizet, Handel, P. Davis, García and Guerrero. He has also performed as a soloist in works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Saint-Saënz, Von Martinez, Schütz and Orff, among others. In the present day, Zúñiga continues teaching young singers at the University of Oregon along with his doctoral studies.

Phillip K. Bullock | baritone

Praised by Opera News for his “appealingly suave baritone”, Phillip K. Bullock, has been featured in operas, recitals and concerts throughout the United States and Europe.  Phillip’s recent engagements include his appearance as Zodzetrick in Damien Sneed’s reimagining of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the roles of Cato and Watchman in Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith’s new critically acclaimed opera, Castor and Patience, voted the Best New Opera of 2022 by The New York Times.  

Additionally, he appeared in Scott Davenport-Richards genre bending opera Blind Injustice,  Diane White-Clayton’s commissioned work Many Mansions with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Dave Brubeck’s Gates of Justice with the Brubeck Trio and University of California Los Angeles orchestras, as well as creating and recording the role of the God of Love in Long Beach Opera’s premiere of Pulitzer nominee Kate Soper’s opera The Romance of the Rose.
For more information visit

Adult tickets by section, A- $52, B- $43, C- $34, D- $25
Youth and Student $10
(Additional fees may apply)

Discounts for Youth & Seniors

Eugene Concert Choir is pleased to provide both youth and senior discounts to encourage attendance by all members of our community!

For more information regarding ticket purchases, please contact the Hult Center at (541) 682-5000

All other inquiries, please call the Eugene Concert Choir office at (541) 687-6865

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Date, Time & Location

Sunday, April 28, 2024
2:30 pm

Silva Concert Hall
Hult Center

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