Los Angeles Music Preview: CHRISTMAS CHORAL CONCERTS (Los Angeles Master Chorale at Disney Hall)

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by Tony Frankel on November 24, 2017

in Music,Theater-Los Angeles


With the indefatigable Energizer Bunny of conducting, Grant Gershon, at the helm, Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) can easily be labeled one of the best choirs on earth, and you have a chance to see four separate holiday programs at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Naturally, you can attend on Sunday, December 10 at 7:00 their Handel’s Messiah, which is so glorious it could raise the dead (soloists this year are soprano Anna Schubert, mezzo-soprano Julia Metzler, tenor Timothy Gonzales, and baritone Luc Kleiner). Or you can dust off your pipes and participate in the extremely popular Messiah Sing-Along—with soloists and orchestra onstage, you’re the chorus; this guaranteed sell-out will take place on Monday, December 18 at 7:30, which means you have no excuses about holiday parties and other competing shows to miss this wildly popular affair.

And don’t miss 48 singers, 2 cellos, and 2 portative organs in a program featuring the Six Bach Motets on Sunday December 10 at 7:00. Recently promoted Associate Conductor Jenny Wong makes her solo conducting debut, presenting for the first time all six motets on one program, meaning you get the LAMC premiere performances of Komm, Jesu, komm (Come, Jesus, come) and Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf (The Spirit gives aid to our weakness).

But you simply can’t miss LAMC detonate nuggets of Noel gold at its stocking stuffer of a concert named Festival of Carols—so popular that there are two performances this year: Saturdays December 2 and 9 at 2:00, an especially uncluttered time slot perfectly situated between your shopping and that snappy seasonal shindig.

The 100-member chorale will illustrate their vocal brilliance performing beloved seasonal carols and favorites. If you think you’ve heard “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night” enough to last a lifetime, let these perfectly pristine vocalists have you believe you are hearing them for the first time. Along with the special guests from the National Children’s Choir, they will be backed by Lisa Edwards on the piano and John West on that Disney Hall organ, powerful enough to cause an avalanche at the North Pole. And straight out of Santa’s sled comes the best gift of all: Artist-in-Residence Eric Whitacre will conduct. Expect even more than traditional favorites and new arrangements, this year’s concerts include the premiere of a new 20-minute Christmas-themed work composed by Whitacre, “The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus” (based on the Ogden Nash poem). Also featured are three other Whitacre works “Lux Aurumque,” ” little tree, ” and “Glow,” the song that became a global phenomenon when recorded singers from around the world were synchronized into a single video performance. And if that ain’t enough, how about a few sing-alongs? Given that Whitacre is as popular as Santa or even… (well, I’m not saying that name; look at the trouble it got John Lennon into), the concerts are selling out fast.

photos by Jamie Pham and Lee Salem

Los Angeles Master Chorale
Festival of Carols
Eric Whitacre, conductor
Saturdays, December 2 and 9 at 2:00
Bach: The Six Motets
Jenny Wong, conductor
Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 7:00
Handel’s Messiah
Grant Gershon, conductor
Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 7:00
37th Annual Messiah Sing-Along
Grant Gershon, conductor
Monday, December 18 at 7:30
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 South Grand Avenue at First Street
for tickets, call 213.972.7282 or visit LAMC

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