"A Chanticleer Christmas" arrives at the Carmel Mission this week. The glorious male voices of this distinguished Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble can be heard in concert twice on Monday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Chanticleer, now in its 37th season, has included the Carmel Mission every year as a favorite stop on its popular holiday tour.
"A Chanticleer Christmas" draws on choral music about the nativity from the 13th to 21st centuries. This year's program is led by guest music director Ragnar Bohlin, music director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Bohlin introduces to Chanticleer audiences composer Fredrik Sixten from his native Sweden. Sixten's adaptation of "There is no Rose of such Virtue" and his "Rose of Roses," written for Chanticleer in 2014, will have their world premieres on this tour.
In addition to this year's unique selection of Christmas music, the group will present its signature arrangements of new and traditional carols and spirituals, including their immensely popular version of Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria."
For tickets and more information, call 415-392-4400 or see www.chanticleer.org.
Monterey County Pops! orchestra
Monterey County Pops! presents performances of its string orchestra in two free "Holiday Concerts for Kids, Families and Friends." The concerts will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in the Stanton Theater in King City and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, in the Monterey Conference Center's Steinbeck Forum.
Music director Carl Christensen conducts this professional ensemble in a program of holiday favorites and familiar classics. Both concerts will feature young dancers from Monterey County Dance Theatre of King City in scenes from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."
Five-year-old violin prodigy Nicholas Brady will appear in the Monterey concert as soloist in a concerto by J.S. Bach. Nicholas is leaving the area with his family in the near future, so this will be your last chance to see him perform here. He's an amazing little kid!
The King City program will feature the Sol Treasures Youth Orchestra and the Timshel Community Chorus. Along with "The Nutcracker," both concerts will include Johann Pachelbel's popular "Canon in D major" and Arcangelo Corelli's "Christmas Concerto." There will also be a holiday sing-along.
For more information on these free concerts, see www.montereycountypops.org.
Many of you have enjoyed performances by the talented artists of Opera San Jose over the years when they toured to our region. We have been very fortunate that music presenters on the Monterey Peninsula have hosted Opera San Jose singers often.
Irene Dalis, the extraordinary and charismatic founder, teacher and administrator of Opera San Jose, died on Dec. 14. She was 89.
Dalis was a widely admired and powerful figure who established a company that produced consistently high-quality opera performances. In addition to season after season of superb opera productions, Dalis and her associates educated and developed fine young singers, many of whom have excelled professionally in this challenging art form.
Dalis possessed keen financial and administrative skills, creating a strong operating foundation for Opera San Jose. She was also an accomplished musical artist herself with notable successes on the opera stages of Europe and the U.S.
Before her retirement from the stage in 1977, Dalis was a principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera for 20 consecutive seasons and appeared regularly with Covent Garden, Berlin, Hamburg, Bayreuth and other major opera houses.
You can read more about Dalis and her remarkable career at www.operasj.org.
For more by Barbara Rose Shuler, see www.barbarasbest.com.