Celebrate the Holidays with OC's Pacific Symphony
Orange County, CA-Make the most of the holidays throughout the month of December, when Pacific Symphony offers a diverse assortment of concerts-beginning with Beethoven's brilliant Fifth Symphony-just right for those seeking a message of joy and triumph of the human spirit. If younger children are the priority, consider "Nutcracker for Kids," featuring Tchaikovsky's delightful Christmas ballet-performed in a condensed version created just for children. Or, for those who find it hard to imagine a holiday season without Handel's "Messiah," the Pacific Chorale joins the orchestra to present the most famous oratorio in the world. If it's just good old-fashioned holiday cheer that fills the bill, who better to capture the heartwarming essence of the holidays than America's showbiz family-the Osmond brothers-in "An Osmond Family Christmas." Or...for a delightful mix of sacred and secular holiday music, there's the brand-new "Holiday Organ Spectacular." All of the concerts take place in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
Da-da-da-dum! The month begins with Beethoven's Fifth on Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 10-12, at 8 p.m. Led by guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, the concert features glorious music by the immortal Beethoven launched by the most famous four notes in music. Virtuoso oboe playing is also spotlighted in the superb orchestral suite, "Le Tombeau de Couperin," which pays homage to Ravel's comrades who died in World War I. Then, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin (whom the Dallas Morning News called "Classical guitar's reigning diva") adds lightness and flamboyance to the program with the irresistible dance rhythms of Rodrigo's "Fantasy for a Gentleman." Tickets are $25-$105.
Visions of sugar plums! Perennial sell-out family favorite, "Nutcracker for Kids," takes place Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., when Assistant Conductor Maxim Eshkenazy leads the orchestra and dancers from Orange County's Festival Ballet Theatre in Tchaikovsky's delightful Christmas ballet. Performed in a condensed version created specially for kids ages 5-11, this performance stays true to the original tale of Clara, a girl who receives an extraordinary gift-a nutcracker that magically turns into a prince. When the prince whisks Clara away to The Land of Sweets, she encounters a variety of delightful characters that include the Sugar Plum Fairy. This seasonal delight finishes with a grand holiday audience sing-along of favorite holiday carols. Tickets are $24-$41.
"Through the Years…" Members of the Osmond family join Pacific Symphony and conductor Bob Bernhardt for "An Osmond Family Christmas" on Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 17-19, at 8 p.m. Join Osmond brothers Merrill, Wayne, Jay and Jimmy, as they deliver a warm and cheerful collection of Christmas carols and other favorites they've become known for over the last few decades-such as "Drummer Boy," "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "Winter Wonderland," "He Ain't Heavy," "Jingle Bell Rock," "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Through the Years," "Happy Holidays." Plus, the evening includes footage from the Osmond's family videos. The first half of the concert features Soprano Christina Bouras singing more joyful holiday tunes! Tickets are $25-$150.
Blazing trumpets, thundering timpani! It's hard to imagine a holiday season without the electrifying and uplifting "Hallelujah" chorus of Handel's "Messiah," the most famous oratorio in the world. Taking place on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m., this one-performance-only event is conducted by William Lacey, and features the Pacific Chorale, led by artistic director John Alexander, plus world-class soloists: soprano Christine Brandes, mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne; tenor Benjamin Butterfield, baritone Timothy Mix. Through some of the most beautiful music ever written, "Messiah" conveys a message of hope to all who hear it, managing to stay fresh and meaningful each and every year. Tickets are $25-$105.