What have How I met Your Mother, The Simpsons, Glee, the Howard Stern Show, a Domino’s pizza commercial, G-Force, Lil’ Kim’s song “Black Friday” all got in common? They all use the “O Fortuna” opening chorus of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Music is often said to be the universal language. I think this is because it speaks to the basic emotions of human nature. Whether we realize it or not so much of our lives is impacted by music, in fact sometimes it seems that it is always present, a part of the background to our lives. Even without attending concerts we experience music in the malls, the elevators, TV commercials, ring tomes, games, movies, and in many more places. Sometimes the music is familiar, sometimes interesting and new, and sometimes just irritating. Whichever it is, or has been it has influenced us in some way. Musicians are often influenced by other musicians, frequently from a different and unexpected style, copying or imitating and making it their own.
Here a few examples of the influence of classical music that I hope will inspire you to attend a concert of classical music in Okotoks.
Beethoven’s lovely Fur Elise is sampled in “I Can” by American hip-hop artist Nas; Mika stole Rossini’s tune “Largo al Factotum” from The Barber of Seville for his hit Grace Kelly; and Elvis Presley’s “It’s now or never” is the Neapolitan song “O Sole Mio”
The movie Pretty Woman is inspired by Verdi’s Opera, La Traviata, which is the opera that Edward (Richard Gere) and Vivian (Julia Roberts) attend together. Part of the aria “Dammi to Forza” (Give me strength) is used to great effect.
And I haven’t even started on cartoons, try either “What’s Opera, Doc” or “Rabbit of Seville” with your family and get a taste of what is in store at the opera.
Look out for the Foothills Philharmonic, you won’t be disappointed and might even stumble across something familiar and think: “Oh, that’s where that comes from!”.