Utah Voices sing out heartily in 'Carmina'

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Breault's 'roasting swan' is highlight of cantata — Catherine Reese Newton of the Salt Lake Tribune reports, Utah Voices, the new chorus on the block, seems determined to make a big splash. After introducing itself in December with Handel's "Messiah," the 170-voice ensemble followed up on Friday with another choral blockbuster, Carl Orff's celebrated secular cantata "Carmina Burana."

The chorus gave an enthusiastic and generally well-polished performance under the tag-team batons of artistic director Michael Huff and associate conductor Kelly DeHaan. Each conductor took his turn at the keyboard, joining assistant accompanist Natalie Campbell in the two-piano reduction of the score, when not on the podium; an impressive array of percussionists joined in at key moments.

Soprano Jennifer Larson and baritone Christopher Clayton were appealing as the young lovers in the cantata's third section, "The Court of Love." Clayton also had an amusing turn as the Abbot of Cockaigne in the tavern scene. But it was tenor Robert Breault who stole the show with his portrayal of the roasting swan. His disheveled appearance and hammy antics delighted the full-capacity Libby Gardner Concert Hall crowd -- but, most important, his singing was impeccable...