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Based on 24 poems from a manuscript written mostly in the 11th and 12th centuries, Carl Orff’s oratorio “Carmina Burana” touches on themes as familiar now as they were a millennium ago: the fickleness of fortune, and the pleasures and pitfalls of drinking, eating, gambling and sex. While the words will be lost on most — it’s mostly in Latin verse — the music won’t be. “Carmina Burana” remains one of the most popular pieces in the classical music repertoire.

The Smith College Glee Club joins forces with glee clubs from the University of Virginia to perform Orff’s magnum opus Saturday at 8 p.m. at John M. Greene Hall in Northampton. $5 at the door; $1 students, children, seniors. 585-2787.


Find out how sub-surface train travel came to be at Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke Monday, when Kayla Havales presents “Alfred E. Beach and the Bizarre Story of America’s First Subway.” 6 p.m.; 322-5660.

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