Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Rolando Villazón (on KPBS 2)
Airs Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Credit: Courtesy of Mormon Tabernacle Choir
—No. 1 watched program on PBS during holidays brings poignant, cross-cultural, Latino-themed celebration to millions of viewers—
“Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir" premieres on KPBS 2 December 15 at 9 p.m. This annual spectacular will feature world-renowned operatic tenor Rolando Villazón as guest artist and narrator.
This year’s broadcast debuts its first Latino guest artist and weaves beloved Latin-American Christmas carols with traditional holiday favorites to deliver a poignant cross- cultural holiday celebration.
“My first major performance as an opera singer wason PBS with ‘La Bohème’ at Lincoln Center, so it’s wonderful to be part of such a rich PBS tradition and broadcast,” said Mr. Villazón. “Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, this concert includes beautifully arranged arias and treasured ‘villancicos’ that speak about connecting with others and giving shelter to the wanderer and the homeless. This concert is really about reflecting on what makes us human and unites us as part of the universal Christmas tradition. The music, the orchestra, the acting and the singular sound of the beautiful Choir are very inspiring. There’s nothing quite like this in the world in terms of the scale, grandeur and purpose.”
“Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir” unites a 600-person-strong cast comprised of the 360-voice world renowned choir, 150-piece orchestra, bell-ringers, dancers and actors to deliver an unforgettable program of music, pageantry and storytelling.
The program is filled with holiday carols in both English and Spanish, including: “Deck the Hall,” “Carol of the Drum,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” “Campana Sobre Campana” and others.
Mr. Villazón also provides narration both for the Christmas Story as recorded in Luke 2 of the Bible, and a new retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Little Match Girl,” complete with a live- action performance.
“Rolando is one of the most versatile artists alive today, who, with concurrent careers as opera singer, television host, author, stage director and cartoonist, assumes the dual role of singer and narrator with ease,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “He brings a deep passion for his Mexican culture and characteristic wonder and enthusiasm, which are reflected throughout the program in a unique way. We knew for years that we wanted Rolando to join us for a performance in Salt Lake City, and are delighted by the chemistry, creativity and diversity that came about as a result.”
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