This is a great musical week for families. Amid all the holiday madness, there are some real oases of family fun and there are some well-priced tickets for your kids, too...
This is a great musical week for families. Amid all the holiday madness, there are some real oases of family fun and there are some well-priced tickets for your kids, too.
First is the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, which has the “Carnival of the Animals” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Town Hall. Lasting just over an hour, the program features not only the Saint-Saëns classic but also storytelling and sketches by the Bulgarian mime Krassimir.
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Northwest Chamber Orchestra music director Ralf Gothóni was unable to travel to Seattle this week, so he will be replaced by James Ogle, conductor of the Boise Philharmonic. Ogle will conduct “Carnival of the Animals” as the Mum Puppettheatre of Philadelphia performs at the front of the stage. The piano soloists will be Tom Rosenkranz and Michael Sheppard; the witty narration Ogden Nash wrote to introduce each of the animals in the Carnival will be read by tenor Melvyn Poll (filling in for an ailing Martin Bookspan).
A reception and party, open to all concertgoers, will follow the performance. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Discounted prices for families and groups may be arranged by calling David Pocock at 206-343-0445. Town Hall subscribers also get a special discounted rate.
On Monday, a “Christmas Family Pops” program at 7:30 p.m. in Meany Theater features Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers, two groups founded by conductor George Shangrow, presenting a program of holiday favorites. Two of them are British: Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols,” for treble voices and harp, and Holst’s “Christmas Day.”
Seattle composer Robert Kechley also has arranged some traditional carols in an orchestral suite titled “A Bayreuth Christmas,” using themes from Wagner’s “Ring,” as well as a setting of “Jingle Bells” inspired by Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.”
Other highlights: Seattle tenor Stephen Wall will sing “O Holy Night,” and the evening will conclude with a family sing-along. This program is a tremendous bargain for families: youngsters 7 to 17 are admitted free of charge with an accompanying adult, on a one-to-one basis. (Request the free child’s ticket at the time of adult-ticket purchase.)
Tonight’s the first of three nights of holiday music by Choral Arts, the virtuoso choral ensemble led by Richard Sparks with guest organist Paul Tegels (professor of organ at Pacific Lutheran University). Famous for its sound and its blend, Choral Arts presents holiday favorites of the season, including traditional carols in nontraditional settings. An audience carol sing-along is included.
The first performance starts at 8 tonight in Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood. Tomorrow at 8, the program moves to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle. And on Sunday at 3 p.m., the final performance is given in PLU’s Lagerquist Concert Hall, 920 Wheeler St. S., Tacoma.
From medieval to modern
This weekend, the Tudor Choir has two concerts spanning six centuries of English holiday music including medieval chant, 18th-century carols, and seasonal music by Vaughan Williams, Finzi and Britten, under the direction of Doug Fullington. Tomorrow’s 8 p.m. performance is in St. Mark’s Cathedral; Sunday’s 3 p.m. concert is set for St. Thomas Episcopal Church of Medina.
A bit of baroque
And Seattle Baroque has two concerts of “Scarlatti in Madrid,” featuring rare performances of Scarlatti’s “Christmas Cantata,” plus harpsichord sonatas, guitar solos and various vocal and instrumental works. Among the performers on this all-Spanish program: violinist Ingrid Matthews, harpsichordist Byron Schenkman, soprano Melissa Fogarty, and Lucas Harris, lute and guitar. Showtimes are 8 p.m. tomorrow and 3 p.m. Sunday, in Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall.
Melinda Bargreen: email@example.com