By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
Each Thursday morning, I list five events that pique my interest, including (ideally) at least one with free admission (or, at a minimum, inexpensive tickets). Because of the holidays, this will be my last “Five Spot” post until January 4, although I do plan on posting columns and other items over the next three weeks.
Here’s today’s grouping:
• Tonight at 8 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall
A Chanticleer Christmas
The San Francisco-based, all-male chorus makes what has become an annual visit to Disney Hall. This is one of those must-see concerts, particularly if you’ve never seen this group. Information: www.laphil.com
• Tomorrow at 11 a.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Los Angeles Philharmonic: Bernard Labadie, conductor
The Québec native, who is founding director of Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle du Québec, is considered a Mozart specialist so his all-Mozart program this weekend with the L.A. Phil plays to his strength. It includes Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) and Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595, with Benedetto Lupo as soloist. These were the last symphony and last piano concerto that Mozart wrote. David Mermelstein had a profile of Labadie in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times (LINK). Information: www.laphil.com
• Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Alex Theatre, Glendale
Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles holiday program
The 200-voice chorus will perform an eclectic program of music under the banner of “Naughty and Nice,” led by its new artistic director, E. Jason Armstrong, and feature Melissa Manchester as soloist. Information: www.gmcla.org
• Sunday at 4 p.m. at Neighborhood Church, Pasadena
Pasadena Pro Musica: Christmas Madrigal Music
Music Director Stephen Grimm leads his chorus in a program of music from the Renaissance. Information: www.pasadenapromusica.org
Note: I would have listed the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s performance of Handel’s Messiah on Sunday at Disney Hall but the LAMC Web site says it’s sold out (although a cancellation list is available).
And the weekend’s “free admission” program …
It isn’t this weekend and it isn’t a program in the strict sense, but on December 24, set your alarm clock for 7 a.m. (West Coast time) for the worldwide broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols live from King’s College, Cambridge, England (locally, it’s on KUSC 91.5-FM and www.kusc.org).
Begun in 1918 and first broadcast 10 years later, this traditional service features scripture readings, carols and choir anthems that tell the story of Jesus from creation to his birth. Since 1982, the service has featured a commissioned carol; this year, it’s Christmas Eve, with words by Christina Rossetti and music by young British composer Tansy Davies (here’s a LINK to the news release about the new piece).
You can get voluminous details about the service, including its history, HERE. You can also download the service booklet as a .pdf file but be forewarned: it’s 50 pages long! The entire service takes about 90 minutes and it’s one of my holiday traditions (a visit to the service itself has long been on my “bucket list”).
(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.