Celebrating the Music of Derry Christmas with Allegri and Orchestra NorthWest
Ending another year on a high, acclaimed local arts organization Allegri is bringing the joy of Christmas to local audiences with two wonderful festive productions in Derry and Strabane.
On Sunday, December 4, Allegri Junior and Youth Choirs will present a world premiere of “Shirah of Bethlehem: A Christmas Cantata”.
With a matinee performance at 3:00 p.m. and an early evening performance at 6:00 p.m., this original musical theater piece, specially adapted for Allegri, both rowdy and haunting, asks the question: “What if the one who led the shepherds to the nursery was a girl?
First performed as “Abby’s Song,” an off-Broadway show in New York City, and now reimagined in a black-box musical theater style, the musical has an exuberant score by Motown hit-maker Elliott. Willensky with lyrics and story written by bestselling author Mary Pat Kelly. The project’s musical director is Maurice Kelly with choreography by Venessa Chapman.
Shirah’s story celebrates childhood, hope, music and the good news of Christmas to young audiences around the world.
Then, on the weekend of December 17 and 18, Allegri will present a beautiful program of festive music which includes the timeless orchestral work of Howard Blake “The Snowman” as well as popular pieces such as Troika, Gaudete and some original versions of some festive favorites you know and love.
On Saturday 17th December Allegri Ladies Choir will join Orchestra NorthWest for ‘The Snowman and other Christmas Classics’ at Guildhall, Derry and on Sunday 18th December Orchestra NorthWest will travel to Strabane, following the success of their concert of September sold out. , to share the magic of Christmas at the Théâtre de la Ruelle.
At the heart of the performances will be the timeless Christmas favourite, The Snowman. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Howard Blake’s work, originally produced for Channel 4. Capturing the innocence and wonder of childhood, it is based on the storybook by Raymond Briggs, who sadly passed away this summer .
Allegri and Orchestra NorthWest Artistic Director Maurice Kelly comments, “The performances of this much-loved Christmas classic are important to Allegri and Orchestra NorthWest because when we last played it in December 2019, Little did we know that the mysterious virus that at that time was gripping Hubei Province in China would very quickly become a global pandemic.
“It would take two years and four months (854 days!) before we could return to live public performance again. So it looks a lot like the completion of that circle.
“Everyone involved in the performances is thrilled beyond words to share the magic of this enchanting story of the boy and the snowman come to life with North West audiences.”
Allegri’s program is partly funded by Tickets for all concerts cost £12 for adults (reduced price of £8).
Come and share in the excitement of the end-of-year celebrations and experience a pinch of Christmas musical magic!
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