Savannah, GA – The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will present Carmina Burana on Saturday, November 17 at 5pm in the Johnny Mercer Theater, Savannah Civic Center. After opening with Sibelius’ rousing then serenely melodic Finlandia and the evocative Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1 by Edvard Grieg, the Philharmonic will perform the scenic cantata Carmina Burana, beloved for its sumptuousness and extravagance. Known the world over for its dramatic opening chorus “O Fortuna”, Orff’s magnificent composition is one of the most popular pieces of the classical music repertoire and covers a wide range of themes still relevant in today’s society: love, the unpredictability of fortune, the transitory nature of life, the joys of springtime, and the pleasures and perils of vices. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to attend an educational pre-concert talk presented by the Savannah Friends of Music at 4:00 pm.

“The opening chorus of Carmina Burana must be one of the most iconic beginnings of any piece, used time and time again because of its immediate drama and power,” states Peter Shannon, the Savannah Philharmonic’s conductor and artistic director. “The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra is going to give this full credit when we perform it with the Philharmonic Chorus in the Civic Center. What people don’t know is that after that first beginning, there is so much more fantastic music in this piece: from a drunken abbot to a dying swan – every movement tells a story,” enthuses Shannon. “For an evening of musical opulence without compare, don’t miss the opportunity to hear this live in your own city!”

The Savannah Philharmonic is pleased to be accompanied by three well known soloists, Rebecca Flaherty (soprano), Cooper Nolan (tenor), and Keith Harris (bass). Selected for this performance in collaboration with the VOICExperience Foundation, a leading educational training program for opera singers, the soloists will perform together with the beloved Savannah Children’s Choir.

Soprano Rebecca Patrick Flaherty is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and has degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Georgia Southern University. In September 2011, Rebecca took second place in the Bauru/Atlanta competition; was a finalist in Shreveport Opera’s 2010 Singer of the Year Competition; first runner up for the 2011 American Prize in Voice; and won first place in her category at the 2011 South East Regional NATS Auditions. Her research project, Great Masters in Miniature: The Song Literature of Opera Composers, won first place in Georgia Southern’s Graduate Research Symposium. She is currently the Project Manager for Sherrill Milnes’s VOICExperience Foundation, which has begun an opera initiative in Savannah. Rebecca serves on the board of Savannah Friends of Music, and on Savannah Philharmonic’s Education Committee. She also teaches private voice through The Voice Co-op.

Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida tenor Cooper Nolan has been called a “powerhouse voice” with a “bright, focused, and expressive” sound by Opera News for his New York debut as Ulysse in the Faure’s Penelope. The New York Times proclaimed that his “powerful tenor served the music well, and he moved easily from his guise as hobbled beggar to that of triumphant king.” Mr. Nolan is the winner of the 2011 and 2012 New York District National Metropolitan Council Auditions, the recipient of The Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship in Opera Studies, and the Richard F. Gold Career grant. Most recently he has been heard as the Duke of Mantua and Edgardo at the Merola Opera Program with the San Francisco Opera. Last spring, Mr. Nolan was a featured soloist for the Manhattan School of Music Gala concert honoring Marilyn Horne. He also sang with the Verdi Square Concert Series, commemorating the first lighting of the famous statue of the composer in New York City. Next, he will perform with the Dance Alive National Ballet and the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra and Choir.

Praised for the distinctive warmth of his voice, clear diction and exceptional musicianship, American baritone Keith Harris is captivating audiences for his performances on both the operatic and concert stage. Mr. Harris made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the new production of Verdi’s Don Carlo that opened the 2010-2011 season. Also that season, he performed the title role in Karsa’s Brundibar with the Phoenix Symphony and joined the roster of New York City Opera to cover Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore. A vocal competition winner, his numerous honors and awards include first prize in the Seattle Region Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, “Young Artist of the Year” with Opera Longview Vocal Competition in Texas, the Ellen Faull Gordon Northwest Vocal Competition, and the Ladies Musical Club Competition in Seattle. He holds a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

Concert tickets are available for purchase at or by calling the box office at (912) 525-5050. Ticket prices are $16 – $55 and $65 for limited premium seating.

Subscription packages are also available. Please call the Savannah Box Office at (912) 525-5050 for more information.

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is a professional orchestra presenting a full range of concerts each season (September to May) from classics to pops. The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus is a community-based auditioned ensemble that performs regularly with the orchestra in an oratorio and opera setting, as well as performing a wide range of music from a cappella, baroque to rock and pop standards. Both are 501©3 nonprofit organizations.

The SPO’s mission is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus and internationally acclaimed soloists. The SPO aims to exhilarate, educate and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community. For more information please visit