Kelli O'Hara and Richard Thomas Join The Tabernacle Choir for 20th Annual Christmas Concerts
Acclaimed Broadway singer and actress Kelli O'Hara and renowned actor Richard Thomas will be the featured guest artist and narrator at this year's Christmas concert by The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square on December 12, 13 and 14, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Under the direction of Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director, these powerhouse talents will ring in the Christmas spirit for audiences this holiday season. The 2019 concerts mark the 20th year of these annual concerts by the Choir and Orchestra in the Conference Center.
"Kelli O'Hara is a tour de force performer whose beautiful and versatile voice will marry perfectly with the concert's holiday repertoire." said Ron Jarrett, president of The Tabernacle Choir. "I also can't wait to hear Richard Thomas narrate our Christmas story with his signature voice that will take us all back home to Walton's Mountain."
Today's carefully guarded announcement was eagerly anticipated by thousands of Choir fans who have attended the traditional Christmas concerts for two decades. These concerts are a visual and musical spectacle, a full-scale production of world-class music, dance, and storytelling with amazing visual effects. Over the course of three nights, the concert is seen by a combined audience of over 60,000 in the Conference Center, plus millions more will tune in to watch this holiday special on PBS and BYUtv in December 2020.
Kelli O'Hara is one of the rare singers who has managed to find a home performing in Broadway musicals, concerts, and the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. O'Hara received her university degree in opera and after winning the Oklahoma State Metropolitan Opera competition, she moved to New York City where she made her debut on Broadway. She has received seven Tony Award® nominations, winning Best Actress in a Musical in 2015 for her performance as Anna in The King and I. She received an Emmy Award® nomination for her performance in The Accidental Wolf. In 2015 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow and has since returned as Despina in Cosí fan tutti. Her concerts have gained international acclaim, spanning from New York's Carnegie Hall all the way to Tokyo. She is a frequent performer on PBS's live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Ms. O'Hara has received two Grammy Award nominations for her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World.
Richard Thomas is best known for his leading role as the budding author John-Boy Walton in the television drama The Waltons, for which he won one Emmy Award and received nominations for another Emmy Award and two Golden Globe awards. He starred in Stephen King's miniseries It and played FBI Special Agent Frank Gaad in the series The Americans. He received a 2017 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a play, The Little Foxes.
This is the 20th annual Christmas concert in the Conference Center, although the tradition of Christmas concerts by The Tabernacle Choir stretches back decades before that. The completion of the Conference Center in 2000 enabled the Christmas concerts to flower into an eagerly-anticipated and much beloved annual series of performances. A cast of 600spersons includes 360 Choir voices, nearly 100 members of the Orchestra at Temple Square, the 32-member Bells on Temple Square, and about 100 dancers who combine with the guest artists to present this annual musical celebration.
The first guest artists in 2000 were Gladys Knight and Roma Downey. Every year since then an unprecedented series of luminary guest artists have graced the Conference Center stage from renowned opera stars to Broadway singers and actors to beloved news anchors to even the Muppets® from Sesame Street®. For a complete list of Christmas guest artists since 2000, please click here or go to tabchoir.org/Christmas.
In order to give everyone an equal opportunity to obtain tickets for these popular concerts, a random selection process will be used. Patrons have 10 days to register for tickets. The registration period for random selection begins Friday, October 25 at 12:00 noon though Sunday, November 3 at 12:00 midnight (mountain time). To learn more about the Christmas concert ticket selection process check here. Ticket registration will be on the Choir's website at tabchoir.org/Christmas/tickets. Subscribe to the Choir's weekly newsletter and follow the Choir on social media for more details of a later second-chance ticket give-away contest in November after the random selection process has been completed.
A Grammy Award-winning, multiple Emmy Award-winning, all-volunteer choral ensemble, The Tabernacle Choir is made up of 360 men and women who join their talents to create their trademark, instantly recognizable sound. They are accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square, a 200-member symphony, and the Bells on Temple Square, a 32-member handbell choir, that are both likewise all volunteer. The Choir, known for over 150 years as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, recently changed its name to The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. (More details can be found at the Choir's website.)
The Choir has appeared at 13 world's fairs and expositions, performed at seven U.S. presidential inaugurals, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events-all the while broadcasting Music & the Spoken Word, the oldest continuing radio network broadcast, a weekly tradition now celebrating its 90th anniversary. The Choir has its own recording label and just released the CD and DVD versions of last year's Christmas concert, both entitled Angels among Us, with Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth. Information about these products can be found at thetabernaclechoir.org.
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